Tuesday, December 29, 2009

One More Fundraiser - Pampered Chef

We are having one more fundraiser as we push towards the last little bit we need before it's time to go. We are looking at submitting our dossier in early February and still need about $5000 to go.  If you love Pampered Chef please order though Rachel's website and help us reach our goal. Thanks!

Help The Pampered Chef
Raise Money
for the Lorenz Family’s adoption of

Come sample some delicious recipes and try high-quality kitchen tools while we raise money for the Lorenz family!

20% of all purchases will be donated to the Lorenz Family!
AND $10 will be donated for every show booked with Rachel Lazor!
(if you live near us and want to book a show let me know and I'll hook you up with Rachel)

When: Until Saturday, January 16th

If you aren’t able to make it, you can still support the fundraiser by placing your order on
Rachel's Pampered Chef Website

• Click on "Shop Online" in the LOWER LEFT CORNER OF THE HOME PAGE
• Enter LIZA in Box #1
• Shop, choose "Direct Delivery" (to have the order delivered to you via FedEx)
• Pay with a Debit/Credit Card

Please be sure to check out Reece’s Rainbow and the Lorenz sponsor page

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Melancholy Musings on Christmas Eve Night

*Now that I do have a connection I figured I'd add a bit to this. Cause I reread it and it kinda depressed me :) I sent this as a text from my phone cause I haven't been able to figure ut how to email a post yet and it only let me use a certain amount of characters. What I add will be in italics. Probably no one cares but I'm big on honesty so if I don't I will feel like I'm not being real. Yeah, I know I'm a weirdo!*

I can't seem to get a good connection to post lately but wanted to speak a little bit of my heart. This is my outlet after all. I have been realizing that I desperately need community.

I don't know if it's the holidays, the weather, hormones, or what but I really feel lonely a lot of the time. I feel like I was made to live like the Algonqins did (right?) in those longhouses with many generations in one home. I love the idea of that! I find myself wishing for the days when I was a young single mom. I lived with my children in my Godparents' home with my Godparents and my Godsisters. Not that I don't want Rick but I miss what those days represent. Just wondering if that makes me weird? It was a sense of community, I think. It's similar to when I lived in my apartment. Even though it was my own place I knew there were always people close and there was always someone in and out. Maybe some folks would hate that, but I loved it. And where we live now it just doesn't happen. 

So, now that I've depressed everyone. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Liza's Birthday

Today is Liza's 4th Birthday and our official meeting day with our Social Worker! On one hand I am excited that we are actually making some progress and hoping to have her here soon (February or March... maybe?), and on the other I am sad that she is "celebrating" her birthday once again in an orphanage. What that means is that  she's probably not celebrating at all. Today will  be just another day for her, just like yesterday and the day before and..... you get my point. I was really hoping that she would be here now and that we could show her how it feels to be celebrated on the day of your birth. What it's like to be loved and cherished like all children should be.

To honor her birthday I'd like to ask if you feel led to please make a donation to our Family Sponsorship Page on Reece's Rainbow. This will make it tax-deductible and really help us when it is time to actually make the trip over there. We have paid pretty much everything that is required for fees here, but are still in need of some of what we will need to pay when it is time to travel. We took a loan out on Rick's 401K and then our van and our stove had to be replaced, so that cut into some of what we planned to use. Every little bit helps, even $5 or $10. Just click the button included in this post or the one on the sidebar to help. Thank you!

Grab This Button

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Things I Ponder: The BBC version

Here lately I have been in LOVE with a few BBC series. It started with Keeping Up Appearances, or as Rick calls it, The Mrs. Bucket Show. Then it was Monarch of the Glen, Robin Hood, Ballykissangel, and now The Darling Buds of May (betcha didn't know that's how Catherine Zeta-Jones was dicovered?) Love me some BBC!

So, anyway, my pondering is this: Why, oh why can't the stars of these shows stay put?! In MOG two or three of the main characters leave after a couple seasons and the show hangs on a while then fizzles out. In Robin Hood and Ballykissangel the same thing happens. Haven't gotten far enough into The DBM yet but am hoping everyone was able to stick it out. The Mrs. Bucket Show is about the only one that it doesn't seem to happen in, which is good cause I don't think anyone else could have played Hyacinth! In BallyK they have about four or five different priests! Sheesh, gimme a break.

What is UP with the changing of characters? The stars of these shows leaving when it all seems to be going great? Any other BBC lovers know? Cause this is driving me bonkers. Still love my BBC though. Think I could make it in England? Kent is looking pretty good to me these days (that's a place, by the way, not a dude!).

