Sunday, January 31, 2010

Travelpod

I just did this super fun Geography game over at Act of Kindness and it was sooo much fun...I put it at the bottom of my screen. I knew where most of the countries were..but not so much the cities! Although there was one country I hadn't even heard of...ooops. Just scroll down and enjoy!

Getting Ready...

I went to Walmart to get some eggs and found some adjustable waiste band capri pants on sale in a child's size 8. Finally! I had been looking at my usual upscale boutique...you know...Target....and I hadn't been able to find either casual long skirts or capri's in B's size. So I was very excited and that was all it took....I bought some capri's, a couple of shirts, 2 pairs of shoes, a little outfit to sleep in....45 minutes later...I was still not home with the eggs.

I walked in with like 6 bags and Keith smiled and said I was cute when I was nesting.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

UNICEF on the ground in Haiti ...

Hurting children as usual. Here is a great post from a family on the front lines actually stopping and helping the child in front of them....

Helping the child in front of them is clearly not the goal of UNICEF. UNICEF is a big anti-international adoption bully in jack boots. I am sure UNICEF started out as a grass roots organization to help children...now all they are is a great big bureaucratic monster rolling over children to feel important and to forward their political agenda. Unfortunately, their political agenda and rhetoric is that children should be in institutions in their birth country instead of in a family with people who love them. The faulty logic with this is that children in an institution are not really educated on their culture....

Read this story read about one Haitian orphan that was declared by both the US and Haiti to be eligible for adoption prior to the earthquake...but UNICEF is responsible for delaying his reunion with his family.

I know.....how do I really feel?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Crazy!

We have been running around and stockpiling items to pack in our bedroom.....we aren't packing anything yet...just making piles. Our bedroom is a tad like an episode of "Hoarders". We discovered last night, that we actually don't have more than one large suitcase...so we have to go buy a couple of new suitcases. Well, at least one.

Today, I had some time off, so Keith and I met and went to the bank to get some new $100 bills. We decided to go to a totally random branch of our bank that I had never been to. The teller we went to first, didn't have a lot of bills, so she called over another teller to look in her till. Teller #1 started some small talk...oh where are you going...for vacation or business...the conversation progressed.

Turns out teller #1 and her sister are adopted from Korea...her coworker says..." I didn't know you were adopted?" Teller #1 says "Yeah, my parents are caucasian." That sounded somewhat funny to me...to call your parents caucasion. I had images of Zeb growing up and someday calling me caucasian. I would have chosen white. I understand in Ghana people will call us peach. I asked teller #1 if she had been to visit S. Korea and she says "Oh yeah we went there when I was like 12 it was cool." She said it in the same way I would say..."I went to Destin, Fl last summer it was cool." It was funny......I degress...so Teller #2 tells us that her parents are in the midst of a prolonged and painfull adoption from Jamaica.

So what are the chances that today we would choose a totally random bank branch and be helped by 2 people whose lives are touched by international adoption. Sometimes it is a small world!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Another reason to boycott UNICEF

A life outside the box gives us another example how UNICEF works tirelessly to keep orphaned children without forever families.

UNICEF has been working hard and petitioning the government of Haiti to stop the recent move to expedite pending adoptions in Haiti after the Earthquake and was successfull today.

I can't explain to you how terribly backwards it is for an organization that claims to protect the rights of children put their lofty ideals above the needs of real living a breathing children. I agree that there is corruption in adoption, but the answer isn't to celebrate life in an orphanage as an equitable alternative to having a family, and the answer isn't to stop the orphans in Haiti that have been proven to be orphans and available for adoption (before the earthquake) to keep them from joining their families in an expedited manner. If there is not some special provision to expedite these adoptions...the process will never be completed and many of these children could die.

I will never, ever, ever, willingly do anything to further the cause of UNICEF and I hope you won't either.

Please feel free to contact your representatives, Hillary Clinton's office, or even the White House to voice your disbelief at UNICEF's attempts to doom these children. I am so disgusted by UNICEF.

Travel arrangements

Plane tickets are purchased and the packing list has been started in earnest. We will be leaving for Ghana on Feb3...next wed 9am. We fly through Atlanta and directly to Accra. We should get there on Feb 4 735am. Then we head to our hotel/guest house that we haven't been able to actully find or book. Then midmorning (around 1030-ish) we will meet our new girls for the first time.

We took some pictures of everyone yesterday afternoon to make into a little photo album and we took the kids shopping to buy a gift for each of the girls. On Wednesday, I am going to do some shopping on my own and buy some clothes and some older kid things to do with Benedicta...maybe some sticker books or bead craft thing. Maybe some fingernail polish...although in the last 3 days I have gnawed off the fingernails I had started growing again...darn.

I am waiting to get some travel info from our totally awesome coordinator about our trip. I am not nearly as frantic or crazed as I would have expected myself to be.

9 days until we go....10 days until I meet my daughters...wow.

Friday, January 22, 2010

February 5th!

Thank you all for your prayers! This morning, in Ghana, the lawyers took my little girls to court. However, the judge wouldn't hear the case without us present. So no adoption decree, but we did get a court date of February 5th! Yeah...forward motion. I am so excited to be able to make our travel arrangements!

What to bring, where to stay, how to introduce myself to my new 8 year old daughter! I guess it is too late to lose 15 pounds for all of the millions of pictures we will be taking! oh well...lets hear it for long, loose fitting garments!

