Sunday, February 27, 2011

processing the processing

the paperwork process for adoption is so time consumptive, so physically and mentally draining, and such a personal investment.  we received our final set of paperwork this past week and have taken time to read through every question being asked of us, and are attempting to both individually think about how we will best answer each question we've been presented with.  it's hard for me to feel comfortable answering so many questions that are open ended and "what if" based.  i am a straight shooter and i try not to think about the "what if" part of life very often.  i used to do it when i was younger, but i just found myself getting worked up for nothing, or regardless not feeling anymore prepared.

i know these worksheets are designed to help you think about situations so that you won't be surprised by anything and so that you will be able to protect your family in the best way possible.  it's just hard for me to know what i really would do "if" something happened.  i will be thinking, and thinking, and thinking about this some more until i can commit to something on paper.

the other thing that plagues me is a brief paragrpaphical description of myself.  maybe i am too complex, or i think i am more complex than i actually am, but i think its hard to sum adri up in a paragraph.  i am going to have to think on this to really communicate what i best think generates a picture of the person i am. 

my mom asked me 48 hours after we'd gotten the final paperwork if we were done.  i got really defensive and fired back at her that "we'd just received it" and it's "so complex" that there is no possible way we could be done yet!  seriously, how could she even ask such a thing?  maybe we're over thinking all of this, and we just need to sit down and write the first thing that comes to mind.  i just think that would be making too light of something that is so powerfully important.  so, we read, we reread, we sit, we ponder, we get up from the table, we have mini conversations, we think some more, we go somewhere, we chat about it in the car, before we fall asleep, we think about it while we dream, and process it all day long until we get just the right things we want down on the paper.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

in the heights

in honor of our budget friendly ways we were stoked when we found out we'd been granted two free tickets to see a Tony Award winning musical called "In The Heights" at the Durham Performing Arts Center last night. 

husband and i took full advantage of this generous gift (from YELP) and decided to make it a celebratory night in finding out about the approval the day before.  we agreed we'd find a local restaurant to eat dinner at after the performance.  we got dressed up and headed across town for the show.  when we arrived we were impressed by the theatre and all of the state of the art features, but also by the friendliness of everyone who worked there.  we really felt like this was a special night out!  we found our seats (which were amazing) and got ready for the performance to start. 

when the story began it was told in a little bit of a fast paced rap, which was hard for me to comprehend what the fella was saying, and i later found out that husband had the same issue!  however, by the time we made it through the first portion of the first act we were hooked!  the story about finding your way, and sometimes getting to where you thought you wanted to be and finding out that you were actually on the right track all along was a theme that was all too familiar.  the play featured several couples in love and husband and i would squeeze each other's hands when the people in the story had things work out in the end. 

we're so thankful for the time that we've had with each other over the past fifteen years we've been together.  we're reminded every day to make sure we cherish this time with just the two of us because as our family grows our lives will never be the same.  we look forward to the ways in which our lives will be forever enhanced by the addition of a little one and will never forget all of the wonderful memories we have with just the two of us.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

God was speaking

when you know - you just know.  God was speaking to me today telling me that we were going to get good news.  I thought for sure we would be getting an email that would tell us that our formal application had been approved.  so throughout the day today (probably 50 times) i refreshed my gmail to see if we'd gotten anything from our bethany portal.  i talked to my little sister after work and expressed my sadness when the day had come and gone and no email came.  i stopped myself and got into calm down mode since they'd only had our additional information for a few days now, but still i had hope.

husband had to go to a meeting at job numero dos this afternoon and got home a little bit early.  he always checks the mail before coming inside.  he came inside with a HUGE packet from bethany that informed us that our formal application was approved!  we jumped up and down, hugged, cried, and carried on.  i told him i just knew that something was coming today.  i could just feel it.  i think it's true, that when you know - you just know - and when God speaks - hopefully you hear what he's saying.

so now that we have that hurdle behind us, this is what lies ahead of us:
  • completing this packet of paperwork below
  • attending an infants class
  • attending the adoption seminar on april 1st
  • reading the book "Raising Adopted Children"
  • having an approved home study
we've downloaded the book on will's kindle and are going to start reading it aloud tonight and cannot wait to get through this next set of paperwork.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

green and healthy

with the anticipation that a baby will be joining us sometime in the (hopefully near) future, we've regained our passion for eating more healthfully.  we hope to get on the path to good habits before our family goes through the change of routines so these healthy trends will be in place as firmly as second nature.  we go through spurts where we are really good about what we eat, and then we go through a slump where all we want is to consume donuts.  we've switched to purchasing organics (whenever possible) and are attempting to eat our weight in vegetables.  we're continuing to only shop the perimeter of the grocery store - avoiding prepackaged foods and anything that is overly processed.  i've been inspired by other's healthful eating and searching for recipes to incorporate into our diets.