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bracelet Fundraiser

* Only have TWO left! I've decided to keep this post at the top of the blog until I sell out of bracelets to make it easier to find them. I hope with Christmas coming I will sell the rest of what I have. The chip-in I originally had posted here expired but you can use the button on the sidebar for ordering bracelets. It all goes to the Liza fund, just designate $15 for each bracelet. Thanks!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Update on Tonya & Claire

To Give Tonya Hope

Since I posted about Tonya the other day we found out tht there IS a family that wants to adopt her but is worried about the financial aspect of adopting internationally. In other words the only thing stopping them is money. So, Lu, a friend in London has created this button to help spread the news about Tonya's need. If you are willing to help please grab the code for the button and paste it wherever it might be seen.  There is a family at her orphanage now adopting a friend of Tonya's and they say that she really wants a Mommy and Daddy. Let's see Tonya's Hope of a family become reality!

As for Miss Claire: She now has $400 in her grant fund! Yay! So, if you donated after reading my last post: Thank You! I am hoping that she will reach at least $1000 by the end of the Angel Tree and that she will have a family committed to adopting her. If you are interested in any of the children featured on Reece's Rainbow you can contact Andrea Roberts, her info can be found here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tonya and Claire

Look at Tonya all decked out in her pink winter outfit! Pink certainly seems to be her color. She is still waiting for a family and her profile can be found on the Reece's Rainbow site here under ophanage 24. She is also on the Angel Tree under "Help me get to $2500". Her total grants together are over $4000. This will really help to defray some of the costs of her adoption. Are you her family? Do you know someone who might be? She's been waiting a long time and is at the age she can be transferred to the institution.  I really don't want to see that happen to her.

Sweet little Claire! This is my Christmas Angel Baby, who I have not done a great job of advocating for. You can find Claire on the Angel Tree under "help me get to $500". Every DOLLAR donated to her fund helps bring her closer to having a family. But, for $35 you get an ornament with her picture on it to hang on your tree. How great would it be to pull out her ornament next year and know she is celebrating Christmas with her family and you had a part in that! There are truly families who would love to step up and commit to these children but can't because of the cost. So, the grant funds that Reece's Rainbow raises for them really are saving lives every day.

In just the 30+ days that the Angel Tree has been up this year 28 kids have had families step forward to adopt them. I am blown away by this and looking forward to who's moved to the "My Family Found Me" area next. Maybe it will be Tonya? Oh, I hope so! Or Claire? That would be great! OR maybe BOTH of them? That would be SPECTACULAR! :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Need Some Decorating Help

*Facebook Friends won't be able to see the pics, you'd have to go to www.journeytoapromise.blogspot.com*

So, what do you see here? A hideous choice of paired colors? Or, two colors that might actually have potential together? Hubby and I set out to paint the kitchen a color that would go with the cabinets that came with the house. Cause even the thought of painting the cabinets gives me a headache and a slight panic attack, and replacing them costs a heck of a lot more than a few gallons of paint.

Anyway, this is the color we finally decided on, and a professional approved, but now that I've painted one wall I don't think I like the two of them together and don't want to finish the kitchen. (Yes, this means my kitchen now has the bottom half of one wall painted.) BUT, yes there's a butt but, Rick and the boys LIKE the color and want me to finish painting. UGH!

So, if there are any decorator types who would be willing to advise I would greatly appreciate it. I think the pics are pretty true to color. Oh, and ignore the funky orange countertop. That's gonna go.... "someday". I was hoping for a European Country look with my color choices, but I think it might be too much like "Clowns Escape and Paint your Kitchen" No offense to any of you clowns out there! ;o)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wondering What's Up?

Anybody been wondering what's going on with us? I've actually just been laying low while we were waiting for Dr. Psychologist to submit his reports, and oh ok, I'll admit it a few times having a pity party.

But, we are on the move again. Homestudy Agency got the reports and within 20 minutes of getting them sent me a message saying we were good to go. Does anyone else think it's ridiculous that three months of waiting was wrapped up by a fax and a 15 minute "meeting" to interpret the fax? I just had to laugh, but was really glad they didn't make us wait to get the go-ahead.

So, after all that fuss, and Dr. Psychologist disappearing from the radar for a while, we are back on track and hoping to meet with our actual SW on December 18. After that we can submit the HS to USCIS to get our I171-H, then we get our entire dossier apostilled, send it to Liza's country, and wait for a travel date that will hopefully come in early March. Then the excitement really starts!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Reece's Rainbow Christmas Video

If you're touched by one of these beauties please contact Andrea with Reece's Rainbow to learn more about adoption. The adoption grants raised through RR really go along way to help each child find a family, but if you're still nervous I would urge you to check out Lydia's story. If they can do it what's stopping the rest of us? It can be done, and with all the roadblocks we've faced I can still say that. More news on that to come ;o)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Claire/The Angel Tree

Remember Claire? She's the little one I'm praying for during the Holiday's this year. she's still waiting for her Mom and Dad to come for her. To adopt her into a loving family and out of the orphanage. Away from the threat of the institution.

