"Family is the most important thing in the world." ~ Princess Diana

Sunday, May 15, 2016

We got "THE CALL"!!!!!

Our family is growing by TWO!  After 2 years and 11 months, we finally got that call we have been waiting so long for.  Monday, the day after Mother's Day, our case worker called us with some really great news.  She had referral for two little girls, ages 4 years and 5 months.  It was around 3:30 and the kids had just gotten home from school.  I told them to please be quiet while I took this call.  I really couldn't believe what I was hearing.  I hung up the phone and clapped, jumped, screamed, and whooped.  Kait looked at me with big eyes and asked, "Mom!  Was that THE CALL?!!!  It was the call!  We received the referral information, looked through it, and of course, we said YES!  The girls are just perfect!  We can't wait to meet them, hold them, hug them, and love them.

I haven't shared much about what has been going on so I will give you a little update.  It has been a long road with many ups and downs.  This time last year, May 1st to be exact, we received a call from our agency informing us it might be best to explore other options.  Adoptions had slowed so much in Ethiopia, our agency was not going to be able to stay open much longer unless things changed.  Our agency had some cases still open but at that time the plan was to eventually close the Ethiopia program.  At that time, we were #10 on the list.  It was really devastating news.  We had waited 2 years.  We could stay on the list and keep waiting, hoping referrals would pick up, look into other agencies, or not adopt at all.  We did end up deciding to leave the program.  We did some searching and ended up signing on with another agency in their Uganda program.  We were immediately matched with two children in Uganda, a girl age 6 and her brother age 2.  Again we waited and waited.  We had learned that Uganda had passed some new laws and some travel requirements had been changed.  We still did not have an official referral.  We decided that we could not live in Uganda for 10-12 weeks or risk getting stuck in the new law that families had to have a 1 year residency in country to obtain guardianship.  It was a tough decision, but we pulled out from that program.  Rewind a couple of months....I had received an email for our case worker at our first agency stating they had picked up some and were opening up the wait list to families that had been advised to move on in May.  We did not accept the offer at that time.  We had a match in Uganda and had expected to travel in October/November.  After leaving the Uganda program, I reached out to our Ethiopia program case worker.  We were able to pick back up on the list where we left off at #10 and we were expected to have a referral within a few months.  Now we have one!!!!!

We are beyond thrilled, excited, nervous...you name it, we are probably feeling it.  What's next?  More paperwork!  I'm not exactly sure what the process is after referral acceptance.  We will be finding out soon.  I do know it has been taking on average about 6-8 months for families to get a court date and travel.  It is going to be a long six months!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

My First Stitchfix!



I am so excited!!!  I received my first Stitchfix box today!  I have been eyeing this for a while now and finally decided to try it.  What is Stitchfix?  It's your very own personal shopper!  I am terrible at putting outfits together.  I always end up grabbing a pair of jeans and a plain Tshirt.  Plain and simple.  I don't match things up well and I honestly don't enjoy shopping!  I thought this was perfect for me!  I went to their website and filled out my style profile.  They ask you several questions so your stylist will know just what type of things to send you.  They are also on Pinterest.   I have a Pinterest board set up so I can pin things from Stitchfix and my stylist can look at my board to see what I have liked.  That also helps her to get an idea of my tastes.  I really liked my first box.  I apologize to my husband because I think I may be hooked!  There were a couple of things in my box I would have never even thought about trying.  I have tried everything and I am keeping my entire box this time!  Here is what I got.....


The first thing I saw when I opened my box was this bag!  I immediately loved the color.  I have actually been looking for a tote style bag to carry to tumbling with me.  This is so stylish and the perfect size.  It is a hobo style cross body bag. 



Next up was this navy dolman top.  I had pinned this top on my Pinterest board!  I would buy this in the store.  Very comfy and I can wear this everyday.  Totally my style.  It is a really nice quality too.  Not super thin and very soft.  


I pulled this out next and I admit, at first sight I wasn't feeling it!  I would never have given this top a second glance had I seen it hanging on the rack.  I went ahead and tried it on anyway.  It fits so good and looks great with the Jeans (coming up next).  I can throw a sweater over it too and it still looks super cute.  



Next up...a distressed boyfriend jean.  I LOVE these!  The fit so nicely and look so cute on.  Definitely a keeper.  I am a jeans girl.  Jeans and Yoga pants are my closet's best friends!  



Last up....the dress.  I NEVER wear a dress.  I mean NEVER!  Anytime we are invited to a wedding or go on vacation, I have to search for a dress.  I just think I look weird in a dress.  I would not have chosen this dress.  It's purple, really purple!  I look good in purple though (well I think I do anyway) so I tried it on.  It fits like a glove!  I have never had a dress that fit so well.  I actually didn't feel like I looked awkward in this dress at all!  Will I wear it all the time?  No, but it will be perfect to have in the closet when I need it.  Looks super cute with a gray sweater thrown over it too.  I'm a huge sweater fan bc I am always cold...ALWAYS!!!!  



