Sunday, December 28, 2008

It's Been a While

Wow, what a busy couple of weeks. Last weekend we had my husband's family over to celebrate the holidays. It was a bit cramped in our home but I think everything turned out just great. We were concerned about the weather, which by the way ended our celebration early, but everyone made it to and from our house safely.

We spent Christmas Eve and day with my side of the family, my Grandma cooked the most delicious prime rib. That reminds me of a Christmas a few years ago, the last time we had prime rib on Christmas. My Grandpa was grilling the prime rib outside on a gas grill (even though we live in Wisconsin we grill outside all year long). He had it sort of slow cooking on very low heat so he wasn't' watching the grill at all times. He went outside to check on it, and he very calmly asks for my uncle. Low and behold, the grill was on fire and the garage was full of smoke. My uncle turned the gas off, put the fire out, and managed to miraculously save the prime rib. No one was hurt, well, except for the gas grill which was done for. We finished cooking the prime rib in the oven, and it was delicious.

I also was able to catch two movies over this past holiday weekend. My 16 year old niece and I went and saw the Benjamin Buttons movie which was pretty good. It's super long and kind of slow, but it was neat watching Brad Pitt go from a baby who was 80 back to an 80 year old baby. It was great spending the time with my niece as I don't get to see her as often as I would like as she lives a few hours away. We then saw Marley and Me, which is the saddest movie I have ever seen in my life. I read the book, I knew what was coming, but it just was unbearable. I was literally sobbing for the last half hour of the movie, and not to mention a couple parts in the middle as well. I always said Steel Magnolias was the saddest movie I have ever seen, but this takes the cake.

Cassidy, my 8 month old niece, celebrated her first Christmas this year. She was much more interested in wrapping paper and boxes than she was in opening her own presents. Next year she will be almost two and should really be into the present thing. She will also have a new cousin, and I was constantly daydreaming about how Christmas would be like next year. Oh, speaking of presents, I am writing this to you from one of our gifts we received this year, a new office chair that also has a massager. That's why this post is so long cuz I don't want to get up from this chair.

We are now number 32 on the unofficial list. One referral went out the 2nd half of December but we are hoping for a new batch of referrals the first part of January. Here's to hoping for quick referrals to the top of the list waiters.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Helpful Hubby!

Whew, it's been a busy week for us. This weekend we are hosting Christmas for Randy's side of the family. We have been busy cleaning, grocery and Christmas shopping, and not to mention removing snow from our driveway, sidewalks, and front stoop. I have to mention what a wonderful hubby I have as he has been a huge help, doing all the laundry this week, and he even cleaned out our pantry, just started cleaning it without me even having to ask him. He'll even be more busy if we get the 9-12 inches of snow they are predicting for Friday. Hopefully the snow storm won't put a damper on our Christmas plans.

Congrats goes out to all the families that made it through the Ethiopian courts this week. Wow, what a beautiful group of kiddos. Here's to hoping their birth certificates and travel plans come quickly. We are still number 33 on the "list" and I don't expect any movement before the new year.

We made a little progress on what is to become the baby's room. We cleared everything out of the room, tore up the old carpeting and carpet pad, and filled in the nail holes that were in the wall. The next step is to paint and get new flooring. Then we can start thinking about getting some furniture set up. Once we get through the holidays I hope to really get going.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What a Day

Today was quite a day. Of course I have to mention the snow storm that hit us. Every school in the area was closed, even Madison Public Schools, and they never close. Today was also chemo day for my Mom so we braved the weather and made it to her appointment. It was important to her, and me for that matter, that we made it as it was sort of a turning point in her treatment. She is officially half way through her chemotherapy, and today marked the last dose of what we call the red, evil, drug. Athough she still has 12 weeks to go, the chemo drugs she will now be taking have less serious side effects and should be more tolerable. I have really learned what a strong woman my Mom is. She has faced this disease and treatment head on, not once feeling sorry for herself, and always putting others before her.

So this brings me to the next interesting part of my day. As Mom and I were talking about our adoption, her oncologist asked where we are adopting from. Turns out, the oncology psychiatrist adopted a baby from Ethiopia as well so he sent her over to visit with Mom and I. Because of the snow storm, all her appointments canceled so she spent a lot of time with us, talking about her experiences and even showing us tons of pictures. She used the same agency we are using and could not say enough wonderful things about her whole experience. She adopted an infant and she is now a beautiful three year old toddler. After talking with her and seeing her pictures, it really does seem to be worth the wait.

Speaking of wait, today marks our 8 month anniversary of officially waiting. I have to say, the closer we get to referral, the more anxious I get. My mind is constantly wandering, could our future son or daughter already be born? I think about his or her birth family and wonder what they must be going through.

Monday, December 8, 2008

That Was Quick!

Wow, our passports arrived in the mail last Friday. It took exactly one week. One more thing to cross off the "to do" list.

Last week a batch of referrals went out. We are now #33 on the "unofficial" list. Our case worker told me on Friday not to expect any news on our referral before the 12 month mark which is what we were expecting. I just hope it doesn't get any longer. I did some number crunching and with the average number of referrals per month versus the number of people I believe to be waiting, it seems our wait will go way past the one year mark. I really hope not. For some reason I am prepared to wait a year, but I don't think I could handle much longer than that.

