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.