melodie inspired me to try out the smoothie.  i've never had a smoothie before, and its honestly just because i am nervous about all of the sugar that i thought went into them.   her adapted recipe for the "green smoothie" contained no added sugar and seemed like something that my body would tolerate while being diabetic.  inspired by her blogpost: 
melodie's inspiring recipe
i added the needed items to the grocery list and wanted to start this week off right by making a smoothie for breakfast today.

i made my smoothie with the following ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup organic frozen blueberries
  • 1/3 cup organic frozen raspberries
  • 1/3 cup organic frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 banana
just like melodie, i added all of the berries and water to the blender and whizzed it up on the frappe setting.  once that was blended i added spinach - enough to hardly mash the lid back on - and had to pull out a spatula to get it down into the berry mixture enough to blend up the spinach.  once the smoothie turned from a wonderful berry color to an army green, i knew we were blended.  then i broke up the banana and added it to the machine.  i gave it one last frappe and we were done. 

i asked will if he wanted some - maybe just a sip?  he decided he would stick with his kashi cereal for today.  the smoothie was a lot more tasty than i thought it would be.  the overwhelming flavor was the banana, then the raspberries.  the texture of the banana - which put it a bit on the slimy side - was the only thing i was not in love with.  when i make one tomorrow i think i am going to try less banana and replace part of that with some apple or grapes.  i enjoyed my breakfast and drank every last drop!  the blood sugar did not spike like i was worried about and will says he will be brave and test it out tomorrow, so hopefully we're on to something here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

one last onesie for our little one

about a year ago when everyone i knew was having babies i bought a couple packs of onesies and customized them with initials, neck ties, flowers, and the like.  two nights ago i thought i would just dig through that old bin of fabric in the hopes of making some baby toys out of scrap fabrics when i ran across one last onesie in a packet.  i quickly reminded myself what i'd made for others and about getting busy to make some of these types of things for our own baby!  why i never thought of it before, i am really not sure.

so i got to work digging through the bin to see what i could come up with.  i am in love with other's photos of their babies at their one, two, three etc. month birthdays with the onesies with the iron on transfer numbers to denote which month it is.  i often thought when our baby arrived it would be one of the first things i'd add to my etsy shopping cart.  then it dawned on me that i could just create something similar, using what we already had.

i pulled out some felt, thread, needles, pins, cardboard letters, granny's measuring tape, granny's scissors and got to work.

i traced the letters out backwards onto a piece of teal felt.  then, using granny's scissors i cut out each letter individually.

using pins i secured each letter onto the top layer of the onesie and used the measuring tape to get it lined up in the center.

using the coral, red, and buttercream threads i sewed each letter onto the onesie, removing the pins after each letter was in place.

i hope to continue making more of these once the sweet baby darling deer makes their way to us, and we can photograph them each month to document their growing journey.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

add additional info - repeat

we're getting pretty good at submitting additional information.  we got another request today for further details.  this time it was for our formal application submission from last friday.  we're very excited that they've already viewed what we turned in just a few days ago, and hope that this additional information will satisfy their requirements now. 

we feel like we've been answering the questions we were given, but apparently we have not been doing a very good job at it.  i got a little bummed when i got the message earlier today, but when husband got home we sat down and knocked it out, scanned it in, and sent it off.  hopefully we're getting pretty good at the follow-up part.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

for the love of it

we do a lot of things for the pure love of them.  going out to eat on certain holidays is just one of those things.  this year was different.  in our urgency to save as much money as we can for this upcoming adoption we decided (made a joint pact) that there would be no frivolous spending on things we did not need, one of which being a fancy dinner out on valentine's day.

dinner out at a fancy restaurant is a lot more than just the food that we order.  we love a dining experience.  we love the time together, the ambiance of the place, the music they play, how the wait staff interacts with you during the meal, trying new things, being indulgent, and having a reason to get dressed up.  by skipping the dining out experience this v-day we still did not want to give up on the typical fun that we find in the fancy restaurant so i planned us a fancy schmancy dinner at home.

husband came home to find a deliciously made from scratch four course meal with wine pairings, a perfectly set dining room table, menu cards, and our favorite tunes playing on the ipod in the back ground.  we both got semi-fancy in attire and played just like we'd gone out some where.  we rated the food, ambiance, lighting, and music all a 5 out of 5.  we both sincerely enjoyed our night in with the quality time together and celebrated in the hopes that this would be our last v-day without a little one.

we've  never eaten a meal on our wedding china before, so we figured this was the perfect occasion!

this is a little menu card that i made for our special dinner!

celebrating our 15th valentine's day together!

we loved the ambiance of "chez nous" and had a wonderful time together!

happy valentine's day 2011!