Monday, December 1, 2008

World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day and I have to admit, it has much more meaning for me this year. Not only have I learned so much about Ethiopia and the culture, but I have also learned the devasting affects this pandemic has on this part of the world. If you have some time, please visit here to view this website. It's about an amazing woman in Ethiopia who opened her home to AIDs orphans. It also has some very interesting facts, photos, and links to other wonderful organizations.

Nothing much new to report on the adoption front. Randy and I finally applied for our passports, and we have an appointment in January with the travel clinic. We both have had our hepatitis vaccinations, but I am sure there will be more to come. We are currently number 38 on the "unofficial" list, but today I counted seven families ahead of us that are waiting for siblings, so really I guess you could say we are around 31.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tis the Season.... loosen your belt buckle a notch! I baked cookies this weekend with my good friend Lori, her niece Kayla, and my sister-in-law Stephanie. This is the third year we have done this and it's always a lot of fun. We actually scaled back the amount of baking this year, you wouldn't know it by the pictures. They call me taz because I am always flinging stuff, missing the bowls, etc. I don't do it on purpose, but my "station" is always the most messy. I wish I could have gotten a picture of that.

Even my niece Cassidy, AKA Cassafrass, helped out. She turns 7 months old tomorrow. Isn't she just the cutest little peanut? I kept imagining what fun it will be in a couple of years when she and her cousin will be helping together!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I've Been Photo Tagged

Another blogger buddy has photo tagged me. So I am to take the 4th picture in the 4th file on my computer and explain it. These are some of my best friends' daughters playing on the water trampoline during our summer vacation stay up north on Long Lake. Haley on the left, and Sidney in the middle are sisters, and that's Morgen on the right. She has a little brother, but I think he had enough of the "girls" for that day.

So now I need to "tag" 4 other people. I am tagging Kris, Stacey, Cindy, and Becker25.

We have heard from our agency that a few referrals have gone out this past week which is great news. We have only moved up two more spots on the unofficial list, but we have been reminded that not all waiting families are on this list, which means there may have been more movement that what we have actually seen. We are now out of the 40's and we are currently number 39.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Sunday, November 9 marked 7th months of officially waiting for our referral. When I say it like that it just doesn't sound right, as we started this process well over a year ago. There was a very interesting discussion on our adoption forum that asked what surprises we have encountered throughout the process. There are several that came to mind immediately:

1. How much I love this little person that I haven't even met yet. I cannot believe how often I think about him/her and what our life will be like when he/she joins Randy and I.

2. The absolute peace I feel that we made the right decision to adopt.

3. The amazing outpouring of support we have received from family and friends. Randy and I are truly blessed.

4. The complexity of it all.... ethically, culturally, spiritually, politically.

5. The diversity of the adoption community.

So as another month passed without any referrals, we are doing our best to take it all in stride. I keep reminding myself that everything happens for a reason, and I know what those reasons are. I hope that others who have been struggling with their wait can find peace in knowing their reasons as well.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

History in the Making

To my child I have not yet met,

History was made last night in the United States. America elected it's first African American president. I am excited, optimistic, and very hopeful for the future of this country. I am even more hopeful for what this means to you. Your opportunities are endless. Although you are too young to understand, you will one day learn what all this means.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Still 41

Well, not much new to report on the adoption front. We are still holding steady at 41 on the unofficial list which means we have not seen any referrals in about a month. It now seems like the trend is leaning more towards batches of referrals at one time. Lot's of families who have referrals have finally received court dates around the middle of December. This is great news for them and I hope they all make it through court their first time around. What a joyous holiday season that would bring all of them.

My Mom seems to be holding her own with her ongoing battle with breast cancer. She has had two rounds of chemotherapy and for the most part has tolerated it well. She is a very strong woman with a very up beat and positive attitude. She still has a long way to go and Randy and I pray for her everyday.

I am going to sign off as I want to watch more of the election coverage. It looks like change is on it's way!!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I love, or used to love, to dress up for Halloween. I haven't done so in the last couple of years but here are some past costumes.

My girlfriends and I dressing up like the Pink Ladies. That's me as Frenchie. Looks like we are all having a little sneaky peek to get the party started!

My husband and I another year. He dressed up like Ozzy Osborne, he looked great. I was just dressed up in a wig and make up. I think I even had leather pants on.
I have even added some "holiday" themed music for your listening pleasure. Hope everyone has a haunted, I mean, Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Holding Steady at 41

Earlier this month we saw quite a few referrals so now we are number 41 on the "unofficial" list. We have been holding steady here for a few weeks now and I am not sure when the next batch of referrals will be going out. We also heard from our agency that they have signed agreements with two additional orphanages in Ethiopia so in theory, it seems referrals will speed up. Our specialist told us she is not sure how this will impact referral wait times as this agreement was recently signed. I am torn as I am so anxiously waiting to finally meet our baby, however, I so desperately want my Mom to be able to travel with us, so if we have to wait the full 12 months, then we can wait.

