Wednesday, February 27, 2008

WooHoo!s and Bummer!s

WooHoo! Robin emailed and the ROG side is asking for power of attorney papers. We got it notarized on Tuesday, but not apostilled, so I can drive to OKC and get several things apostilled at the same time in about 20 minutes. Robin wasn't expecting it so soon, either. We've been saying "sooner than we thought, better than we thought, bigger than we thought," thinking it was to do with our "move"! God is so great!

Bummer! I have been working furiously between adoption papers, adoption education, taxes and taking care of the house, trying to get everything ready quickly. I knew taxes were going to be taken care of tomorrow and we could use some of the refund for Hannah. I was finishing up things this morning and got a phone call- your appointment was at 9 and we missed you! AAAHHH! Only a delay of a few days, but I was going to get things signed by the CPA and get those apostilled, too. He'll be out of town after that for 2 weeks, so his wife will have to prepare them, which will be fine. He's been doing our taxes for the past 8 years, and considering we're both self employed and he's done such a great job for us, I'm kicking myself for messing up and not being able to see him personally! Bad thing is he's only seeing the first appointment of the day and since I messed up, someone else missed out, too. This is a good reminder to again, trust the Lord to be our source and not look at circumstances. He's faithful!

Woohoo! Caleb is eating cereal and doing well. I haven't figured out if the crying is "hurry up mom!" or "this is too thick" or "I'm done with this stuff" or "find a better time for this." So, we'll keep working on it. I was watching the video on Charissa's blog of Ava sitting up, using her hands. Light bulb! So, I tried that with Caleb. We've been using the boppy, but not much by himself. I put him in front of a toy that sings and he was mesmerized. He stayed up for almost a minute! He also rolled over 3 times yesterday!

Bummer! Grandma's funeral was yesterday. I'm feeling sad to have missed it. I think the biggest thing is the big family get together, the stories and celebrating her life. There's some guilt, but I'm working on a little one's future and that has to be my priority right now.

WooHoo! Buddy and I put away the computer and actually talked last night! Funny how many days can go by with the to-do list reigning supreme instead of the want-to and that communication was on the second!

WooHoo! I found out about sponsorship on Reece's Rainbow! Thanks Charissa and Andrea! Now others can be a part of bringing Hannah to the "Wright" home AND get a tax deduction. Be watching for that link soon.

Fun tid bits: Catherine wasn't feeling well Monday, so I brought her home early. Our babysitter brought Samuel home for me so I could leave Caleb and Catherine in bed. He came in, hung up his coat, put away lunch stuff, sat down and got his homework done in about 20 minutes, max! Yesterday, Catherine and Caleb were awake, I came in myroom to feed Caleb away from the noise. It took Samuel over an HOUR to do his homework! What does that tell us? Buddy suggested I have do his homework in the morning before school. I'd like to try, but what if...?

Catherine was feeling a little under the weather this am- she'd been up coughing during the night and was weepy this am, so I suggested she stay home. She sat at the table for a minute and then I could hear her spoon on the bowl as she hurried up. She wanted to go do her work! She's working on sight word lists and wanted to read list 6 today. Wow! How do we transfer that to home?

We're leaving Caleb at home when go get Hannah and I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for that time we're apart.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A BIG check off the to do list

Today was a big day at the Wright house. We had our first home study meeting! Melinda is a really sweet lady with experience of her own- she adopted from China. Catherine slept through and then partied through most of it. The princess birthday party was much more exciting for her than to listen to mommy and daddy telling about the hobbies they've long ago given up! Samuel did pretty well, although he was REALLY wanting someone to come and play with him. The next is in 2 weeks and hopefully we'll have a lot accomplished by that time.

We've begun our education. A lot to think about and learn, so it's good we're getting some more info to better deal with the adjustments and how to make life easier/better for Hannah. Funny how the culture dealt with is 4 colors and nothing with Eastern Europe. I've never really paid attention to ROG music, art, greeting cards or movies. I'm hopeful we can get some music and momentos when we're there to help her celebrate her birth country.

My passport came in the mail today and we're hopeful Buddy's will come Monday, so I think we can get serious about our I-600 A form and get that under way. It's amazing how many checks they have to do on you!