Even if you don't feel that you are called to adopt I encourage you to take a look at Reece's Rainbow's Angel Tree and sponsor one or more of the children featured there. There is truly no shortage of families that are ready and willing to bring these children home, but there is a shortage of funds all too often.

The NUMBER ONE reason I hear for people not adopting is the cost. So, please sponsor a child. I would love for it to be Claire, but go and take a look at the Angel Tree and decide for yourself. Reece's Rainbow will send you an ornament for every $35 donation and it's Tax-deductible. It can be a wonderful way to teach your kids to pray for the orphans. Hang the ornament on your Christmas Tree or display it in a prominent place to remind you to pray every day. I can tell you, it's an amazing feeling when you find out a child you've been praying for has been committed to by a family.

Let's see the lives of some special kids changed this Christmas! To get to the Angel Tree click on the Reece's Rainbow Christmas Ornament on the sidebar or this link http://www.reecesrainbow.org/angeltree2009sponsorpage.html MAKE SURE to mark any donations with Claire's (or the child you choose) name so that the donation is marked specifically for them.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Music and Life-I Hate Everything

First time I heard this song I thought, "What a pitiful country song. You can't really hate EVERYTHING." But, today I know how he feels.

No, we haven't really had bad news or anything. I am just sick of chasing down Dr. Psychologist trying to find out if the reports ever got done. I'm sick of not having a Homestudy done that should have been done a long time ago. I'm sick of trying to get "people" (I really wanted to say something else but will restrain myself)to just sign a piece of paper that we need for our dossier. I'm sick of having to fight the enemy and his minions at every turn in this adoption. Mostly, I am just sick to death of being thousands of miles from my daughter.

So, now I feel a little better and plan to drink a little wine, eat a cupcake, and dig the rest of the chocolate frosting out of the tub until I'm sick of it too.

Any body got a problem with that?!................

I didn't think so...... ;o)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween 2009 Lesson

I was prepared with the kind of candy I thought kids would like, Starburst Gushers and Jelly Lemonheads. Waiting excitedly for all the cute little Trick-or-Treaters to come to my door since my own children had deserted me to go door-to-door with some friends (apparently that's what happens at the preteen/teen stage). I just couldn't wait to Ohh and Ahh over all the little princesses and try to act scared of the little monsters.

Well, guess what? Not ONE little, or big for that matter, T-or-Ter came to my house at all. They were all walking the streets on the other side of my neighborhood. Along with the girls who looked like real Street Walkers, but I won't go there tonight. The point is I bought all that candy that I didn't get to give away to anybody. You know what that means? I'll have to eat it myself*.

So, what lesson did I learn from this?...............
Next year, buy CHOCOLATE*! :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Quilt Winner

Anybody remember this? When I first set it up I had the issue that came up with P*yp*l that threw a wrench in it for a day or two, but I did have two ladies who donated before that happened. Then I made a flyer and posted in a few places here in my community and had a couple folks donate because of that. All in all I guess it didn't do so bad. And believe me, every little bit helps get us closer to our goal.

Thanks to ALL who entered! And now on to the WINNER .
This is my trusty helper, Noah. Don't ask about the face, I have not a clue! But, it's cute :)
Here's his pick! Again with the weird faces.....
And The winner IS......

Natasha M! She actually works at the boys' school and is from Liza's country. On top of donating for a chance at the quilt she has also offered her services as a translator if I need them. I am so happy we got connected. I wish I had a quilt for everyone who donated, but am so grateful to everyone who did. Thank you all so much!!

And, of course, we do still have the bracelets for sale. I wear mine everyday and so does a friend of mine. Because they have so many colors in them they go with anything you wear but they're not overly bright or gaudy. If you knew me in real life you would know I DON'T do gaudy or loud. Check them out if you need an idea for a Christmas gift :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Filed Under: Things That Make Me Cry

This story about a bunch of cheerleaders in Iowa made me cry tonight. Darn cheerleaders! Don't they know I'm trying to uphold my tough reputation in front of my 10 and 13 year old boys? It's kinda hard to do when your watching videos like this one. Going to check it out? ;o)

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Not Really So Different

Yes, I know I said I was going to actually DO the 31 for 21 Challenge this year. I was going to REALLY post every day for 31 days. Yeah, that didn't really happen. I am a quiet person by nature and sometimes I just don't have much to say, that and sometimes I have a crappy Internet connection. ;o)

But, I do still want to raise awareness for those with DS and their families so I am just going to pick up where I'm at and go with it.

Tonight I watched this video on Renee's blog and just cried. I really LOVE to see adults with DS living wonderful, happy lives and want everyone else to see it too. I firmly believe that we really are "more alike than different".

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Repost: Dale T.

