Tuesday, December 1, 2009

For Waiting Parents Like Us

I wanted to share something I've been doing that a friend of mine who adopted from China 6 years ago did for her daughter. Of course I pray for the safety and health of our little one every day, but my friend shared with me that she would also pray that her daughter would see her new Mommy and Daddy in her dreams and when the day came for them to finally meet she wouldn't be scared because she would remember them from her dreams. So I added that to my prayer list, that our little girl would know us when we meet her and remember us from her dreams. I also shared this with a family friend who started this process of adopting a little girl around the same time we did. She is in Ethiopia now getting ready to bring home her 8 month old daughter. Her mother texted my Mom today and wrote, "I know our prayers for E to see her mothers face in her dreams were answered." What a blessing!! Just thought I would share, I'm so glad my friend shared it with me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Need Some Help,Can't Decide

On the left side of the blog, under our Easter picture, I've added a poll and would love any one's opinion. I want to put up a wall quote in her room and can't decide which one. I thought this would be a fun way to help me choose, so please vote and help me pick which one to use.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Court Package....Check

I got our last document back from being apostilled in Austin so our court documents are finally ready!!! I'm so glad our agency had us start on this when they did. It really did take a while to get all the paperwork together. What I thought would take about 2 weeks to put together ended up taking about 6 weeks, but it's ready now. Now we just need our referral, our little girl. I'm praying for you little one, everyday, and will continue to until you are finally safe in our arms. On our way home tonight we were all in the car laughing and singing to the radio and Eddie said, "I think we've got one pretty cool family" and Austin said, "yeah, we're just missing one thing, our baby sister, then it will be really cool." My heart melted. Anyway here's the stack of documents.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I just got an email from our HS social worker checking in on us. She is always so supportive and helpful. This time she just wrote to say she was so excited we were getting closer and ready to help with whatever the next step may be. We will need a HS addendum for sure. I'm actually glad we have to do that. I so value her advice and opinion, I'm looking forward to that meeting. In this uncertain world of adoption, it's so reassuring to know you have support. I'm thankful God put her in our lives, she is a true blessing.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Paperwork

I feel like most of my recent posts have been about paperwork, boring I know, but that's really what I've been doing lately. I received the certified docs back from the state today. I opened the package and thought "yeah paperwork is done for a while". Well not quite, one out of 15 documents couldn't be appostilled because the notary signed it but didn't stamp it. Are you kidding me? I can't believe I missed that, I overlook these things over and over before I send them off, but I missed it. So back to UPS to get a new notary, with a stamp this time, and then back to Pearland Postal Plus to FedEx it back to Austin. Another $30 to send just one document, ahhhh. I do have to be thankful though. In TX once you've met your $100 max for appostilles you're done. You don't have to pay for every single document, I can't imagine what our total would be by now. The FedEx costs more than the actual documents. Even the guy at the Pearland Postal Plus was surprised to see me, he said, "I thought you were done for a while?" I wish, almost. Anyway, it's a family that runs it and they were all so sweet today. Every time we go in Ty asks me to show him on the big map hanging on the wall where our baby sister is. Well today, the whole family, Dad, Grandma, brother and sister of the Pearland Postal Plus all came over to see where exactly in Russia she was. We all stood around this big map and looked at her teeny tiny region half way around the world. It was pretty cool, they can't wait to meet our little angel.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Court Package is Complete

Wednesday Eddie and I got our last document notarized and now our court package is complete, minus the medical and FBI check which we have to do after our first trip. We have everything we need in order to register with the court on our first trip. We've had to start using the notary at UPS and paying for it now because our bank has three notaries but they all expire within the next couple of months, very helpful. Unfortunately, I realized this after we had waited in line for about an hour to notarize about 10 different documents. I got to my car just to check them over one last time and realized her notary expires in 2 weeks. They'd be expired before I even got them back from Austin much less to Russia. Anyway, it's finally done now. Yesterday I took it to the Pearland Postal Plus and it's now on it's way to Austin to be apostilled, what a relieving feeling that is.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Being A Mommy