My Grandma passed away this morning and I won't be able to go to her funeral. It'll be such a great time to celebrate her life and to be with family you don't get to see very often, especially since we're so far out of state. I so wish she could have been part of the celebration of Hannah coming into our family. We'll just have to wait a while to do that. I know she'll be cheering us on as we do, though.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


This has nothing to do with the title, but it is pretty cute! Caleb and tummy time are not always on friendly terms. He was doing great until right after this.
I called my grandma today just to make sure she knows how much I love her and how glad I was to have had her as my Grandma. I told her Hannah is coming and soon we'll all be together in Heaven with no sadness or pain, just having fun with each other and Jesus. Of course it made me cry. In the words of our away from home Pastor, just a few short breathes and we'll all be out of here. Earth is the shortest, most difficult thing we'll ever do when we know the Lord.
I hear how busy I'll be with 4 kids and feel a little overwhelmed with my paper mountain. My friend Carla reminded me of the scripture "Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass." That's right- it was His idea and He'll give us the grace to get it all done.
I went over most of the dossier templates and feel pretty good about that. We found out we can send things to Hannah with another family when they go to ROG. Immediately the kids thought of the idea of their Grandma making her a "B." (a special afghan) She has made all the kids a big and little one. What they would do without them, we don't know. Many tears have been shed when Catherine has been without. Samuel's is falling apart from all the love. He likes the smell of his- fresh air, but thinks Catherine's stinks! I tried to put the picture of Caleb with his down here, but Charissa, I'm going to need another lesson!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lessons learned

Back in the day when I had one child and was learning about all the junk in baby care products, I decided to be thrify and healthy and make my own wipes. As Samuel got older and Catherine came along, it was great fun cutting a roll of paper towels in half, unrolling it, tearing off each sheet and making a big pile on the floor. We were blessed with wipes when Caleb was born and have only had to buy one refill in over 5 months. I saw we were getting low and thought it would be fun to make our own again. The kids had a blast, although not the fun of a 2 1/2 year old, it was still a good time. Yesterday I went to use some of our homemade wonders and thought- hmm I don't remember them having any pattern on them when we made them. As I looked closer I saw it was MOLD!!! Lesson- don't try to make homemade wipes out of paper towels from Whole Foods- no chemicals to repel the mold.

I asked Samuel today if he wanted an orange in his lunch. He said, "not really." When I asked if he'd eat it anyway he said, "I'll have it for snack. I'm not really into oranges right now." Well.

He told me he has figured out when to let go of the paci when he puts it in Caleb's mouth. "It's when his face isn't red anymore, then he calms down and that's the signal it's ok to let go. "

Yesterday I got to take a lovely hour trip to meet Buddy to get another paper notarized. It was nice to be together, just the 2 of us for a few minutes. We should do this more often- oh that's right, we have LOTS more papers to get notarized!

I got the templates from Hopscotch today, so I tried to get busy on those AND do taxes, while guarding my time by staying away from adoption blogs. If I'd just keep better track of things during the year it wouldn't be so hard. I say that every year and it's time to do it, I guess. We got new video and pictures of Hannah yesterday. So sweet! She seems to be very loving with her care giver. The kids watch over and over and so enjoy hearing her talk and laugh. We have no idea what they're saying, but we pretend! One night after we'd watched, Samuel, Buddy and I left to go in another room. I kept hearing the video playing over and over- Catherine was watching her little sister.

My Grandmas aren't doing so hot right now. It stinks that both are going down hill. Last year, Buddy's dad died shortly after we found out about Caleb. This year, it's Hannah coming and a Grandma leaving. I'm so grateful Samuel and Catherine knew their great grandmas and have a vague memory of Grandpa Sams. We've tried to keep the tradition going of chewing on the kids' ears like Grandpa would have. I'm also grateful that my Grandparents loved the Lord and left us that legacy which will have an effect on so many lives for years to come. I'm thankful to be so blessed.