*I originally posted this last year on October 17th. Wanting to remind myself of some of the people who influenced me in this decision to adopt Liza, I figured I'd repost some of them for 31 for 21*

Dale T. was a friend of my Godfamily. They all went to church together and he loved my Godsisters, especially Kelly and Cheryl. I remember the first Sunday that I met Dale, I was going to church with them for the first time and I guess Cheryl and I were both around 11 or 12. She told me on the way there that he would come over to us, probably give her a hug, and would want to know who I was. She told me that he was different and that he was actually alot older than us but not to be afraid of him he was really a sweet guy. I didn't have any clue what she was talking about and had to wonder about this guy. It turned out that Dale was a friendly guy, who loved his church family and the Lord, and who also happened to have been born with Down Syndrome.

I don't remember much about him, but I do remember that I liked him. It was kind of hard not to. You just can't not like someone who knows instinctively how to make you feel welcome. He was a part of the youth group in his early 30's and of course I knew then it was because he was more on our level, but I didn't realize how great that was for a Southern Baptist church in Georgia in the late 80's early 90's. In fact, I guess it's pretty impressive that his parents raised him at home at all. In the day and age he was born it was still common for babies like him to be sent away. How sad! We may have never gotten the chance to know Dale? He broadened our horizons, helped us to be more accepting of people who were different than us. I know he took away misconceptions that we may have developed if we had never had the chance to know him.

I, for one, am thankful that I was blessed to know Dale T.

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Study This?!

That's what I am almost ready to say to our HS agency, but I will refrain. Today I got an email, telling me that besides the few pieces of paperwork they don't have from us yet, they need TWO more non-relative references and ONE more relative reference. This is AFTER I asked them, when the psychologist thing first came up, if we could perhaps just supply them with a few more references. They declined THEN, but NOW, when we have already paid the money to the psychologist and thought we could move forward QUICKLY, they want more references. On top of that they told me in the beginning that our references from our foster care homestudy would work for a few of what they originally required.

Rick says that it's probably a good sign and we do have friends who ready and more than willing to be references for us. That's not the problem, the problem is them changing their minds on us so many times. Do they not understand that there is a little girl in this equation and her life is the one that really matters? And right now she's living that life in an orphanage as an ORPHAN!

I am so angry I could spit nails and am trying not to let my anger get the best of me. There's a big part of me that wants to give them the finger and say, "HEY! Study this why dontcha?!" But, I won't because then I'll probably have to pay Dr. Psychologist more money and we still won't get a homestudy. I can guaranty you when we finally have that Study in our hands I will probably cry tears of joy that will rival the ones I'll cry the day we actually meet Liza face to face. Just gotta remember that's the point of all this, this homestudy is what gets me to that face to face meeting with my girl.

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Monday, October 5, 2009

Christmas Angel Ornaments

It's almost time for the Reece's Rainbow Christmas Angel Tree project again. You can't see the kids or sponsor them but you can get a button that you can add to your blog to raise awareness for them.

You can find the ornaments here. There are five to choose from. I would suggest checking out the Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree page while you're at it. There is a lot of good info there about why they do what they do. The most important reason to do any of this, of course, is so that a child can find a home.

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Robert's Story

If you've ever thought that a person with Down syndrome doesn't have anything to contribute to this World I'd encourage you to read Robert's story. I think he'll prove you wrong.

I am fully expecting God to use Liza in some way. Even if it's just her presence that impresses on someone else to adopt a special needs child. I KNOW that He wants to do good things through her life and I believe that we will see it. I am SO looking forward to that day!

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Things I Ponder: 10-3-09

  • What do kids really think when their 5' 109lb mother tells them that Spinach will make them "big and strong"?
I love spinach. I always have ever since I was a little girl. I think my mom thought I was strange. What kid actually likes spinach? My kids, they do not really share my love for Popeye's favorite veggie. I'm always telling them that it's good and it's good for them... blah, blah, blah. Yeah, they don't seem to believe me.

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Friday, October 2, 2009

Psychologist Update

We did meet with Dr. Psychologist today and I think it went well. It's always hard and a little nerve-wracking to have to talk about personal issues with someone and then when you feel like something so important is hanging in the balance... Whew!

It was a looooong day. We started at a little before 10 am and we left his office at 2pm. Talked a lot about family dynamics and our own personal histories. We still aren't sure what the original "issue" was, but we feel like we might have an idea.

So, that's about the extent of that. I do feel like it went well. That he will write his report and the ball will be in the HS agency's court, so to speak. I just hope they like what he has to say. One thing I do know is spending four hours talking to a psychologist will WEAR you out! I am tired....

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Down Syndrome Awareness Month - 2009

It's Down syndrome awareness month and I am going to buckle down and try to blog once a day this entire month. I tried this last year, and am not linking right now cause it's late and I'm lazy. Ha!