We finally started the initial stages of getting the baby's room ready. We moved our office into the other bedroom so now we can paint, put in new carpeting, and even get some baby furniture. It's all so exciting. I have no idea how I am going to decorate it at this point, but I am positive things will fall into place.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

I have been tagged by a fellow blogger. Here are 7 things about me:

1. I don't like condiments. I always special order my food so it never contains ketchup, mayonnaise, tarter sauce, etc. My friends call me Plain Jane.

2. When I was young, I wanted to be a rock star. I even took bass guitar lessons because I was sure I was going to be in a rock band. Obviously, that didn't pan out.

3. I always wear "press-on" fingernails. I have a bad habit of biting my nails so if I have the fake ones on, I cannot bite them. I used to have them done professionally every other week but now I am on a budget.

4. Right now I have some pink hair extensions in my hair. My hair salon was doing a breast cancer fundraiser and I love pink so why not. It kind of goes with the wanting to be a rock star doesn't it?

5. I have 100 nicknames for my dog Zuko. It just kind of happens, one nickname leads to another, and I will holler one out randomly.

6. I have never lived more than 20 miles from where I grew up. I thought being a rock star would eventually allow me to live in other parts of the world.

7. I do not like other people's feet. Don't ever ask me to rub your feet, and don't touch my feet. Don't let your feet even touch my feet under a table, I totally freak out.

So there are 7 weird things about me. Now I am suppose to tag 7 other bloggers, however, I don't think I know that many so I will tag a few. Also, some of the blogs I read have already been tagged.





Oh, here is a picture of me with my pink hair. Fun isn't it?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

6 Months and Counting....

Today Randy and I hit the 6 month waiting mark. I have to say, the wait has not been too bad on us. Referrals started going out this week and right now on the "unofficial" list, we are at 46. It's great to see them pick up since we only saw a few referrals trickle through over the summer. Last week we were at 51 so things have started to move again. I am so happy for all those families that have been waiting almost a year.

This weekend I am going out of town with "the girls." There will be about 10 of us. It's our annual weekend trip and I cannot wait to get done with work tomorrow and get on the road. I hope to leave around 1:00. Lots of laughs, food, and drink. We are staying in a really nice cabin on a lake about an hour north of here, and the weather is suppose to be unseasonably warm which will make this a perfect weekend. I am sure I will have some fun "blogging" material after this weekend.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Addition to my blog

You may have noticed I added music to my blog. So far I have only added a few songs as it took me a while to figure out how to add the mixpod. I didn't pick these song for any particular reason except that I like them and they are some of the more "mellow" songs from my playlist. If you don't care to listen you can scroll down the page and hit the play/pause button just as you would for an iPod. I will continue to add songs in the coming weeks to add a little variety.

The Season is Over

Well the Brewer season is over. Unfortunately we lost today to the Philadelphia Phillies so they took the series 3 games to 1. We were lucky enough to be able to attend the playoff game yesterday which they won. It was so exciting. The stadium was full to capacity and everyone was having such a great time. Even though we didn't win the series, we can at least say we played longer than our rivals, the Chicago Cubs, who were swept in 3 games. Here we are tailgating before the game with our good friends Robb and Sherri. They were the ones who had the tickets and they were so nice to ask us to go. And no, the guys didn't plan on wearing the same shirts, it just happened.

On the adoption front, it looks like the referrals will finally pick up. There were a couple last week and we have heard that our agency is getting ready for more referrals in the upcoming week. I am hoping the families that have hit the 11 month mark of waiting will finally be introduced to their children they have been long awaiting.

As you can see, I have changed the template of my blog. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I thought it would be only fitting to have the pink layout. I do this in honor of my Mother who is so bravely fighting this disease.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Wait is Over!!!

Ok, now that I have your attention, sorry for misleading you all. The wait I am talking about here is the long wait fans had to endure until our beloved Milwaukee Brewers made it to the post season for playoffs. Sunday they clinched a wild card berth and it's the first time they will play in the post season since 1982. Just to remind how you long ago that was, here are some things that were happening in 1982:

Cost of Living:
Average Cost of new house $82,200.00
Average Income per year $21,050.00
Average Monthly Rent $320.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 91 cents
New Car Average price $7,983.00
US Postage Stamp 20 cents

The First Issue of USA Today is published
Disney Futuristic Park EPCOT ( Experimental Community Of Tomorrow )is opened
Tylenol capsules laced with potassium cyanide kill 7 in Chicago
Doctors performed the first implant of a permanent artificial heart designed by Robert Jarvik
Work begins on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC
Michael Jackson releases Thriller

Popular Films:
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Rocky III,
On Golden Pond
An Officer and a Gentleman
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Chariots of Fire

Popular Music:
Human League with " Don't You Want Me "
Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder with " Ebony and Ivory "
Olivia Newton-John
Steve Miller band With " Abracadabra "
Survivor with " Eye of The Tiger "
Chicago with " Hard to Say I'm Sorry "
Lionel Richie
Michael Jackson

Popular TV Shows:
Magnum, P.I.
Falcon Crest
Hill Street Blues
Knight Rider

Things sure have changed in the last 26 years. With all the bad news we seem to be hearing lately, it's nice to have this one bright spot to look forward too. And by the way, I am fortunate enough to be heading to the first ever playoff game at Miller Park!!!!!! Go BREWERS!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The BIG 4-0