Monday, February 18, 2008

God is so good to Hannah! My sweet friend Amanda told me today that she had a toddler bed for Hannah! Cynthia said she has a mattress, too! Now, the work of moving the furniture around to accomodate another bed and dresser and many princess things!
We got Buddy's birth certificate today. Yes, it was a holiday, but when it was poring down rain Saturday, mail was not on my to-do list.

Weekend Update

This past fall, one of our friends blessed Samuel with a Game Cube. Boy, was he excited. We set up the rules for earning time on the GC. However, it is such a nice entertainer when I needed to be doing things with Caleb, when we had an ice storm and were home for 1 week, then were home for 2 more weeks at Christmas. We started noticing some attitude issues and respect issues, so we put it away for over a month. Interestingly, "yes ma'am" and sweeter attitudes returned! We played some games together and the kids enjoyed each other more. Well, with all the adoption and tax things I've been trying to do (not to mention all the great adoption blogs I've been reading) I was ready to have Samuel busy with something else. So, Friday after we set the rules (a little tighter this time) it came back out. Boy howdy, did he get after his reading! He did pretty well until Sunday, so when we reminded him of how easily it could be taken away, he really responded well.

Buddy got a little project done on the house, so that makes me feel better. Hannah is such great inspiration to get those long needed projects taken care of! I intended to get a lot of tax stuff done and did about 1/50th of what I should have done. Part of that was due to Caleb crying at each naptime until I help him. So EVERY nap was a holding nap yesterday.

We went to my parents for dinner on Saturday and got to tell my brother and sister-in-law. It's always so fun to tell the story. Mark was a little hard to read, but Michele was excited for us. Mom and dad got us a porcelein figure of a family of 6 (wow, that sounds strange) 2 girls and 2 boys, the smallest a baby boy and then a little girl who has perfectly straight legs and feet, which is what we know will happen for Hannah. It made me cry. Catherine was watching me and asked- "are those happy tears?" She was quite relieved when I said yes.

Happy news on the sleeping front. Caleb has been going 10 hours for the past few nights. I'm not sure which is more exciting- the fact that he's going until 6 am or that I get to get a little more sleep before I have to get up! Yes, to me, getting up before 7 am is WAY too early. I have to pump before I get the kids ready for school and pump before I go to bed. It's fun watching the milk pile up. I'm looking forward to not having any room in the freezer because it's stocked with enough milk to last Caleb while we're gone. It was at over a year of age for both S & C before I quit nursing, so I'm looking at options of what to do while we're gone. He'll still have a few months left before he's one and I really don't like the idea of formula, thus the "milk factory" as Buddy calls me.

I was fully anticipating an email with all sorts of templates to begin our dossier. However, it's a holiday today! No mail means our app. hasn't gotten to Hopscotch, our birth certificates and passports have been sitten for another day, we can't notarize our request for criminal background checks, and we have to wait on starting our education requirements.

Good news is that email takes no holidays and we were able get see new pictures and video of Hannah. I haven't gotten to the point of doing anything except typing, which means I don't know how to add pictures. As soon as I do and find out it's ok, I'll put pictures of our family and of Hannah. As I was looking at her pictures this morning, I thought, girls are girls- every picture was a different outfit and hairstyle! Boy, will those 2 princesses have fun!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

It's official!

Ok, maybe just on my end. I got the app. and agreement in the mail today. We've been working on so many things, it seems, that normally wouldn't be done so closely together. However, since we want to bring Hannah home quickly, I'm becoming, as Robin says, the multi-tasking queen. We got an appointment to begin the home study- next Saturday. I'm grateful taxes are soon done- hopefully before then so those papers will be out of the way.
Samuel was home with me today- the 24 hour rule with fevers. That meant missing his Valentine's party and me missing Catherine's. He was only slightly less busy than usual! But we had fun. He's a really good kid, very loving toward Caleb.
Tonight Catherine decided she was going to help me get Caleb ready for bathtime. You should have seen her pulling off his clothes. It's a good thing kids are flexible!
I only slept in about 1 1/2 hr increments last night- Caleb was having some trouble. Buddy's not home and I've done as much paperwork as I want for one night, so it's time to call it a day. A little progress everyday. One step closer to our goal!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