Friday, February 11, 2011

press submit!

we've struggled to get past all of the illness this week, and husband just had his first fever free day today, but we've gotten two great bits of information this week. 

the first notification from the agency was that the informational meeting we need to attend is being held april 1st.  that was a great piece of news to have because we've been wondering how to plan around a mandatory out of town meeting that we did not know the date of.  now that we know the date of the meeting we can request time off from work, make other plans for other out of town events this spring, and have the date on the calendar to look forward to. 

the second thing that came along with this was a prompting for us to finish filling out our formal application.  we were given a nudge to go ahead and submit the application  (if we were done) so that we would not miss out on the class.  we'd finished it last week, but just wanted some more time to mull things over and see if we needed to re-word anything etc.  so, after i got the nudge today we mustered up the courage to press the "Send to Bethany" button.  we definitely wanted to get the paperwork out the door, but were feeling nervous with large text fields and what they should/should not contain.  the longer we thought about it, the more we thought we had not said enough, or we'd said too much.  we told our story and feel good about the final product.  we hope to have some confirmation of acceptance past this next stage soon and will keep you posted as soon as we hear anything!

this photo was just one of our favorites from our pre-adoption photo shoot with kaitlin roten this past fall.  we thought it was perfect to say happy valentine's day, and here's to one more adoption landmark under our belts!

Monday, February 7, 2011


since moving to north carolina, i can honestly say that we hardly ever get sick.  however, when one of us gets sick, the other one usually does too.  while i was in northern va the other week i picked up bronchitis and then inadvertently shared that with will.  we had to go to asheville this past weekend to pick up his mom's car, but the trip was long and difficult with both of us being on decongestants and expectorants.  while we were there we both picked up will's mom's stomach bug and both spent the past 24 hours battling both illnesses.

i often wonder how parents manage to take care of their children when one or both of them falls ill.  we've been through some major illnesses, and through those times we've had support.  however, with the day to day bronchitis or stomach bug when you are just too tired to drag yourself out of bed, yet you have to, so you can take care of another human being - i just wonder where that strength comes from.  did you have it all along, and just never know it?  or, did you know all along that you could dig deeper, but just did not have to before the kids came?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


we got the stage 1 approval we wanted, so now where have we been?

i had to go to the headquarters for my job for a few days last week and am just getting back into the swing of things.  we started on the formal application the night we got it and will completed about 40% of the general information questions.  we left the longer more essay style questions for a time when we could mull them over and figure out exactly how to communicate what's in our hearts.  last night i sat down to answer those questions to the best of my ability and then emailed all of that to will so he could work on the formatting and making sure everything comes across as we'd hoped.

today we're putting the signed acknowledgment paper for the privacy act and the next phase of the required deposit into the mail.  we hope to continue to work on the formal application online and get it submitted by week's end.  the office confirmed that the next informational seminar (which is technically the next step) is not until spring, so we will just hang tight and wait for the next step once we get this online application completed.

in other news - i had to get rid of my beloved 2000 vw jetta last night.  the car was due for its state inspection and 16 codes appeared when the mechanic ran the diagnostics to figure out why the check engine light was on.  i'd always loved the car (since before i even owned it) and purchased it for myself as a graduation present from college.  i took it to the local vw dealership to be sure that it's fate was decided, and they confirmed the worst.

my parents told me it was a lemon after all of the trouble i had with it.  i ended up having to get an additional warranty to cover about $8000 worth of repairs that were done from 2001 - 2004.  but - it was my car - my first car.  i was so happy when i paid it off and i figured i would have it until i ran it into the ground.  i just never knew that would happen so soon.  when the repairs to get the car to pass the inspection totaled over $1600 we knew we had better cut our losses. 

admittedly i cried on the way to carmax last night, but then the more i thought about it i knew it was an end to an era.  the next car i drive will be one designed around children - child safety - ease of getting strollers into/out of the car - and places to put all of a child's things.  we decided to not take on an additional car payment until after our placement has occurred and will's parents are being so kind as to loan us one of their cars until that happens.  then, when we're financially able we will go out and get the perfect family car.  (i just hope it has blue dashboard lights, a moon roof, and leather seats.)