Last Friday I turned 40. Wow, that is hard to say. I am not sure why, I have been saying it for the last two years just trying to prepare myself. I don't feel 40, at least not on most days. I celebrated like I was in my twenties, staying out way to late!!!!! Maybe 40 IS the new 30. I read an article last week called "The Magic of Turning 40" which made me feel somewhat better. Here is an excerpt:

"It is true, certain things may never happen at 40. It is unlikely that Playboy will want you as their centrefold, just as the likelihood of ever being a grandma fades. While you cannot turn back time “turning 40” suggests something exciting! The simple phrase “turning” means you can turn into anything you want to be. You can turn to anything that you want to. It also means you can turn on your passion, turn on your greatness, turn the page, turn the corner and move on! You are halfway through life, but you still have the second half. No matter where you are in your life, there are no rules where you should be. It doesn’t matter whether you are happily married, single or divorced 5 times. It doesn’t matter if you have too many children, enough or none. It doesn’t even matter if you are highly educated; college educated or barely finished high school. At 40, the doors are wide open and you can still do anything you want. "

You can become a doctor or lawyer and still have time left to practice

You can fall in love like a teenager and still have the time to grow up

You can marry a younger man without first having a facelift

You can have your first wedding anniversary

You can have children and still have the time to raise them

You can shop at Victoria Secret without looking silly

You can move to another country and still have the time to make it your home

You can take up a new sport without worrying about arthritis

You lived long enough to be sure about some things

You can say what you want and others will listen

You can still have fun without being medicated

You can do something that you have never done in your life

This goes out to all the women who are facing 40. So far it hasn't been too bad. And remember this motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ~ "WOO HOO, what a ride!"Author Unknown

Monday, September 15, 2008

Everything DOES happen for a reason

Most of you by now know from reading my blog or from us talking about it, that our referral wait times have more than likely increased to 12 months. This means we are not likely get a referral until April of 2009, and then travel will occur around the months of July or August 2009. Athough this is something we didn't want to hear, it doesn't come much as a surprise as we were told up front from our adoption agency that the world of international adoption is constantly changing. And as it turns out, this may be a much better time for us to travel.

See in recent weeks, we learned that my mother has breast cancer. She has gone through two surgeries, and we just found out last week that her treatment will now include 6 months of chemotherapy and after that, six weeks of radiation. Depending on when she starts treatment, it will likely be June or July before it's completed. Because we are very close and she is one of my best friends, I always imagined her in the delivery room when I had a baby. I still imagine her being there, it's just in a different way now. It was a no brainer to ask her to come with us when we travel to Ethiopia. She has been preparing just as we have, getting shots, getting her passport, etc. So in the midst of learning about all she will have to endure in the next few months, she turns to me and says "See, this is why your referral has been pushed out. Now I will be able to travel with you!" So, I just want to say thank you Mom, for all that you do, all that you have done. For worrying about all of us, when you have so much on your plate. You are right, everything does happen for a reason.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

5 Down......

Today marks our 5 month anniversary of officially waiting for our referral. I'd like to say that we are half way through, but based on some communications we recevied from our agency, we are not quite there yet. Last Friday we received word that we can expect a 12 month wait for an infant referral. I am somewhat torn, I feel sad that we will have to wait longer for our baby, however, maybe this means that situations in Ethiopia are allowing children to remain with their birth families. We are not sure of the reasoning for the slow down, it actually could be a number of things. I am not going to dwell on it, I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, so if this is how it's suppose to be, then so be it. We will use this time to continue to prepare and educate ourselves, and Randy and I are so blessed to have wonderful family and friends to help us stay busy as well.

In other news, it was great to see Aaron Rodgers lead the Packers to their first win in the post Favre era. Let's hope the Brewers can find a way to get their bats hot again so they can stay alive in the wild card race. Bowling has started, Randy and I belong in a couple's league. It's actually quite a fun way to spend an evening together with friends during the long, cold, Wisconsin winters. We both just wrapped up our golf leagues. It's too bad the golf season is so short, it would be nice if the seasons were flipped flopped and golf was as long as the bowling season, and bowling was as long as the golf season, but alas, that cannot happen in this climate. And of course, the Badger Football team is off to a 2-0 start, that reminds me, a year ago today we were in Las Vegas cheering the Badgers on as they played UNLV. Well, it was actually a year ago yesterday. Here is a picture of all of us at the tailgate party before the game, and then another picture of all the fans pouring into the UNLV stadium. Look at the long winding road of red!!! It's hard to believe this was an away game played 1500 miles away. I swear, every single Badger fan must have made the trip.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

List Obsessed!

Number 51. That's where we are on the "unofficial" list for those of us waiting for a referral from our agency. Not everyone participates in the list, I have been told that approximately 40% do. So in reality we are probably around 127. Keep in mind, some of the families ahead of us are not all waiting for infants like Randy and I. Some are waiting for slightly older children, some are waiting for twins or siblings, and we all have different requirements as far as what health conditions we are willing to accept. Keeping all this in mind, it's hard to know exactly where we stand. When we were first approved and officially waiting back in April, we started at 101 so we have had significant movement. Just not in the last few months due to court closure. I am obsessed with this list and I check it every day. We have been at 51 for some time now.