More good news... This morning one of my dear friends called and asked if we knew when we'll go pick up Hannah (don't I WISH we knew!) and said she may be able to get us buddy passes for our flights. What a huge blessing that would be.
I got the list of things to do for our home study and got started on that. Got my birth certificate request in the mail. Almost got our app to the adoption agency but discovered one missed signature! It was so tempting to forge Buddy's signature, but I resisted. I went to the Dr. for my physical. Funniest physical I've ever had- totally clothed and done in about 5 minutes. The other 5 were chit chatting about our families and adoption. Tomorrow I go for lab work. Glad I got the info from Melinda so I know what lab really needs to be done.
Samuel asked if his class could start counting down days until Hannah comes home as part of their math meeting each day. The kids are ready to start telling people about her. I'm a little hesitant to mention her feet and hands. I'm not really ready to hear the comments, but so far all I've told have been excited for us and will be praying and encouraging us along the way. I'm so thankful for the great friends we have and supportive family. Buddy and I were talking about how mom and dad responded- we couldn't have asked for a better response. It's fun to talk to them- they're outwardly more exuberant than we are. Perhaps they get the dreaming part and I'm feeling the need to make sure I'm not leaving any loose ends undone for Hannah and for the tax appointment in 1o days. Mom said they've both had sleepless nights because we're supposed to have her and she needs to be here quickly!
Last night we were reading about a little girl who so badly needs a home and both Buddy and I were in tears. Buddy prayed for her last night and I thought- when we prayed like that last, we decided we needed to go get Hannah. What does it mean this time?
Off to do taxes.... Hopefully all the papers will be put away nicely before Melinda comes for the home study!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Yeah! We just looked at Reese's Rainbow to look for a little girl we read about on another blog. It hit me all of a sudden- Hannah's picture wasn't the first thing I saw! We kept scrolling down and finally saw her on the bottom with "I've found my forever home." I think that's what it said. We were so excited to read that and know it was US!!! We haven't even gotten the app in yet, but it's on its way this week. We had delays for this and that. Funny how the days go by and it seems like it's such a long time when it's only been a few days. We just want her home and every day that passes is a day she's not with us.
Buddy's passport is in the works, but he doesn't have a birth certificate. I had a birth certificate, but no passport. Now I have neither because they took the bc to process my passport! It was a little upsetting, but I had to remind myself this was a small bump on a road requiring lots of faith and patience. The good news is that we'll get some of the paper work for the home study this week and begin in earnest next week!
I went in to talk to Catherine's teacher about what's going on and she told me Catherine has been talking about her little sister already. One of her friends is trying to adopt from China, has been since '05 and thinks it's going to be '09 before she gets her baby. (Who would have thought we'd be talking about '09!) It was so encouraging to her to hear about Ava and Hannah. I called one of my friends, Renee, to tell her what the scoop was, and she told me she and her husband had just been talking about adoption and was going to look at Charissa's blog. Buddy and I keep talking about what a cool thing Charissa and Johnny have started. We're hopeful we can inspire others to make a difference in these sweet little lives, too. Thanks, guys!

Monday, February 11, 2008

This is my first blogging attempt, so bear with me. Because I have so much to share, this will be pretty long. Hopefully I'll be diligent about the process and will not have novels to write!

Buddy and I have been married for 10 1/2 years, have 3 children, the youngest will be 5 months on Wednesday. We're both self employed and are enjoying our lives. Our favorite place to get away to is Branson, MO. Good Friends, great church and Silver Dollar City! What more could you ask for? We thought for sure we'd to be moving there, but for the past 2 years, it just hadn't come to be. We were wondering why not and were looking at what we could be doing or should be doing to get ready for a change.