Tyler got a couple of mosquito bites this morning so I put some Benadryl itch cream on them to help the itch. When I was done rubbing on the cream, he looked at me and said in the sweetest voice, "Thanks for helping the itchies. I'm so glad I have a Mommy, if I didn't have a Mommy I'd be scared." I'm so fortunate to be a Mommy and stop the itchies, my Tyler is such a blessing. It made me so happy and at the same time sad to know that our 3rd little one is without a Mommy right now. Whoever our little girl is, she's there waiting day after day without a Mommy. At least she doesn't know she's waiting and it's just regular life for her, but I can't wait for the day when she will get to know what it means to have a Mommy. We're praying for you everyday little girl that it will be very soon.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hmmmm, I hope it's right.... SOON

Eddie's not getting home until late tonight from a business trip in Denver, so the boys and I ordered take out. I thought, "wouldn't it be cool if one of those fortune cookies says something about adding a new little one to our family." Well, it didn't say exactly that, but it did say, "Pack your bags, you're bound for an exciting destination". Okay, I don't really believe in these kinds of things, I put my hope in a much higher power, but I'll take this one. I'm ready to pack those bags. I'm holding on to that little piece of paper for her baby book.


Yesterday I received all of the apostilled documents from our placing agency. They are so quick and efficient when it comes to paperwork. Now I'm just waiting on the letter from Eddie's boss and the documents from our Homestudy agency and I will have everything we need for our court package in hand ready to go. Now we just need our little girl. I feel like I have everything ready, her room, the paperwork, Eddie's time off from work taken care of, the miles saved up for airfare, the Marriott points saved up for hotel rooms, Grandparents ready and "on call" to come watch the boys, but no little girl. I know it will happen, I know she's waiting for us just as we're waiting for her, I'm just tired of waiting, I'm ready to see our little girl. Okay, now that I've vented, I need to run. I'm headed to the kitchen to make a Power Ranger cake for Austin's 7th birthday party tomorrow, thank goodness for character shaped cake pans is all I can say.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Her Room Is Ready

Well, I probably jumped the gun a little, but I have her room completely finished. It came together so beautifully, a room fit for our princess and that's exactly what she will be. The boys helped me add the stripes and had so much fun doing it. I ordered the bedding a little at a time over the past few months and the last bit got here just as I finished putting up the ribbon border, perfect timing. I have had so much fun finally decorating a room with pink!!! I pulled all my dolls out of the boxes I've been saving all these years, knowing one day I would have a little girl to share them with. The last thing I have to add are the letters spelling out her name to go over her bed, but we don't know what that is yet so that will have to wait, hopefully not too much longer.
As much as I loved putting the room together and buying all the pink, it also reinforced the real reason we are doing this. I have wanted a girl for so long and buying all the pink has been so much fun, but it's soooo much bigger than that. I'm so thankful God blessed me with boys. If He had given me a girl, we might not be taking this journey we're taking now. Giving a little girl a home that might not otherwise have one, giving her a mommy and daddy to love her everyday of her life, to laugh with her and cry with her and support her and lift her up. That is what it is all about, that's it. I knew all this before I had her room ready, but seeing it done, I thought to myself, "yeah, it's nice, it's pretty, but it means absolutely nothing until she's in it, filling it with love and laughter." I can't wait for the first night we get to tuck her in, in her own room and her own bed. A place she can feel safe and secure and know it means she's a part of a family, a family that loves her and will support her and will always be here for her.
( I know in the picture I have a bed set up, but we also have a crib in there as well, not sure what she will need, 15-36 months is such a wide range, but we'll have both and will be ready for whatever it may be)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

While Tyler was at school, I spent most of the day on the phone making preparations. I spoke with the International Adoption Center at TX Children's Hospital and made arrangements with them to go over and review the information we receive on our referral (when we get one, hopefully soon). I also spoke with our Homestudy agency about the paperwork I need from them for the court package. They really have been wonderful, I can't say enough about how supportive and helpful our social worker has been. They play such an enormous role in this whole process and are just as excited as we are to see things moving. Eddie traveled with his boss today and was able to share with him the paperwork we need verifying Eddie's job and salary. We should hopefully have everything for the court package by next week and I will be able to get it off to Austin to be apostilled (certified by the state). I know things have started to really move in Russia this fall with referrals and I'm just hoping we're one of those families. I just feel like we're close, I have a nervous, excited feeling. I think the whole family is ready for her to be home. Even little Tyler stopped me before I left his room after tucking him in the other night and said with such desperation, "Mommy, wheeeeen is our baby sister going to get here, it's taking forever." If you know Tyler, you can probably read it exactly how he said it. We're all ready sweet boy, hopefully very very soon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Much Needed Update

