Friday, November 28, 2008
It feels so good to be one step closer to our little Juliana! I am praying we hear soon about our CA. I am still a little apprehensive about missing all of Christmas. It is also so hard not to have the dates set in stone. I like control, I had no idea how hard it would be to have everything out of my hands.
It is a good lesson for advent. I wait and busily prepare...
Thursday, November 27, 2008
help me to remember the hungry,
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a warm home,
help me to remember the homeless;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer;
help me to destroy my complacency
and bestir my compassion.
Make me concerned enough to help,
by word and deed, those who cry out
for what we take for granted.
Samuel F. Pugh
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
- Tentative (90%) approximate travel dates (depart Dec 10 or 11)
- Beautiful girls reading their little sister a story before naps
- Coffee with lots of cream for those times I don't get a nap
- The opportunity to care for Juliana
- Family and friends helping us have that opportunity
- An amazing husband who does dishes and mops floors
- Daughters, sisters, moms, good friends
- Blogger friends who remind us to take the time to reflect on our many blessings -- thanks Laura
Monday, November 24, 2008
The hard part is not knowing. If the date were set, I could start making plans accordingly. This waiting to hear when we will leave is causing my anxiety to go through the roof. It is also paralyzing. I have so much to get done, but I find myself drawn to the computer looking for news, analyzing previous months' time to travel. I told myself if there was no news this morning, I am going to rip myself from the computer and get busy.
I need to prepare for Thanksgiving and the First Sunday of Advent. I figure there is now a pretty good chance I also need to have everything ready for Christmas before I leave. We also have two birthdays and St. Nicholas's Feast Day next week. All of which need my attention. Add to that getting the guest room back in order (it has become the location of choice for all the things I didn't want to take care of) since my family will be staying here with the girls. I also have packing and more paperwork to finish. Knowing WHEN would really help me focus on getting these things done.
Friday, November 21, 2008
My Band Name: Beit HaKerem
Album Title: Badly Written and Randomly Enforced
Want to do your own?
Here’s what you do:
1. Band Name: Random Wikipeda Link
2. Album Title: Random quote generator (take the last four words from the first quote on the page ... I scrolled to the end of the quotes and clicked on new random quotes)
3. Album Art: Flickr Interesting Photo (pick one)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Please pray our travel approval comes quickly. I know there are so many important requests for prayer. I feel silly praying for something as inconsequential as travel dates. However, I am ready to hold this child and I really want to be home for Christmas with ALL my girls!
I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.
I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.
Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.
May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.
Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.
May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.---Unknown
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I started this blog knowing I was not much of a writer. The problem is I am not crafty enough to scrapbook, I am not disciplined enough to journal, I am not talented enough to photograph well. Basically, I was going to have to deal with the fact I am not talented in these areas, but I needed some way to capture this time. As the quote on my sidebar says, "The days are long, but the years are short." The blog has become my outlet for capturing day-to-day memories.
I wanted to take the TBRT, but I didn't necessarily need a reminder of my lacking skills. Today, I worked up some courage and I took the test. After all, taking the test does not mean I have to post the test. Imagine my surprise when this was the result:
Wooo-hoooo!! I guess I am smarter than I thought. I can't wait till dh sees this as he is always second guessing my grammar :) We all know these quizzes are reliable indicators of character and personality. Certainly, they are just as reliable when it comes to measuring education!
I think the real compliment goes out to all of you reading this blog. After all, you are the ones doing the reading. I guess that college education was good for something -- reading blogs! It's good to know the small fortune paid for that education is finally paying it's dividends :)
Monday, November 17, 2008
We had to email our agency our daughter's American name for some of our paperwork. Although we haven't seen her in person, she looked like Juliana to us. We are still in the habit of calling her Tess around here. When we get to know her we can decide on a nickname for her, but her baptismal name will be:
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Unfortunately, since we were not expecting it and it was quite rainy, it was wet. I guess that will just add to the charm when I store it away in her baby box. Not to digress too far, but the baby box is one of the best things I did as a new parent. I purchased a small plastic box a little bigger than a shoe box. That became a place to stash little mementos like the outfit they wore home from the hospital, their hospital id badges, a few cards, baptismal candles, and other reminders of their first few weeks. It was easier than scrap booking (that takes too much time and more skill than I have) as all I had to do was put mementos in a box. I started baby books, and baby calendars. I was not faithful about either, especially for Bophie. The boxes were easy enough that I have been able to keep up with them. My girls already enjoy looking at their baby boxes. I have started collecting these things for Tess as well. I hope to go this week and get her box.