Back up to my childhood. I'm one of 2 children and wished my parents would adopt so I could have someone else to play with. Fast forward to 1990, my first missions trip was to Hong Kong. We went to an orphange and it broke my heart to see these little children there. Little potties all lined up around the edge of the bathroom, all the children with the same hair cuts, all the little bowls of food. On to 1993, my senior year of college, a trip to Bolivia where we went to an orphanage, with much better conditions than Hong Kong, but still so sad for the children to not have a family. On to 1996, my 1st year at Bible College, a trip to Estonia. Again, an orphanage- dark, colorless, cold. The children were so delighted that we were there. I just wanted to scoop them up and take them home! On to one of Buddy's and my anniversaries. We went to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert. He and his wife had just adopted Shoahanna. What a very moving presentation! Then a year and a half ago, I met a lady with 7 adopted children! Wow! What a calling and what a gift to those children! Last summer, my friend Denise and her husband adopted a newborn boy. 2 of my friends from ORU and I get together every summer for a very noisy reunion! Between the 3 of us, we had 9 kids last time. I was the slacker with 2, but was 8+ months pregnant with Caleb. Charissa told Kristi and I that she and her husband had found a little girl in Ukraine that they were going to adopt. I thought it was such a sweet thing, but kind of put it out of my thoughts with the excitement and busyness of a new baby.

Now it's January 2008 and Charissa was going to get her little girl. Kristi emailed and asked if I'd been following the blog. I hadn't and started reading on January 28th. Only Charissa could say the things she did the way she did that make you laugh and cry all at once. I was captivated. On the 30th, I clicked on a link and saw a little girl with clubbed hands and feet. My first thought- "God can heal that." I read about the rest of the girls and was so moved. I read a portion of the blog to Buddy that night and he was moved to tears. He said, "I'd adopt." (Before this, I thought he was very closed to the idea, but he felt the timing wasn't right.) I started telling him about these girls and couldn't stop crying. I asked him to pray with me for this little girl with clubbed feet, that God would send someone to show her His love. We did and when I was done, I showed him the pictures of the girls and read their stories. I was drawn to this little one with the sweet smile and the eyes that were so full of life. I couldn't stop thinking about her and cried for a long time that night. The next morning, I looked at her again and noticed her birthdate was just 2 weeks after I had been due to have a baby in 2005. After we had Caleb, I thought how perfect the age span between he and Catherine was for an adoption in the future. (Boy, that came fast!)

When I emailed to find out more about her, I got a ton of attachments and pictures. How sweet she was and how overwhelmed I was to see all the paperwork! When Buddy came home that night, we talked about the little girl. He just wanted to know if I thought she was the one. No concerns about the cost, just willing to do what the Lord had put in our hearts. What I didn't know was that when we prayed, he was thinking- if you're praying like we were, maybe you're supposed to do something about it! Then on him way home, he started thinking about her and started crying. He told the Lord he was willing and would be obedient. No wonder he was so ready to hear what I had to say!

The next morning, Samuel (8 years) saw the picture I had printed of this sweet child and asked who she was. I told him she needed a family to love her. His first question was- Could we adopt her? Catherine (6 years) wanted to know, too. I told them we were praying about it. That afternoon, as we were getting ready to go to Branson for a special weekend, Buddy and I started talking about names. We came to Hannah Joy, which means grace. We see the joy in her smile and know that God is working for us and for her. That weekend we came as a family before the Lord to say, "we want to have her in our family and are trusting You to bring this about."

When we got home, we found out another family had inquired about Hannah, did we still want her? Oh my goodness! Of course we did!, please make sure that's very clear to anyone who needs to know!

So, last week was full of getting Buddy's passport done, getting the application, looking for a home study agency, meeting Ava (Charissa's little girl), and trying to keep it all in until we were at least underway. Friday I went to get a copy of our marraige license, and the lady gave it to me FREE! This is the beginning of how the Lord is providing for Hannah. Saturday night, we had my parents over for dinner so we could share. I was soooo excited to share and could hardly wait til we had a moment to do so. Mom asked if it was going to make her cry, I knew it would, but she thought it was a move to Branson. As we told them the story, they were so excited and ready to do what they can to help.

So now we're free to start telling friends and want to keep track of the goodness of God as He guides our steps and makes a way as we bring Hannah Joy to the Wright Home!!!

The kids love her already. Catherine is excited to share a room with her, which, of course will be a pink princess room! She thinks Hannah is cute. Samuel is glad about Hannah, but wishes we would adopt a boy, too. Slow down! One step at a time!