Sorry everyone, I know it's been a while. No worries we're still on track, moving right along. We just had a crazy busy summer. We were gone most of the month of July traveling through TX and OK visiting family and friends. August was filled with days at the beach and the pool, trying to stay as cool as possible in this TX heat. The boys and I were just so busy I haven't had a chance to post. Hopefully now I can get back on track. Austin is back at school, he started 1st grade, and Tyler is going to PreK 2 days a week. He could have done the 4 day program, but Mommy just wasn't ready. I want to get as much TyTy time as I can. This precious time will be over before I know it, kindergarten will be here soon enough. Anyway, that's the reason for being away so long.
On adoption news we're still waiting for a referral. We have heard some hopeful news and we just keep praying that we'll know who our little one is soon. I just started working on getting our court documents together. In Kaliningrad families take their 2nd dossier (court package) with them on their first trip and get a court date before they leave, so I want to be prepared when we get that call. Other than that just waiting and praying. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers, I promise to keep up better in the future.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


We painted her room yesterday and it IS pink. It all happened so quickly. Eddie called me on our way to VBS and said he spoke with the painters painting the house next door and they could come over around 5 and paint the babies room if I wanted. Short notice, but to good to pass up so the boys and I headed to Home Depot after VBS and bought 3 gallons of pink paint. I love it!! It turned out great, now I just have to add the stripes and polka dot border and it will be ready for our princess.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Girly Things

Yesterday I went to get a pedicure and they just put in a new chair especially for little girls. It's little and looks like a bunny. There was the cutest little girl sitting there getting little pink flowers painted on her toes. She and her Mom were laughing and talking about how fun the new chair was. I almost started to cry right there in the nail salon. My eyes watered up with joy thinking that one day I'll get to share those special moments with my little girl. I can't wait to have those girly girl times with her and the special relationship that will grow through those times. I think I might have had a few tears of sadness in there because the process is taking sooo long. But I feel comfort in knowing that it will happen, in the perfect time. I'm so thankful that we get to take this journey and all the waiting will be so worth it in the end. I can't even imagine the blessings that will come with a daughter and I can't wait for the day to come when I get to take her for her first little pedicure in the bunny chair.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

I just got off the phone with my sweet Dad and had to thank God for the relationship I have with him and what an awsome Dad he is. He's everything a daughter could ever wish for in a father. I couldn't help but think how this day next year will be so different. Eddie's celebrated six Father's Days now, but next year it will be his first with a daughter. He will be the best Dad in the world for a little girl. I can't wait to see him as a Dad to a daughter, he has no idea the blessings that are in store for him. She will have him wrapped around her little finger in no time.

Eddie and the boys

Me and my Dad

Friday, June 19, 2009

Russian Winters

After worrying about how I was going to handle the cold in Russia I searched for pictures of Russian winters and all I can say is "Beautiful". We will get to see things we'd never see here in Texas, gorgeous ice and snow sculptures, Moscow lights in Red Square and so much more. The snow sculptures reminded me of the sand sculpture competition they have every year on Galveston Island, but 10 times more beautiful. I'm actually getting excited about traveling in the winter, it's amazing how differently I can view this now. Bring on the coats and gloves and hats and long johns, I'm ready. "Amazing"

St. Basil's covered in snow

Father Frost, Russia's Father Christmas

Snow Sculpture

Ice Sculpture

Shopping Center at Red Square

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sharing the blog with Austin

I don't know why I haven't started until now, but today I read the blog to Austin. He listened so intently and said things like "I remember that". When I read him the part about how the boys always ask "when is she going to get here" he said, "yeah, when IS she going to get here, how many more years do we have to wait?" I reassured him not years anymore, hopefully down to months. When I read him the post about the cold weather in Russia he said, "Oh Mom, I want to go to Russia, I'd be fine with all that cold. I have like 3 pairs of gloves and probably 20 hats in my drawer upstairs, and my coat is huge, way bigger than Tyler's". I think he's trying anything he can to get to go, but in the dead of winter, at home with Grandparents is a much better place for the boys to be. Plus I want that one on one special time with our little girl, for her bonding and ours. We then went on to read some other adoption blogs together and he could see others experiences and other families in a similar situation as us.