Since it is late and I didn't want to miss the very first day I'm going to cheat and post another picture. This is Claire and she is the little one I have promised to pray for from now until after the Christmas holidays. Praying for her family to find her. Is it you? Reeces Rainbow :)

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Pics

I love getting new pictures of our girl. I really do, but boy they just make me miss her even more! This newest set is pretty cute though. She makes some of the funniest little faces and I know she will fit right in with this crew of silly folk.

Don't even try to tell me that's not beautiful right there.

Look, she's trying to call me!
I can just imagine she's saying, "Mom! WHAT is taking so long?!"All bundled up in September? Is it really that cold over there?
And there's that silly face again :)

Ahh, the sweetness! It is almost too much :) Oh, and any Mama's want to take a guess at what size she looks like she'd wear?

Please keep praying that things would start to move at lightning speed. We are having interviews with Dr. Psychologist on Friday and then we want to interview with Ms. Social Worker right after that so we can officially be DONE! Oh, please Jesus.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Liza Update: Psychologist

Where are we at with the whole psychologist thing? I've been asked that a couple of times the past few days and figured it was time to update.

We did finally settle on a psychologist to go to. He was suggested to us by a counselor friend and turned out that he is an adoptive parent himself and was very interested in helping us get to the bottom of this. He is charging us a little more than the one mentioned here but I think he may be a little more thorough and is definitely understanding that this is a strange situation. He also agreed to hold off on collecting his fees until we actually meet with him for the interviews, so that helped.

We have met with him once already and we filled out all the psycho whatever-you-call-em tests he felt were appropriate. He now has been filled in on the super secret "negative comments" that were made about us and said that he plans to fit us into his schedule this week. I am really hoping it will be much sooner in the week than later. The better for him to wrote his report, get it to the agency, and let us get this show on the road again.

I'm hoping and praying for meetings with our SW in the next two weeks and then everything being submitted to USCIS right after that. I finally convinced the agency to go ahead and send our background checks off to be done. Well, they are sent off now that they finally sent me the correct form for one of them, and then I still had to send the entire thing back to them because they didn't have the director's signature notarized. Aye YI YI! They wanted to wait until all this was resolved so that they didn't expire according to VA law. But, if it takes another 90 days to get this resolved I may seriously go postal on someone.

So, that's where we are now. Hopefully in the next week or so we will be further along and then in the weeks after that we can be waiting for our I-171H to come. I have been given an email address for the USCIS office our HS will go to and plan to email them in the hopes that explaining the need for a rush will cause them to have compassion on us and get our approval QUICKLY. November is coming on WAY too fast!
If you're looking for ways to pray for us I would ask that you:
  • openings in the Doc's schedule so we can get the interviews done
  • for everyone (psychologist, SW, agency) to get on board and get their part out of the way ASAP
  • for all of this to come together so we can get submitted before November
  • that we will get approval from USCIS in record time
  • and that once it's all in Liza's country we will have no issues and get a travel date so we can finally BRING HER HOME

Oh, I can't wait for that day to finally come! Did you see those eyes in the picture above? Don't they look like they're just looking for her Mama to come?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Knuckleheadedness: Noah's Turn

Remember when I talked about Austin's Knuckleheadedness? Can't have you thinking he's the only one. Noah is every bit as much a Knucklehead as his brother is.

Where do these kids get this from, by the way? Did Austin teach Noah or were they born like this? I am pretty sure I had nothing to do with it. *cough, cough*

We are sitting at the kitchen counter looking up a recipe for something on the Internet. One of them we run across calls for lard. After I explained what lard was Austin asked why the recipe called for it and not say....butter.

This is what happened after that:

ME: "Well, the lard is supposed to....."
(and there goes ADD Mom's attention caught by something on the Internet)

(So Noah being his helpful little self finishes my sentence for me)
NOAH: "help block your arteries?" *GRIN*

ME: "Um, yeah that's what it's supposed to do."
(heavy on the dramatic eye rolling and sarcasm)

ME: "Knucklehead!"

I'm beginning to think I'm outnumbered around here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Conversations With Rick: Is that Aretha Good?

Rick and I have some hilarious conversations at times. He is one of the funniest people I know and is very quick. He snaps come-backs out of nowhere sometimes that make me laugh out loud even when I'm trying to be mad at him. I'm contemplating trying to remember some of them and feature them right here on the little ole blog for memories, or blackmail..... whichever I feel the need for at the moment.

Here's one from yesterday. Poor hubby is sharp as a tack but pronunciation (or as he says, "prunciation") is not his forte.

A little background, we're talking about how things can always be improved on.

"so, a Good thing can be Better!"
"And a Better thing can become Great!"
"And a Great thing can be Fantastic!"
"And a Fantastic thing can be Arethrile!"