Back to the point...
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Throughout this adoption we had agreed Therese would be one of her names. We could not agree on the other. We couldn't even agree if Therese would be her first or middle name. We finally agreed on Mary Therese (with plans to call her Tess) and sent out our email to the world announcing our little one. Then, predictably, I started having second thoughts.
Mary and Elizabeth have always been at the top of our list. Mary was the name of the child we miscarried this year and I feel she is connected to this child a world away from her family. Elizabeth because dh likes the idea of calling her Elizabeast :) and because we are going to the hill country. A third option came when we were learning the pronunciation of her Chinese name. Her name is pronounced zhoo lee on. It sounds like Julian-- so Juliana seemed to fit. The feast of St. Juliana is 3 days before her birthday too.
Now we are back to being undecided. For so long we have called her Tess, but I truly like all of these names. So we decided to put up a poll to see what our family, friends, and cyber friends thought. We reserve the right to call her whatever we like, even something not on the list. However, this is your chance to try to influence us a little. Be sure to vote on the poll on the right, or leave a comment letting us know what name you think best fits our little one.
Friday, November 7, 2008
It came around 11:30. I had the phone ready to go, everything at my fingertips. I thought I was prepared.... There just isn't any preparing. Dh had a meeting (a big meeting) that he could not get out of, but was coming home around 1:00. We thought there was a chance he would make it home in time, but he didn't. The phone rang, I stifled my desire to scream "finally"-- I could not stifle the tears.
I think my girls were as excited as I was . They jumped as much as I did each time the phone rang. When the call came, they all did their best to contain their excitement while I was on the phone. I was crying, trying to hear Liz from the agency give details, and text dh at work. It was chaos. Dh wanted to see the picture, but was stuck in the meeting. Since he had his blackberry he could see it if I put it on the Internet. So if any of you were checking the blog between 11:30 and noon yesterday you probably saw some craziness as I tried to get the picture on my site for him. Thank goodness for the blog.
The email with her picture came while I was on the phone, which meant I had to leave the quiet study (I had shooed the kids out so I could concentrate) and head to the laptop in the kitchen. All three of the girls were immediately at my heels. My tears started flowing again when I opened her picture. When I looked to see the girls' reactions, I knew Banana had her mother's tendency to wear her heart on her sleeve. She was crying with excitement too. She has such a tender heart and has really been praying hard for this baby. I know she will be my little mother when we return.
Bophie, being only two, is pretty oblivious to the whole thing. She did not like me spending so much time on the phone as it interfered with her lunch and nap. Bear was also excited, but it just wasn't at the same level. I realized she has a harder time conceptualizing this adoption. We have waited longer than she can remember. To her this adoption has always been talked about, but nothing happens. Last night in the car she said, "You know the best part of this adoption will be getting her, not the pictures." We have all been so wrapped up in seeing her pictures, finding out where she is, how old she is, how big she is. These things are relatively unimportant to my five year old. She just wants Tess to finally come home and I can definitely understand that!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
After 2 years 8 months 2 weeks and 6 days of waiting… waiting… and waiting… Today we have seen the newest member of our family.
Her Chinese name is Qian Xiu Lian. The first name is a surname that everyone in the orphanage gets. The second is really her first name which means beautiful, elegant, delicate. The last is equivalent to our middle name and means Lotus.
She was born February 19, 2008. She is in Chongqing. She is a quiet baby, loves music, her favorite toy is a rattle, and she is ready to smile. I can't wait to see that beautiful smile!
How am I supposed to teach perfect squares to my third grader? My first grader has some grammar we didn't finish yesterday. Even the littlest one is more squirmy. Perhaps my time would be better spent working on a new banner for the blog? I am not even sure I could concentrate on that...