Am I Ready for the Cold???

The other day, I was reading from a Russian adoption chat board and the title was "How Cold is Cold". My eye went right to it because that is something I've been a little worried about. Odds are we'll be traveling in winter and it can get -30 below in Moscow. I'M GOING TO FREEZE!!! I use to tease Eddie that I could never live any further north than Dallas because of the cold and in the past few years I even changed that to I'd never want to live north of I-10. It was around 95 degrees today and I wasn't even hot. Of all things for me to worry about, I can't believe this is on my list of worries. Of course her health and well being are at the top of my prayer list and then there are so many others, but this is definitely going on the list. I just need to pray God prepares me for the cold and her for our heat. Maybe all my friends from up north can help me with this one. I think Eddie will be fine, he's been to NY for business so many years in the dead of winter. I choose to go with him when the business trips are scheduled in Florida. This will be a hard acclimation for me just like the heat in Houston I'm sure will be for her. I need to start preparing my list of clothes now I'm afraid. This is definitely not something I want to try to figure out in a hurry. So to answer my own question "Am I ready for the cold? No, but I will be, NOTHING especially cold weather, could stop me from going to get our little girl!!"

Monday, June 8, 2009

Aunt April and Uncle Brock brought our little one her first present the other day, her first pink Cinderella bike. It's a little big , but she'll grow into it in no time. It's the first girly thing in our garage and I love seeing it out there. I can't wait for the day when she is riding around on it ringing the little bell (which Tyler has transfered to his bike for the time being, but promises to put it back when we bring our little sister home), hopefully very soon. Now I can't wait to start painting her pink room.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Visitor Location Map

I love that I added the visitor location map at the bottom. I know where each one of those location dots are and who they represent. Thanks for checking on us and for all your support. We couldn't be doing this without you. I'll do my best to keep you posted!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cute quotes from the boys

I wrote down some things the boys said a while back to later write in our little girls babybook. I just thought I'd post them here as well. On October 5th, 2oo8 Austin said, "Mommy, when our little sister gets here, I'm going to buy her a doll because I know girls like dolls and I want to give her one." So sweet. On March 3rd, 2009 Tyler was getting out of the car and said, "Mommy, when we get our baby sister, I'm going to help her get out of the car cause there is a big step there and she could fall and I don't want her to fall, so I can hold her hand and help her, and I'm also going to have to help her buckle her car seat cause it's kinda hard." They are both always asking us "when is she going to get here". I am so thankful for how comfortable they both are for her to come and how much love they're already showing for her. They are going to be the best big brothers.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Good News

We heard some good news yesterday. Our homestudy agency has been on a Russian blacklist for the past couple of months. Any family using an agency on this list would be delayed in getting a referral or a court date, depending on where they were in the process. The agencies would remain on this list until they turned in the appropriate paperwork to the Russian government. Well yesterday we found out our agency had completed all the paperwork and had been removed from this blacklist. Thankfully this didn't affect us at all because we are a ways away from receiving a referral, but if our homestudy agency did not get off the list it could have been a real problem for us in the future. It gives us such peace of mind to know our homestudy agency is now in the clear. Yeah!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I sent off more paperwork yesterday, our first document expired. I sent it up to a family from West Virginin traveling next Tuesday to Russia. They will hand carry it over for us. We will most likely be doing the same thing for a family when we go. The people at the Pearland Postal Plus are becoming very familiar faces. I've seen so much of them over the past year. This time when I went in, I told them I'd been in so much and would continue to be due to a Russian adoption. They were so pleased and happy for us. Even the people at the postal plus play a special role in this process. They had a big world map hanging on the wall and I showed them exactly where she was waiting for us. It was neat to see her tiny little region on this huge map, it looks so small. I need to take a picture of that place for her book.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I had a friend email me the other day. She simply said, "Hey Honey, has Russia called yet?" Unfortunately, no new news, but it's always so nice to know when friends are thinking of you. She made my day.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Inspiring Story

I read this story on another blog and had to share it. It describes so well how we can all make a difference in this world, no matter how big or small it may seem.