ME: (thinking)
"Did he say Arethrile? What's that, Aretha Franklin good?"
"I guess that could be pretty good"

ME: (out loud)
"What?" "What did you say?"


ME: (laughing my head off)
"That's Ethereal"

Rick: (laughing in spite of himself)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Music and Life: Tearing Up

Ok, so I am NOT "gonna keep drinking till I'm petrified" or "lost my mind", and half the time I "can't even think" sober. After last night's post I had to cheer myself up and for some reason the title made me think of this song. I thought it was appropriate cause Liza is constantly on my mind and the constant tearing up is because I am lonely for her, right? So, if I had a beer right about now it would most likely have a tear in it!

Well, anyway. I thought it was funny! Going to check the fridge....... ;o)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tearing Up

That's what I have been doing ALL day most days! Everything is making me cry. Songs on the radio, stories on facebook, and videos on blogs. I'm not usually an overly emotional person, in fact sometimes I think I'm not emotional enough. But, this latest road block is really getting to me and I am starting to feel defeated which is showing up in daily life as crying at pretty much the drop of a hat.

I am just so sick of being held up. I am so tired of waiting for everything to come together and work out for us and for Liza. I guess I am just growing weary all together. I'm not ready to give up but I just feel like this ride is never going to end. November is getting closer and closer and the closer it gets the more I am afraid that we will not be ready to submit our dossier. Who knows what that will mean for Liza. Will she be sent to an institution before we can get to her? If so, will we still be able to adopt her?

I am just so ready to be at the other end of this and holding my sweet girl. Hearing her laugh, which I have been told is tremendously cute! I know this is a lame post. I'm just keepin' it real folks. I am worried but praying hard all day every day. Trying to believe that we will be ready before they take that Winter break. My little sweety has waited long enough. Dontcha think?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another Way to Help Liza

*The Fundraiser give-away for Liza is back on. This time all money donated goes straight to our Reece's Rainbow FSP. That makes it tax-deductible for anyone who donates. Suggested donation amount will remain the same as what I have below.
A friend of mine from church, Robyn, graciously made and donated a sweet toddler-size quilt to us. We hope to give it away to someone who donates to our adoption fund. She gave it to me before the issues came up with our home study and I hadn't sat down to put up this post yet.

Now, I think I know why. We heard from another psychologist who actually practices in our area and he is willing to meet with us and write the letter we would need to be able to proceed with the home study. He is only asking for $675, which is a heck of a lot better than the last one we talked to!

SO, getting back to the quilt! I am really hoping to put every bit of money we might receive towards this $675. Even though it's less than what we were quoted by the others it's still a good chunk of money that we weren't counting on. I really want to get a pretty good response to this and get in to see this psychologist much sooner rather than later. My girl has been waiting in that orphanage long enough!

I thought a suggested donation of $5 would be wonderful! Thanks!

This is a shot of the quilt folded in half.
I just couldn't get a good picture of the whole thing. Each square has a different type of dog in it. they are all adorable.
I wanted to show a close-up of the background here and how it looks against the front.
It's all little paw prints, really cute!

And this one is a close-up of one of the squares. My personal favorite, the dog and his bandanna. And don't you just love the little white paw prints running thru the black material? :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009


That's what one of the psychologists we heard back from wants for meeting with us twice and writing up a report for the home study agency. I am just totally disgusted by this whole thing! I just don't understand why we have to do this at all. I also found out that it apparently would be illegal for the foster care agency to have made any negative remarks about us, especially considering we were never under investigation for anything.

At this rate we are almost considering hiring a whole new agency. We may get some of our money back from the one we are with now and even if not it's cheaper than having the evaluation done. We just don't know what is the right thing to do and really just want this whole ridiculous problem to go away.

Please continue to stand with us as we command this mountain to be moved!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


My kids are nuts!

They are always saying things that just make me chuckle and shake my head at them. I usually just call them a "knucklehead" and move on. I've decided that I need to start blogging these things so that I have them to remember and maybe even use as blackmail some day.

Here's a classic example of some Austin "knuckleheadedness":

We're talking about the new extra-curricular class he's in (cause he missed being put in Spanish on account of he told the teacher last year he was gonna be home schooled this year, don't ask. It's a post all it's own.) called "guidance" . This "class" is supposed to introduce them to different careers and prepare them for when they are ready for that decision? Um yeah, still not really sure.

Me: So, what do you think you want to be when you grow up Austin? An architect?

Austin: (with very bland, dry emotion, typical Austin) Nah....

Me: An engineer?

Austin: Nah....

Me: A chemist?

Austin: Nah.....

Me: doctor? lawyer? what?