So far we have not seen any referrals in the month of September. Next week it's the Ethiopian New Year and I hear many folks go on holiday so I am not too optimistic about seeing any next week either. It may be closer to October. Good thing I have tons of stuff to keep me busy and hopefully take my mind off the "list" for a while.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Who Knew?

Just got done working out on our Bowflex machine and it reminded me of an interesting fact our social worker told me last winter. We were giving her the grand tour of our home and she notices the machine. She instantly says, "Did you know an Ethiopian invented the Bowflex?" I had no idea. His name is Dosho Shifferaw and he is an Ethiopian immigrant who came to the United States 24 years ago. Click here to read more on this story. Hmm, I wonder why it wasn't until now, September, that I was reminded of this little known but very interesting fact. It hasn't been that long since I worked out has it????

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Random Thoughts

Things are finally starting to feel routine again after our vacation last week. I tell ya, I almost need to take a vacation from my vacation. Randy and I kept thinking that this was probably our last trip before we become parents. Every time we did something up north we imagined what it will be like next year when we will have our baby with us. We wondered how the drive would be with a little one. Instead of cranking up the tunes, singing along, and pretending we know how to play the guitar and drums instead will we be working hard to stay quiet in case of a napping baby? Will we have enough room in our vehicle to pack everything since the two of us seem to fill it plump full? And yes, the two of us had a plump full minivan. And yes, I drive a minivan already. Whose turn is it to get up early in the morning when baby is ready to get up? Who gets to go fishing while the other stays back? We talk about these things with huge smiles on our faces as it stirs up so much excitement and anticipation.

I promised myself after we got home from vacation I was going to start working on the baby's room, but I can't do anything until we can find someone to install some phone jacks and a cable outlet in our third bedroom. We are going to move our office into the spare bedroom because it's bigger, so the office will become the baby's room, and the spare bedroom will be, well, a spare bedroom and an office. Sounds like more work but at least this way we will be able to still have the extra bed set up. Also the smaller room (office) has a better closet that has organizers installed so that is another reason I think this will make for a better nursery. All this talk just makes me so nervous because all of a sudden I feel like we are so far behind. I know we have several more months of waiting, and then more until we travel, but so far the wait has gone rather quickly for us. Summer helped, and now fall is on the way and that means the holiday season will be upon us, and boom. Pretty soon we will be celebrating the new year. OK, I guess I am jumping the gun a bit here. But the holidays will be here before we know it.

I finally got caught up on my forum that I read. Not much seemed to happen while we were gone. Since I check the forum several times a day, and I wasn't able to while on vacation, I thought maybe I'd get home to see lots of referrals. No luck. Here's to hoping they will start up in September.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I'm Back!!!!

Sorry, it has been over a week since my last post, but for very good reason. Randy and I were on vacation in the North Woods of Wisconsin and we didn't have access to the Internet. It was our annual vacation we take every year with some very good friends of ours and their kids. We stay in a cabin on a beautiful lake and spend our days boating, eating, fishing, eating, swimming, oh, did I mention eating? We even manage to sneak in a few cocktails as well. The week went by so fast and I am really depressed about going back to work tomorrow. We were anxious to get home to see Zuko however, as we missed him terribly. Unfortunately, we were not able to bring him due to cabin rental rules, which is totally understandable, so off to the boarding kennel he went. He received an A+ for great behavior and they said he played very well all day long with the other dogs. I think he was happy to get home as well.

Friday, August 15, 2008


My biggest pet peeves:

1. Not using a blinker when turning. Is it that tough?

2. People doing their entire banking through the drive through. If it's something that is going to take longer than five or ten minutes, please go in the lobby.

3. Bum wheel on a shopping cart. Why do I always get these carts?

4. People talking on their cell phone while driving. Please pay attention to the road!!!!! (I am guilty of this, but I make every effort not to.)

5. Never getting a live person on the phone anymore. I must have hit 37 options before a real live person came on the line when inquiring about my internet service.

Whew! Thanks for reading. I just needed to get some things off my chest. I had a long and stressful week so I am really glad the weekend is finally here. I can't wait to have an ice cold Bud Light!

I have been super busy this week so I haven't had a ton of time to read my adoption forum. Nothing knew on our end, just waiting for the referrals to pick up again in September. Good luck to all those on the top of the "list". Hopefully your referral is right around the corner.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Finally Some Action?

Good news, we heard from our agency that referrals will start to pick up once again starting September 1 in anticipation of the Ethiopian courts reopening in early October. This is wonderful especially for those families that have been waiting nine plus months. I wish them speedy referrals and court dates so they can finally be united with their children.

I received a call last week that my books finally arrived so I headed back to the book store to pick them up. Unfortunately, only one was there, even though on the phone they said bookS. They were kind enough, after I complained slightly, to give me a 10% discount on the book yet to arrive. Today the second one arrived so I went back for the third time, and now I can finally say I have both books in hand. I have started There Is No Me Without You and can honestly say once I start reading, it's hard to put this book down.

