Saturday, July 31, 2010

August Raffle

Okay, okay....this is for all you non-sports fans.

A 2000 May series Morning Glory (Longaberger) basket -- and you'll have to forgive me if that's not the proper way to spell it all out :) -- filled with Mary Kay products, including a scrubbie, bath pillow, and shower gel, loofah body cleanser and nourishing body lotion from the Red Tea and Fig collection.

Very special thanks to my BFF Lesley Mason (if you're in need of a Mary Kay consultant, contact her at and her momma Diane Mason for this prize.

Drawing will be August 31.

And don't forget, if you buy a ticket for this and don't win, you're still in all year. Right now you've got 11 chances to win something fabulous!

And just to be all official, you can read the rules.

And the winner is....

Jim E. from Baltimore!

I'm so excited that someone from Baltimore won the Nick Markakis picture. And thank you to everyone who bought tickets. You still have 11 more chances to win!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Sometimes my wait seems like not that far away, that I can do this. And then other days, it seems like forever away. For whatever reason, today was one of the latter.

I spoke to Maria, my case work at the placement agency. We try to do a quick catch-up by phone or email once a month to check in with each other.

She told me that the first group of families who are part of the two-trip rule just came home. The first trip lasted three to five days, court went smoothly for everyone. They met their children, did some touring, court, and then said good-bye to their children.

They are still waiting on the second trip to be scheduled, but they anticipate that that trip will also be less than a week. The big question up in the air is how long between trips. That is definitely something I will be keeping an eye on.

All of that is fine, great, interesting and good to know. But it just seems like forever until I even get to that point.

The weekly update is still saying 18 months for 0-12 month olds, 19 months for 12-24 month olds. If all stays on track with that time frame, I am still looking at November or December 2011 for my referral.

It's just one of those days where I'm cranky. Tomorrow I will probably be like, "it's only another 16 months!"

Oh, the joys of having my body try to re-acclimate after nearly three years on hormones.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Speaking of Books....

and I just was. Remember, I wrote about books the other day :)

I ordered some children's books about adoption.

And my favorite, about a kangaroo momma with no baby in her pouch, so she adopts a baby bird that falls out of the nest. No mention of a daddy kangaroo.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Picnic Update

The picnic was great. I met so many families with kids of varying ages from Africa (and of course, other areas of the world), but was especially excited to meet the other (notice I said, thee other, not ANother) single woman. Her daughter is 16 months old, and she has been home for five months.

So cute and chubby and happy. And this woman was put together and seemed balanced in her life, and I thought, I really can do this. That will be me. We exchanged email addresses and hopefully can get together soon.

I want to hear all about her 19-month journey to Juliana. To keep me inspired and to give me hope.

And speaking of inspiration -- I have a book that has been sitting on my coffee table next to my baseball dictionary. I read some of it (the required chapters) when I was doing my online training as part of my application, and haven't really thought to pick it up again.

The other day my friend Kelly who has Jacob and is awaiting on Faith from Korea) posted to her blog about an article in this book, Adoption Parenting. This book that I have. That sits on my coffee table. And I thought, I really need to start reading. The next 14 (to 20) months will go by fast, and I need to be prepared.

That's what these months are about, right? And so, thanks to Kelly and her "being Jacob's mom" wisdom, I will start reading this book again.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Two Months Down....

14 to 20 to go.

I'm off to a picnic today, put on by Family Connections (my home study agency). I'll meet other families who have adopted, or who are waiting. I heard from my case worker that there is another single woman, who just brought her baby home last fall (I think).

It will be good to see families with kids, and know that I'll be in that situation soon. And in a completely different way from seeing women in Dr. Kiltz's waiting room with babies (or with very pregnant bellies). That always just seemed like a special kind of torture to me.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fund Raising

The one thing that always made me hesitant about adoption was the cost. I thought it was prohibitive. I thought it would be fiscally irresponsible of me to get into this. And then I realized that I would just make it work.

And what I've learned, as I've met more and more people through the internet, is that everyone feels the same way. It reminds me of the old saying, "if you wait to have kids until you can afford to, you'll never have kids."

And what I love about my circle of friends is how ingenious they are in their fund-raising efforts. Not only ingenious but how their efforts mirror their personality, and I guess that applies to me too.

When I was at the Museum in Baltimore, one of the ways we raised money was through raffles. It was easy. And I was pretty good at securing items. It's what I knew how to do when it came time to think about how to raise money for the adoption. For me, doing the raffle was putting to use what I learned in Baltimore. And anyone who knows me, knows that of course I would do a sports-related raffle.

I still have amazing friends in Baltimore, as well as a pretty good template of a letter asking for autographed items. And so that's where I started.

When Lindsay and her husband thought about they were going to raise money for their adoption, they went the t-shirt route. One of her mini-goals is to sell at least one shirt in every state. I am proud to represent New York.

Crafty Megan created her own t-shirts and had a Super Wal-Mart sized garage sale to help with her fund-raising efforts.

And since I know not everyone is a sports fan (I still don't understand people like that), I have supplemented the sports drawings with hand-crafted items, again generously donated by my talented friends.

I've seen magnets, coffee sales, bottle drives, bake sales, egg sales (!)...anything you can think of. In the end, we're all in the same situation -- doing what it takes to make our families complete.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Naming Rights

No, I'm not selling off naming rights for my future baby. I think I've pretty much decided on my names (certainly the middles names, which will be family names), but I've got a long time to change my mind so I'll just keep them to myself.

The naming rights in question are for the new chicks in Claudia's Chicken Coop, to join Ruthie and the others. A 25-cent entry fee for each name suggestion, with the money to go towards the adoption fund.

How cute are they?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Before and After

My friend Megan finds the best links. This one is amazing. A picture at referral and a today picture.

Seeing the Fruits of your Labor

It's heart-breaking to see the before picture and know that there are tens of thousands, millions even, of babies just like her.

This is more than just building my family, it's about making a difference.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Four down, and now some more waiting. I applied for four different adoption grants. I know that all are a long-shot, but like the lottery people say, "you gotta play to win."

And so today, early before my work day started, I re-read my final two applications, did some tweaking with the words, and printed them out. And then thankfully, re-read the "checklist" for each and realized I needed copies of my 2009 tax returns.

So really four (almost) down -- they will actually go in the mail tomorrow.

With the grant applications written, printed and sent, my dossier in, any possible paperwork I could possibly think of that needs to be done...I find myself at a loss. For the first time in three years, I don't have anything to do.

No doctor appointments, no paperwork, no mailing this here and that there, no looking through my files every day to see what needs to be done next. Done. I wait.

And while I know that's a very hard thing for me to do, it's what I actually need. Put my mind to rest, let my body acclimate back to not being on hormones, and think about (in very abstract ways) how I'm going to decorate the nursery, and if I still love the names I picked out years ago. And sometimes, just sometimes, not think about any of this at all.