Austin: (straight faced and without missing a beat) Superman

If he was 5 I'd say, "Aw, how cute!", but he's almost 13 so I chuckle and say "Knucklehead!"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Step Forward, Step Back, Step Forward, Step Back

Sounds like a CSI line-up, huh? Nope, it's the current state of conditions in this adoption. We take a step forward, and then we take a step back; we get bad news, but then we get good news and so on and so forth.

Remember that paper I needed from my county that I couldn't get the lady to write for me? Well, yesterday a very nice gentleman who works as the building inspector came out to my home looked around a TINY bit, filled out the form, went with me to the bank to sign it in front of a notary, and then told me if I needed anything else I knew where to find him! So, our proof of ownership letter is DONE! Praise Jesus.

On top of that bit of amazing news, we also got our mortgage letter from Ch@s3 sent to us via F3d-3X just a couple days after I faxed the request to them. It was PERFECT! The. First. Time. This has been notorious for being another one that took people months to get and then having to have redone cause it's never right the first time. I am still in shock over how easy it was, but so thankful!

Now, that was a couple giant steps forward. BUT! You knew that was comin', right? We got a call from the homestudy agency early this week telling us that they received some kinda not nice info about us (of course, we don't get to know from who or what) and we should meet with a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and have them write a letter. Then, they will have a meeting and decide whether to finish our homestudy. That is a HUGE step backwards. Without the homestudy we can have 500 dossiers and still not be able to adopt Liza.

So, I have spent the last few days calling all the local psychologists hoping one of them will do this for us. Only one of them has called back so far and he didn't feel qualified to do it since he is so new at practicing. We are praying for someone who is understanding and won't just judge us from whatever this bad news the HS agency has received is. More than having to go through all this hassle I am just devastated that someone has besmirched us in some way. And that even though the HS agency has at least three wonderful reference letters from people we know this can have such an effect. It just doesn't feel fair.

Please continue to pray with me that the Lord would remove every obstacle in our path. I have been asking him to move this mountain that is in front of us. Whether it's by finding a wonderful psychologist who will write a letter that is acceptable to the HS agency or just removing the need to see one at all. I am so tired of all this and just want to get Liza home. The enemy may attack, but I refuse to let him win!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Things I Ponder: 8-8-09

I was just reading an article on running after spending a good part of the morning researching the city Liza is in and it got me thinking: How am I going to run in a city in a foreign country? Am I really going to be brave enough to just put on my running shoes and go for a run? But, if I'm there for 4 or 5 weeks I'm definitely not going to want to totally take a break for that long. I'd probably lose every little bit I've gained in running for the last few months. Hubby says, "Just pack your running shoes." Yeah, easy for the soccer star to say. He just finds a bunch of folks kicking the ball around and joins in. I have to decide if I really want to take my chances as a barely hundred pound American woman running around an Eastern European city. BY. MYSELF. I like to think I'm brave but I don't know if I'm that brave.

Hmmmm, what to do? That is my dilemma of the day. Any other runners have advice to give?

Friday, August 7, 2009

My New Hair

If you noticed my tweet from a couple days ago (See sidebar), you may have noticed that I got a haircut and I was brave. In case you wanted to see how brave I thought I'd try ot post a before and after. And if you didn't wonder then I'm just stroking my own ego. OK? OK!

So, this is Melissa before:

Ok, just kidding that was a silly picture my kids took of me one night. I found it when I was searching for the before and couldn't resist. Yes, I know, I'm a dork.

This is the real before picture:

And this is the after, with my eyes closed. Because I either have to close my eyes or open my mouth when some one takes my picture. Seems to be a requirement for me.

Hey! There we go, an after picture with my eyes open and mouth shut. I knew I could do it :)

I like my new hair. Even if I can't quite make it look like the lady at the hair salon did.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Adoption Progress, A Little Anyway

We are making a little bit of progress in this adoption. We have been fingerprinted by USCIS, our HS should be done fairly soon (I hope), we have a good portion of our dossier documents done. We only need the I171H, the HS, and a few other docs that we won't get till the HS is done, then our dossier should be complete.

We are still having issues with our County's Commissioner of the Revenue. She doesn't want to sign off on living space. However, everyone we talk to says that it's common for anything under roof to be considered living space, excluding porches, garages, etc. We have even suggested that we have someone come out and measure the actual "living space" in our house so that she feels more comfortable and have not received a reply. This is probably the biggest hold up we are facing right now. Please pray that this door would be opened for us. I can't wait to post that we finally have that piece of paper in our hands.