I do know one thing for sure, I will from now on buy all my books from Amazon.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Half Way?

Sunday night already. Where does the weekend go? Saturday was four months to the day that we have been officially waiting for our referral. I'd like to say that we have hit the half way mark but I have noticed there are some families that have hit the nine month mark. Referral activity has been quite slow, almost non-existant. This isn't a surprise to us as we were told that during the rainy season in Ethiopia, courts are closed and referrals are not usually made, and it's currently the rainy season. The reasoning behind this is so that families don't sit with a referral and wait extra months to get through court. If there is one thing that is more difficult than waiting for a referral, it's waiting to bring your child home once you know who that child is. At least that's what I have heard from families who have received their referrals. Court is usually closed from August through September and then re-opens again in October. So hopefully in September we will see some referral activity in anticipation of courts re-opening.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Today is Zuko's 10th birthday. I look at these pictures and I cannot believe he was ever this small. I have to say I do miss the days when I was able to pick him up and hold him in my lap, but I don't miss "puppyhood" behavior. I mean "puppyhood" is fine when they are small, but labs grow fast and although physically he was an adult, in his mind he was a puppy until he was about 3 years old. Sorry about the quality, these pcitures were taken before I owned a digital camera.
I think about the years we have had with Zuko and they have been wonderful. He has been very heathly and we have not had any problems besides an occassional ear infection. Oh, when we moved into our home, he decided to go check out the neighborhood and he did run into a chow that didn't like him much. That ended with a trip to the vet's office but nothing serious. This year he did have a tumor removed from his hind leg and thankfully it turned out to be a benign tumor. The hardest part about that was keeping him from licking his stitches. He ended up wearing a cone and still managed to rip them out. The vet decided to leave them out so his incision just took a bit longer to heal.
Later today we will celebrate with lots of treats, a walk around the neighborhood, and maybe a dip in his favorite swimming hole. Happy Birthday Zuko! Momma and Dad love you tons!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

New or Used?

I finally hit some garage sales this weekend thinking that maybe I would find some nice, slightly used, big ticket baby items. There was plenty to choose from, in fact, my mother bought some nice things to have at her house when the grandbabies visit. But for some reason I thought "I deserve to get new things for my baby." I am not sure why I feel this way, I guess because my husband and I have been wanting for this for so many years and I feel like everyone else bought new stuff, now it's finally our turn. I know this probably sounds ridiculous and it's hard getting my point across. I have had many people tell me how fast they will grow out of things and there is no need to spend so much money on new things, but I guess I will have to find this out on my own. Maybe in a few years I will be giving out the same advice.

On another note, Randy and I went to a wedding this weekend. Bought a card, put some cash in it, dropped it off in the card box at the wedding, and for some odd reason, I realized Sunday morning we forgot to sign the card. DUH!!!! I am not even sure why I remembered that we didn't sign it and why the heck didn't we sign it? Well, I got in touch with the best man and told him what happened. I told him if they got a card with $500.00 and it wasn't signed, it was from us. Just kidding, but I did call him and explained what happend, described the card, and what was in it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What are the odds?

I hate to say it, but I am not much of a reader. Don't get me wrong, I love to read the paper, I love to read celebrity magazines, but as far as sitting down to read a book, that just doesn't happen too often. The last book I read was Deanna Favre's book, Don't Bet Against Me, and before that, It was Marley and Me. Earlier this week, I decided to go buy two books, There is no me Without You, a story about an Ethiopian widow who opens her home to hundreds of AIDs orphans, and I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World: A Guide for Parents and Teachers, about, well the title explains it. I have really been wanting to read both these books and I am not sure why I waited so long. Anyway, as you probably figured, I don't know my way too well around a book store, a major chain I may add, so I asked the clerk to help me. He looked up the first book, and what do you know, out of stock. So I asked him to see if the 2nd book was available, and of course, it wasn't. That too was out of stock. I just thought it was kind of ironic that the one day a year I head into a book store with two choices, both of them are out of stock. Needless to say, I am waiting for a call as they are ordering both books for me. They should be here next week. I can't wait to start reading!!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Girls Night In

Meet my niece, Cassidy Clare. Isn't she the most precious thing you've ever seen? I have never seen more perfect features. She was three months old on July 25. Saturday night her dad, who happens to be my brother, and my husband attended a bachelor party that headed to the Brewer game so I spent the evening with Cassidy and her mom Stephanie. It was nice to bond with her, and I am learning so much about babies. I cannot wait until she meets her little cousin. I am constantly day dreaming about they day when we can take our babies together to places like the zoo, the park, etc.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Check it out!

My friend Stacee gave me this awesome hooded sweatshirt. Thanks a ton Stacee, I love it and cannot wait to wear it. The middle stands for Love or I love you in sign language.

Nothing new to report on our adoption front, but lots of families received birth certificates so soon they will be united with their children. Here's to safe and happy travels.

Way to go Brew Crew on a 4 game sweep over the 2nd place St. Louis Cardinals. The Brewers have now taken over 2nd place in the National League Central division and are right on the Chicago Cubs' trail!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


OK, so I was trying a different templates and in the process I deleted all my page elements. I will get them back in the next couple of days.