The Star Thrower Story by Joel Barker
Inspired by the writing of Loren Eiseley

Once upon a time there was a wise man, much like Eiseley himself, who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer, he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?" The young man paused, looked up and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean. " "The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die." "But young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!" The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves. "It made a difference for that one!" His response surprised the man. He was upset. He didin't know how to reply. So instead, he turned away and walked back to the cottage to begin his writing. All day long as he wrote, the image of the young man haunted him. He tried to ignore it, but the vision persisted. Finally, late in the afternoon he realized that he the scientist, he the poet, had missed out on the essential nature of the young man's actions. Because he realized that what the young man was doing was choosing not to be an observer in the universe and make a difference. He was embarrassed. That night he went to bed troubled. When the morning came he awoke knowing that he had to do something. So he got up, put on his clothes, went to the beach and found the young man. And with him he spent the rest of the morning throwing starfish into the ocean.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Austin came down stairs the other day, out of the blue, and said, "Mom I think we should name our little sister Samantha." I had never thought of Samantha before, but actually really like it. Tyler heard this and said, "No Mom, I think we should name her Natasha." Also a name I never thought of but really like, for a couple of reasons. Natasha is a common Russian name and it's also our agency director's name, she is from Moscow. Tyler, being 4 had no idea about either one of these things, so it's really something to think about. I always just thought we'd name her Nicole, after my middle name, since Austin shares a name with his Dad and Papa, and Tyler shares a name with his Gramps, I wanted her to share a family name as well. This is definitely something we'll have to think about and consider. I never thought we'd have such wonderful suggestions from the boys, especially without ever bringing it up to them. Who knows, we might not change her name at all, we haven't decided what to do yet , but I thought it was so sweet of the boys to bring it up. Boy are they ready to have a little sister.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

From the beginning until now

One year ago this month, I can't believe it, we started our journey. It all really began about 4 years ago when some friends from church adopted a little girl from Magadon Russia. From the day I heard their story and saw her pictures after they brought her home, I was hooked. I knew this was the way we would complete our family with a precious little girl. Now I had to pray about it, discuss it with Eddie, and figure out where to go from there.
Fast forward 3 years and we went to those same friends house to learn from them as much as we could and see if this was really something we wanted to do. When we left their home that night, Eddie looked at me and said, "Let's do it!" and that's all it took.
We began researching agencies and countries and we decided on Russia. We signed on with agency #1 in June and began the enormous amount of paperwork for our homestudy and social worker visit. It took about 3 months to get all of this together and in the meantime learned our agency had been suspended from working in Russia, so the search for a new agency began. In November we signed on with agency #2 and couldn't be more happy with them. It really was a blessing in disguess, but it put us back about 5 months. We had to redo paperwork, revise our homestudy and get everything sent to our new agency. We finished up our dossier (this is the stack of paperwork that goes to Russia) and got it to our agency in January. They compiled a few more things and had our dossier in Russia in February.
By the end of March our paperwork had been translated and registered in the Kaliningrad region of Russia. And now we begin the wait for a referral. A referral is a match the Russian officials make with our family and a child in that region available for international adoption.
We are very excited about being in the Kaliningrad region. It is a special place for us because of where it's located. It is actually the only region in Russia not attached to Russia. It is off on it's own bordered by Lithuania, Poland and the Baltic Sea. In reading about this region, I also learned that it was occupied by Germany before WWII and many people still speak German there. We couldn't be searching for our daughter from a more perfect place. Eddie's ancestry is largely Polish and Lithuanian and I'm part German. How perfect!!
Like I said, now we begin the long wait for a referral. I know it will take a while, but as I've heard anyone that's ever done this say, the waiting is the worst. And boy are they right. We've only been registered for a month and I want "the call". But I know it's all in God's time, and goodness knows we have enough to keep us busy, like our two precious boys, while we wait. So the wait begins.....

Starting an Adoption Blog

Well today I bit the bullet and started an adoption blog. So many of you have been asking what's going on with the adoption and to keep you posted. Well, I thought this would be the best way. I'm definitely behind seeing as we started this process soooo long ago, but we'll go from here. The best things are yet to come anyway!! Hope you all enjoy.