Another thing I love in my box was this little card.  It included a not from my stylist and a couple of ideas on how to wear each piece.  I need this.  I have no imagination when it comes to clothes.  Remember...I said I cannot match things up well.  I would never have thought to throw a casual sweater over that dress but it works.  



After you have checked out everything in your box and tried it on, you decide what to keep or return. I really suggest trying it all on too!  I am keeping it all so I will go onto the website and checkout.  There is a prepaid UPS bag included in your box and you can return one or all five pieces if you want to.  Easy Peasy!  If you keep all five pieces, they give you a nice little discount.  Let me put it this way...if I send the dress back, my total will be more than if I keep it.  The dress was the only thing I was on the fence about, but since my total would actually about $5 more if I return it, I'm keeping it!  

If you think Stitchfix is for you, try it out!  You can sign up for just one month or you can choose a continuous subscription.  I scheduled one month and plan to do one box per season (I think...maybe two!).   Click on this referral link to get started.  It helps me out if use the referral link.  

 If you don't want to do that, just go to stitchfix.com.  






Friday, December 26, 2014

December Update...

Hello!!!  Wow...I didn't realize I haven't been on here since August!  Many things have happened in these few months!  I'll start with Kian starting Kindergarten.  Oh boy was that rough!  It was very difficult for Kian and hard on mom too.  He was not happy about starting school at all.  He cried most mornings and sometimes at bedtime for the first few weeks.  It was really a difficult adjustment for him to be gone all day everyday.  Thankfully his best buddy was in his class and he has a really great teacher.  I am happy to say that he will at times admit that he does actually like school a little bit.  He really does enjoy it.  He likes his teacher and has made many new friends.  I think he would still rather be at home most days, but he would miss school.  He did tell me as he got off the bus Friday for Christmas break that he was a little bit sad because he would not get to go to school for so many days.  He is enjoying his Christmas break.  He got right back to his late nights and sleeping in until noon!  

Aden started Jr. High this year!  He was a little nervous, but I was much worst than he was!  He is doing great!  He really likes being at the High School.  He likes all of his teachers and I have to say I have been very impressed with all of them!  He even has a girlfriend!  Shh....don't tell him I told!  She is a very nice and fun girl we have known for a long time.  He lost his guitar teacher to college.  Bummer!  He is still taking tennis lessons every Saturday.  He really enjoys playing tennis.  We just celebrated his 13th birthday.  I can't believe I have a teenager in my house!  Thank goodness he doesn't act like a teenager.   

Jason and I took a trip to New York City in September.  So much fun!!!  I actually really liked it and would go back again.  I wouldn't want to live there though!  Way too busy for me!  We packed in as much as we could while we there.  We took a city bus tour, went up on the Empire State Building (We weren't going to take the time or spend the $$ to do this, but I'm so glad we did.  It was really neat!), saw the 911 Memorial (also very neat), walked onto the Brooklyn Bridge, took the ferry over to see the Statue of Liberty, and we checked out Central Park.  We saw Wicked, Chicago, and Rock of Ages.  That was my favorite part.  Oh...and shopping at Tiffany's!  We stayed right on Times Square so we walked all over that area.  We also saw a couple comedy shows which was really fun too.  Now, we need to go back to do all of the museums!  We didn't have time to go to any of them. 





In October, we went to Houston to celebrate my sweet baby nephews 1st birthday.  He has grown so much and is just such a blessing to our family.  We love him to pieces.  He was born about 6 weeks early (I think) and was so so small.  It so nice to see him so big and healthy and doing everything he should be doing so well.  I was so happy I could be a part of his 1st birthday.  We always have a good time visiting my sister's family.  
Isn't he a doll!  


Kaitlyn has had two tumbling meets so far.  The first one didn't go so great on the first day.  She had a bad bad day.  She went back on Sunday and got 3rd place on floor so that lifted her spirits a lot!  She is competing at an Intermediate level on Trampoline and Double Mini and Novice on floor.  Her 2nd meet was in Salem earlier this month.  She did awesome!  She brought home 2 trophies.  She loves tumbling and has learned so much in the last year.  She is so lucky to have great coaches.  They are awesome!  She has also made some really great friendships.  We are so proud of her.