Waiting is...well waiting

Although officially waiting means we are one step closer to being united with our child, I feel as though everything is out of my hands. At least when paper chasing, you feel like you are actually doing something and making some sort of progress. Waiting is just that, waiting. Today, however, I was actually able to accomplish one more task towards our adoption. Back in March, we filled out a the I600A form, which confirms the qualifications of prospective adoptive parents, and sent it to the USCIS (United States Citizens an Immigration Services). Next we received our appointment to get fingerprinted, and then about three weeks later, we received our Notice of Favorable Determination. We were told by our case worker that it would be a great idea to check on this approval to make sure it was forwarded to the appropriate offices in Ethiopia. So that's what I did today, and sure enough, it's there. What a relief. For one thing, I thought it would take forever to get through to a live person at the USCIS office. To my surprise, while shoveling in popcorn like they were going to run out or something, a very nice woman answered and she very kindly answered all my questions.

So now we wait some more. I shouldn't complain as we have only been waiting for 3 months. There are some families from our agency that have hit the 9 month mark. Here's to wishing them speedy referrals.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Dog Days of Summer

Webster defines “dog days” as the period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere

What a perfect day. No alarms set, a big breakfast, the Sunday morning paper, a Brewer game, a Brewer win, playing with our dog, and of course, lounging by the doggie pool. After a game of fetch, we decided to get the pool out for Zuko. Zuko came into my life the fall before I started dating my husband when he was about 8 weeks old. I cannot believe he is going to be ten this August. He is the best dog and we are so lucky to have him. Sometimes I look at him and I see the puppy he once was. Other times I see the ten year old, especially when he cannot play as long as he used to. He is still very loveable and playful and loves people and other dogs. I cannot wait to introduce him to our son or daughter one of these days.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer Has Arrived!

I guess you can say summer has finally arrived. It has been almost 90 degrees and humid here in Wisconsin for the last couple of days. I am not a fan of the high heat and humidity, but I guess it's better than this. This was just a mere five months ago. That's what my car looked like one morning after a snow storm and the other picture is the back of our home.

So much more has been revealed in the media regarding the Brett Favre saga. It's really sad, it's turning into a he said, she said sort of thing. Kind of like a messy divorce or breakup. As I have said before, I am a huge Brett Favre fan, but here's what I am thinking. If he wants to play as bad as he says he does, then he should just put his money where his mouth is and come to training camp with the Packers and compete for the starting QB position. I am starting to think this whole sharade of him flip flopping between retirement and staying is kind of a scheme to get the Packers to release him. Maybe he wanted to play all along, but just not for the Packers. It has been rumored that he is not fond of Ted Thompson, so maybe this is a ploy to get his release. A ploy that so far has not been good for anyone.

Monday, July 14, 2008

More on the process...

As of April 9, 2008, Randy and I became officially waiting for the referral (match) of an infant twelve months or younger. We are anticipating a 8-10 month wait so that puts us any where between December and February, although our case worker said it could happen as early as November. Hopefully it will be shorter, but it may also be longer. Once we receive and accept our referral, our case will get put on the docket to go to court in Ethiopia. We do not have to be present, and once it goes through court, the Ethiopian government then recognizes that the child is legally ours. After this happens, a birth certificate will be mailed to us, and then we can schedule travel. From referral to travel is averaging about 12 weeks. There have been lots of court dates scheduled with other families using our agency so I would like to take a moment and wish them the very best and hope for speedy Birth Certs and travel.

I also want to say congratulations to a co-worker of mine who was united with her son from Korea last week!!! It has been an extremely long and difficult time for her and her husband but she has assured me it has been worth the wait.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Here We Go Again

I'd like to start by thanking all the Brewer fans who came through and voted Corey Hart to the All-Star Team! The I "Hart" New York Campaign was a big success.

Now switching gears to football for a minute. Ok, all of us Packer fans have been following the Brett Favre saga for a few years now. Should he play, should he retire, it's kind of been an ongoing drama every time the season ends. So this year he made his mind up, or so we thought, that he would retire. A very emotional press conference was held announcing his retirement in March. I think anyone who is Packer fan, or football fan for that matter, could hardly watch it without having a few tears in their eyes. Let's face it, the guy is probably one of the best players to ever play the game, if not the best. Over the last few weeks there have been "rumors" that he has the itch to play again. ESPN is reporting today that he wants an unconditional release from the Packers, saying they showed no interest in him when he expressed his desire to come back. Brett is also saying he was forced into retirement, that the Packers wanted an answer, and retirement was the answer they wanted. The Packers on the other hand, are saying they would have welcomed him back and they didn't force him to retire.

As most of you know, I am a huge Brett Favre fan. If I could have had it my way, his press conference in March would have been the exact opposite, in that he would have stayed and played another year. Well, that was March, it's now July. The Packers have been grooming their backup QB due to Favre's announcement. The sting of his retirement has worn off. So he comes back this year, then do we have to go through all this again next year?