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Tomorrow, God willing, we will get the call introducing the newest member of our family!! Our agency reported today that they have received our matches. They are translating them from Chinese and will be calling us tomorrow afternoon. I am already in tears. I can't imagine how I will make it through the phone call tomorrow. Thankfully, dh is coming home early so he will be here as well. I am hoping we will also get pictures via e-mail and be able to see this dear child's sweet face. Imagine, we are already linked and I don't know where she is. I have never seen her face, but I love her so much...
Tomorrow we will also be attending the funeral of my Uncle Stick. He died in a tragic accident early Sunday morning. I wasn't particularly close to this uncle. He was most known to me for his long, hippy beard and uncanny ability to eat everything in sight and still resemble a stick. At any family gathering you would inevitably hear him say, "There's no such thing as a left over." Nonetheless, we will be praying for him and his siblings who will miss him greatly.
Tomorrow.... How will I ever make it through today?
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I had a ray of light today. I took all the girls with me to brave the polls. I was afraid if I waited for dh to be home I would end up waiting hours. We actually only waited half an hour. It allowed us to make it to the noon Mass at our downtown parish. We have wonderful priests who decided there would be exposition all day today.
The church was packed! I had a hard time finding a parking spot. I went in and found I was joined by the regular daily Mass crowd. But there were also many families there. Many homeschooling moms took the trouble to load up all the kids during lunch/nap time to make the trek to a parish downtown to be near our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. There were other people there on their lunch breaks. Many people who stayed to pray the rosary and the lines for confession looked like a Friday rather than a Tuesday.
I know whatever the outcome of this election is, no matter how disappointed I am that some cannot see the danger of a pro-death president, there are still many faithful flocking to pray for our country. I know that tomorrow, regardless of the election outcome, God will still bless the faithful. I know that there are so many others, good dear friends and family, striving to make this country better. I find true hope in that.
Monday, November 3, 2008
This year, the first group was a handful of girl scouts on a scavenger hunt. They were panting and out of breath trying to hurry. I think we made their day. A month or so ago dh was at our parish as they were cleaning out the pantry. They had the absolute biggest can of spaghetti sauce I had ever seen. Dh, being unable to pass up something free, brought it home. It took up half a shelf in my pantry and, really, the jar was more appropriate for a dinner of 50 rather than our family of 5. So the girl scouts got the spaghetti sauce. I now have half a shelf in my pantry too. It was a win-win situation.
The next group introduced themselves as the local high school National Honor Society. You know top of their class, smartest kids around. I was in the NHS when I was in high school as well, so I was happy to retrieve 4 large cans and clear more space in my pantry. I bring them out to the two young girls at my porch who then exchange funny glances and look back at me and say, "How do you think we should carry these?" Apparently, we were the first house they had solicited and they had not thought about how they would actually carry the cans they wanted to collect from our neighborhood. Remember, this is the National Honor Society. I went in to retrieve the sturdiest bag I could find. After thanking me one girl turns to the other and says, "you think anyone else thought about how to carry this stuff?" The group of 10 year old girls scouts were smart enough to bring a wagon, I guess it is a good thing I gave them the spaghetti sauce.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
We have been so blessed that everywhere we have lived we have been able to find wonderful, vibrant parishes. We have lived here for a little over three years and we have the most wonderful Dominican parish. Each year the Knights of Columbus have a Saint Party for the kids. It is always one of our favorite events. They have a Grand March and judge costumes, a pinata, a fishing pond, cornhole, and many more saint-themed games. My girls really look forward to it. The highlight is the Stump the Priest Game. All the kids line up and our priests try to guess which saint they are. The kids prepare little clues so Father can ask a few questions. It is so much fun.
This year Banana was St. Philomena. She won the prize for the 2nd and 3rd grade costumes. She also stumped Fr. L who got a few preview clues. Luckily, Fr. P helped him out. Bear was St. Collette. Fr. L is French so he guessed her pretty quickly. Bophie stumped them both with her St. Sophia costume. Allegorically, St. Sophia had three daughters; Faith, Hope, and Charity. I pinned three little dolls labelled Faith, Hope, and Charity to her jumper.
Grandma likes to spoil the girls and knowing my aversion to more candy, she got them all cute light up shirts this year. I noticed how the lights showed through their costumes which reminded me of the Sacred Heart. I am already thinking how I will incorporate that in next year's costumes.