Now....adoption news.  Our case worker was so nice to update us before the holidays.  Things are still moving quite slow in Ethiopia.  It is frustrating, but also good to know they are trying to clean things up.  We really thought we would be home or at least have traveled for our court date.  We were way off.  We are now #21.  We have moved up quite a bit.  The sad part is that there have been several families drop out of the program and really not that many referrals.  There were two referrals earlier this month.  Things are moving, but it is sooooo slow!  We are hanging in there though.  We just updated our home study and had to be fingerprinted in Indy again.  Good news.....there was no drama this year.  If you remember last time we were fingerprinted, Jason had a knife in his pocket.  They about arrested him!  I told him he couldn't get out of the car until his pockets were empty this time!  We took in our paperwork, driver's license, and car keys.  That's it!  We survived without being thrown in jail.  Whew!  We should be good now for about a year and then it will be time to update everything again.  Hopefully, that won't have to happen.  We are now approved to adopt 2 children age 0-5.  We went up a year since Kian is now 6.  Wow...that is so hard to believe.  My baby is 6!

That pretty much sums up the last part of 2014 for us.  We have had a great year and are very blessed.  


Sunday, August 10, 2014

August Update

Hello!  I have not updated this forever!  To be honest, there is just not much to update.  We have moved up to #33 on the waiting list due to some families making the decision to drop the program.  There have not been any new referrals for months.  It is quite discouraging.  I really just don't even know what to say about what is going on.  I'm not sure why Ethiopian officials are still not signing off on new referrals.  It is what it is and we will continue to wait at this point.  We had hoped to have a referral by now and to be traveling this fall.  At this point, I do not think we will be traveling until sometime in 2015.  We just had a home visit and had our home study updated in July.  We are now able to go up to age 5.  We are on the waiting list for a boy and a girl age 0-5.  We have asked for a girl under 3 and a boy 3-5, but they can both be anywhere between 0-5.  They do have to be 9 months apart in age.  With Kian starting Kindergarten in a little over a week, I am getting more anxious to get this done!  I will have a lot of free time to clean, paint, and get prepared for two more.  I will take advantage of that for sure.  Can you believe my baby is going to Kindergarten?!!!  I am still in denial.  I may decide at the last minute to keep him home with me! ;)  I will miss having him home with me.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Effingham Eggstravaganza Day 2

Kaitlyn had a great meet this morning!  She tied for third place and received her first trophy!  We are so proud of her!!!!  All the girls did a great job today! Forgive me...I got a little ahead of myself and hit record a little early in one of the videos. Oops!!!!




State meet in two weeks!  We are super excited!!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Effingham Eggstravaganza Day 1

We spent a good part of our day in Effingham at a tumbling meet.  It was a gorgeous day for it!  I think it was the first meet we have been to that we did not have to battle snow, ice, or freezing temperatures!  It was fantastic!!!!  Kaitlyn did not have her best day but we still had a great time.  Kayla's Power Tumbling in Effingham put on a very nice meet.  Kaitlyn got 7th place today in both events today out of 11 girls.  She did a great job, but the other girls did a great job as well!  Sorry the videos are a bit blurry.  I need to take my other camera, but the phone is so much easier!

video
First pass on Double Mini


video
Second pass on Double Mini


video
Third pass on Double Mini


video
Trampoline Routine


We will back at it tomorrow morning for her floor tumbling.  She has one meet left after this weekend.  The State meet is April 26th and 27th in Decatur.  If she qualifies at state, she will have the opportunity to go to Nationals in Louisville, KY in June.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that she will qualify in at least one event.  She would really like to go!  She has really enjoyed competing this year and is already looking forward to next year.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Update!!

I did not update the first of March because not much has happened.  Things have pretty much been at a stand still.  International Adoption has been in a negative view of some Ethiopian officials and they have not been authorizing documents.  There have been a couple meetings that have taken place recently and they have had positive results.  The Minister has confirmed that there is no plan to shut down International Adoption in Ethiopia.  The delay in documents should soon improve.  Research done by the Ministry of over 142 orphanages showed that they are dependent on the support given by the agencies to provide for the children.  The goal in all of these delays and research is to improve the integrity of the adoption process and referral process.  This is really great news!  Although none of us are thrilled about the extra wait times, we are all very happy to see the Ministry trying to improve things. The Minister assured all at this meeting that her position is in favor of international adoption as a child's last means of support, and that adoption from Ethiopia has not, and will not stop.  We have also learned of an additional step that is meant to ensure a child meets the true definition of "orphan status".  Each orphanage will be required to search for alternative means of support for each child.  The orphanage will be required to advertise each child for local adoption.  They will do everything they can to try to find local placement for the child for 2 months.  After the 2 months, the child can be approved for International Adoption.  As I understand it, this is to take place immediately.  We are assuming there will be no referrals for at least 2 months.  Again, we don't the wait to be any longer, but this is definitely a great thing.  This is what has been going on!  On a happy note we did move up a couple spots in the last two months to #34.  Our hope is that after these 2 months pass, there will be a huge month or two of referrals.  We have also decided to change our age range when we get our home study updated.  We will be asking to be able to adopt a child up to age 5.  Kian is hoping for a little brother that is 4 or 5 years old!  Kaitlyn is hoping for a baby sister.  Aden really doesn't care!