I do know one thing for sure. I couldn't stand it if I had to seem him play in another uniform. I would probably get the dry heaves. So my wish, if I could have it my way? Brett either plays another year in a green and gold uniform, or he retires to his farm in Mississippi and is satisfied mowing his lawn. I really just want Brett to be happy. Hopefully that can happen on the Frozen Tundra.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

3 Months and Counting

Today marks three months that we have been officially waiting for the referral for our son or daughter. It really has gone by faster than I have anticipated. Hopefully the next five or six will go just as fast. This is a great time for me to clear up the confusion of the Lilypie timeline on the top of this blog. Alot of you have thought that we only have three months to go, but if you notice, it is not a count down, but a count up.

Our adoption agency has a great forum that I read all the time. It's filled with great information from families that have already adopted and from families in different stages of their adoption journey. I have gained so much knowledge regarding all stages of this process so I just want to give a shout out to all the forum friends and say thank you! Without it I don't know how we would have gotten through thus far. I can't imagine what families did before this wonderful invention called the world wide web.

One last thing before I sign off, please vote for Corey Hart prior to 4:00 pm tomorrow. He has maintained a slight lead but anything could happen between now and then.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

To Park or Not to Park

I decided to go check out some baby furniture after work today so I pull into the parking lot at Babies R Us and I saw this sign. I wasn't quite sure if I was allowed to park there, or if it was meant to assist pregnant women. The parking stalls really weren't any closer to the door, so I pondered a moment. Technically, I am an expecting mother, but I thought, what if a woman who was eight or nine months pregnant really needed this stall? After a few moments I decided I would just park in an unmarked space.

Once I walked in, I immediately felt overwhelmed and had tears streaming down my face. I am not sure if it was because I have been waiting for this moment for so many years? Or was it because I had no clue what I was looking for? After thinking about it for a few hours, I am still not sure what came over me. I know next time I look for furniture I will be prepared and will definitely have my husband with me. Maybe that's why I felt the way I did, because I wanted him to be there with me, as he has been waiting for this moment for as long as I have.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Vote for Corey!!!!!

Whew! What a busy weekend. It all started with a pool party and fireworks with our good friends on the 4th. Then Saturday we spent the day golfing, and today we went out for brunch and then to a baseball game. We watched Randy's former team, it's an amateur men's league and it was nice to see some of the other players, wives, girlfriends, and fans that I haven't seen much of the last couple of years. Then of course, we came home to watch the end of the Brewers game. Yeah Brewers, they swept the Pittsburgh Pirates and it was announced that Ryan Braun and Ben Sheets are on the all-star team! They are making one last push to add Corey Hart, my favorite player, as he is a nominee for the Monster Final Vote. Please vote above to get Corey into the All Star game. I have heard they are making t-shirts that says "I Hart NY". Get it?

Nothing new on the adoption front as we are still waiting for our referral and will be be for several months. I am seriously starting to get nervous as we have not done a single thing yet for the baby's room, well except pick it out. I really need to at least get the painting done, I really want white trim so I am going to attempt that job. I have never painted trim so I may be in for a bigger job than expected. I heard there may be some sanding involved. Sounds like a lot of work, but I know once I get started I will keep going until it's finished.

Well, that's it for today. Please practice your rights and VOTE FOR COREY HART!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Why Ethiopia?

Happy 4th Everybody!

So the most common question we get is why did we choose Ethiopia? After researching the many options available to us, logistically, Ethiopia was perfect. We met all the requirements, the program is stable and well run, the time frame is somewhat shorter than other countries, travel time is relatively short, and this is probably one of the biggest reasons for choosing Ethiopia, their children receive quality care while in the care centers. Also, there seems to be a greater need as there are more than 5 million orphans in Ethiopia. We then started researching the culture and history and that was it. In our hearts we just knew that our child was in Ethiopia.

If you noticed, I put our timeline on the sidebar. As you can see as of April 9, 2008, we were officially added to the waiting list to adopt an infant from Ethiopia. What this means is we have finished our home study requirements and dossier. This is a set of personal documents such as referral letters, birth certificates, income statements, doctor's letters, etc., which has now been sent to Ethiopia. Gathering these documents is what is called "paper chasing".

So now we wait for our referral for an infant. We have been told by our case worker that it could take anywhere from 6-9 months from the day we were added to the list, but this could change and it could be longer or shorter. We will use this time to prepare for our baby as well as educate ourselves on our baby's birth country and being a biracial family. It's flying by!! Last week our case worker told us we were about 5 months away from a referral which would put us around Thanksgiving. It will be here before we know it. I have prepared myself however, that our referral may not even be here by Christmas. Once we get a referral, it will still be about another 12 weeks before we would travel to meet our baby. I will explain that in another post.

So, in a nut shell, that's where we are at. Waiting for referral.

As we go about our day today with our picnics, BBQs, fireworks, etc., please take a moment to remember all the brave men and women that are serving our country. God Bless America.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Well Here it Goes... very first post on my brand new blog. I am writing this blog to keep family and friends updated on our adoption journey as well as the daily happenings in our lives.

As most of you know, becoming parents has not been an easy road for us. After many months of fertility treatments without success, we decided in May of 2006 that for at least one year we would just live our lives and not focus our whole existence on getting pregnant. It was during this time that we realized how much we wanted to be parents, and that somewhere out there was a child who needed us as much as we needed him/her. This is when we began to research international adoption.