On a nice side note, I have been introduced via Facebook to a missionary who works in the orphanages in Liza's city. I am so excited at the chance to get acquainted with someone who actually spends time with my girl! I, of course, had to look through her pictures and it looks like she really enjoys spending time with Liza. Makes me really miss her and yearn more and more for the day we can go and get her. Oh please, Jesus, let it be soon!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Orphan Movie: A Response

These are the real stories of Orphans. Nothing like what is being portrayed by Warner Brothers this weekend.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Things I Ponder: 7-24-09

Tonight I am pondering how in the world I am going to go into Liza's orphanage, see the faces of the other waiting children with DS, and take her but leave them. This is seriously weighing heavy on my heart right now. It's all I've been able to think about for a good portion of this day. So, I am praying that God will send families to see their beautiful faces and KNOW that they are meant to be the families of these children.
One of the little boys has stolen my heart nearly as much as Liza has. I pray for clear direction for myself and Rick that we would know without a doubt if we are to bring him home as well. But, then I think of the other three little boys and the little girl. Why are they not just as deserving of my desire to be their mom? I try not to do that to myself, cause it's just a guilt trip that leads to condemnation and I sure don't need that on top of everything else.

So, without further ado. Here they are, and here's hoping and PRAYING that their mom or dad will show up right on time.
This is Yulia. Isn't she precious?

This Andrey P. He's the little stinker that has stolen my heart. Let him steal yours. I'm ok with that :)This Andrey S. Only 2 years old. He needs a mommy!

Mr. Ilya. He looks so full of Joy!

Last, but certainly not least: Maxim. He is already in an institution. He deserves SO much more! Don't you see that spunk hidden in those eyes?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Fam's Fave Recipe

When I saw the McLinky Blog Hop topic for this week I knew had to jump in. I love trying new recipes and if I was gonna swipe some from this Hop I figured I better have one for folks to swipe from me. That's only fair, right?

This is one my whole family loves! And that is saying a lot about this recipe cause Austin is quite possibly the MOST picky almost 13 year old boy on this planet. I mean, seriously, who DOESN'T like cheese?! But, that's not the point. this is about what he WILL eat. This is really very easy to put together, and SO good! Pretty sure it's mostly good for you too. At least that's what I tell myself.

Steamed Chicken Breasts with Scallion-Ginger Sauce
(from the Minimalist Cooks Dinner)
  • 4 chicken breast halves, bone in or out
  • 1/4 trimmed & chopped scallions, white and green parts combined
  • 1 Tbs minced ginger *I use powdered ginger, not minced
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed, corn, or other light oil
  • salt
  • 2 Tbs good soy sauce *if going by notes below in red you will need more. just pour to your taste preference
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  1. Steam the chicken over simmering water for 6-10 minutes for boneless, 10-15 for bone-in.
  2. Meanwhile, stir together the ginger, oil, scallions, and salt to taste in a bowl. *I add soy sauce to the sauce and make it a bit ahead of time so all the flavors have time to blend with each other
  3. When chicken is done drizzle with soy sauce and sesame oil and serve. Pass the scallion-ginger sauce at the table or pour into four small bowls for dipping. *we make it up in separate bowls ahead of time

That's it! I always serve it with Rice and usually pour a little of the sauce onto my rice. Oh SO good!! I usually always make broccoli or asparagus to go with this as well. They just seem to be the best veggies for this dinner.

I hope someone else enjoys this recipe as much as we do. We are actually going to be enjoying it tomorrow. We were supposed to have it tonight....but, oops ADD Mom didn't realize we were out of oil until the scallions were already chopped! Lucky for us they'll keep overnight.

Happy hopping!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Friday, July 17, 2009

Spa Day

Tomorrow at 10 am is when our first official live (i.e. not a bloggy one) fundraiser starts. I'm trying to figure out how it's possible to be excited about something that you dread all at the same time. Only Me!
I am pretty sure that I have ADD and have had it all my life. So it is really hard for me to organize things and see them thru to completion. I have the best of intentions and even some good ideas sometimes but I just get so darn distracted. I am so afraid that I have forgotten something or that this is gonna be a big flop; yet I have checked my mental lists a hundred times and I don't see anything missing. That gets me excited! I so want this to be a success.
Here are the details. I have a friend who has volunteered to do manicures, another doing massages, and another doing Mary Kay facials or make-overs. Each service will have it's own set price and people can choose what they would like to have done. I bought some nice cheeses and fruit for a fruit tray. We'll have spa music playing and lots of blue and green hydrangeas to decorate with. Plus pictures of some of the Reece's Rainbow cuties who are still waiting for their families to find them. I'm hoping they might be in the Spa Day crowd.
We start at 10 am and Spa Day is being held at Grace Church of Fredericksburg's Kairos Hall in Fredericksburg, VA. If anyone is in the area please feel free to drop by, even if it's only to say "Hi". Also, please pray that it will be a huge success. We are hoping to at least pay off the rest of the HS fees and set some aside for travel.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Teasers- that's what these pictures are. But, I am glad to get them. What a sweetie she is. I just wanna pick her up and kiss her all over her sweet little face.