I am on home call tonight (because we totally need the money now) but tomorrow I am going to hit the planning hard!

An adoption decree would have been unexpectedly good news...but I am overjoyed at moving forward! I feel really lucky to be able to do this....to be able to have my wonderfull family and add two sweet new babies to my family. There is a little bit of craziness and insanity to this whole process, but I am soooo lucky to be part of it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

More to the story....

As many of you involved in adoptions from Ghana know, the courts are starting to favor adoptive parents coming to the court hearing. So Beacon House is starting to ask families to travel for court. We had been waiting anxiously for a court date so we could travel etc.

So it was an amazing surprise when Carrie called and said our case was going to court tomorrow without us there! The likely scenario is that the judge will request our presence and give us a date to be there and we will work like crazy to get there. Heck, I found a flight on Delta that leaves Saturday morning and gets us there on Sunday...we could literally be there on Monday if we needed to be. Anyway....time is of the essence for us because on February 15th I start a rotation in the SICU and it is impossible for me to get time off in the unit because there is very minimal resident coverage. I couldn't do it and Keith would have to go alone and I DON'T want that...I want to see my girls.

I am digressing a tad.....anyway. Our hope is that once our case is open we will be able to come like next week for court. A miracle would be if the judge approved the adoption either with a full adoption decree or even an interim adoption decree with permission to travel.

The best part of my phone call this morning was when Carrie told me that today after they found out about the court date, Romana told our girls about us. She showed them our pictures from our dossier which was a family picture from several months ago and pictures of our house. I wish we would have sent a little photo album or something with more pictures. Anyway, she told them all about us and that we were waiting to be their family. I can only imagine what must be going through B's head. I have no way in the world to get my head around what she has been through or what this news would mean to her or make her feel.

What do you say or do when you meet an 8 year old little girl that is going to be your daughter? Do you run up to her, hug her and tell her you love her? Do you meet her politely and wait for her to show some sort of sign that it is OK to hug her? 18 month olds are pretty easy for me....peek a boo and funny faces usually work...I do a good peekaboo funny face! I am not nearly as experienced with big kids!

Seriously, I think we could literally jump on a plane 9am saturday morning and be in Ghana by Sunday afternoon. I think we could get vacation at work, get the kids taken care of and get packed in one day and head out the next. I might have to give away my overtime tomorrow afternoon....but it could work.

Now....just to reiterate, if nothing happens at all tomorrow, I will be fine and not too disappointed.

Now everyone say a little prayer for B and V and the judge who hears our case tomorrow.

Prayers please

5 minutes ago I got a call that our case is going before the judge in Ghana tomorrow. If you are a prayer warrior....please pray that the judge is moved to grant us a full adoption decree. Our thought is that we will have to travel next week...which we would gladly do!

Just a quick post to ask for prayers...I will post more when I get home from work!
thank you so much!!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

leaps of faith...

Today, we were finally able to send in the fees for our Beacon House adoption....we sent the whole shbang though. Now we don't have to worry about accidently spending the second half of our fees....but it is kind of a leap of faith that court will eventually happen and go well.

I also got the doll that I ordered for B...I love it. It is really cute...the hair is gorgeous...and it smells like vanilla...I love that!

Nothing else much going on around here. I am catching up on cleaning today. I was so lucky that I got an unexpected day off today...I slept in and then went to lunch with Lilianna at school. Now I am frantically cleaning the house and doing laundry to justify my day off..haha. Then I am picking Lilianna up at school and we are heading down to fed ex our fees to Beacon House....yeah!

I was very excited to get B's doll and thought I would throw up a little post! Now back to regularly scheduled laundrypalooza!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

2010

I know this post is a little bit late....but everytime I write 2010 on the date line of anything...I think it is sooo crazy that it is the year 2010.

Things are getting really interesting this year. I am finally finishing my residency and we have started trying to get a handle on what that means for our family starting in July. It is a bit like winning the lottery...I get to work fewer hours and make more money. How cool is that!

We are getting old...how NOT cool is that....it is my 20th high school reunion this year. Will we go? ummm..very unlikely....but still it has been 20 years since I graduated from High school and I keep thinking what the 17 year old Michelle would say about me now...well except for calling me fat...that is a no brainer...I would tell myself to start exercising. Kids can be so cruel!

I wonder if in 20 years I will look back on 2010 and say these were the best years of our life. I have never said that about another time period in my life...because it just keeps getting better. I wonder how in the world my life could get any better though...my awesome kids and fantabulous husband! Maybe in 20 years I will be posting via ESP IP from my levitating car...that would be pretty cool.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I am a little embarrassed..

Ok...I should totally remove my temper tantrum posts because it is a little embarrassing that I was ranting about something so insignificant in the big picture...I kind of lost my perspective. On a day where so many people died, became orphaned, were injured in an earthquake...I was whining about having to wait 90 extra days.

I am sorry world for my total loss of perspective. Sorry

Friday, January 15, 2010

Things that don't suck

I just saw that my bloggy best friend, Shannon, is back in the hospital with her amazing micro-preemie fighter extraordinaire daughter (who happens to have the same name as my younger sister). She is amazing enough to have a blogpost that is listing 10 things that don't suck. Here I am whining about something totally small in comparison and she is away from her husband and son staying in the hospital with her precious little baby girl.

So...I too will participate in her 10 things that dont suck - a thon!

1. My husband...you could probably pick the key word husband or Keith from blog search and see me wax poetic about how my husband is basically my other half. I can't begin to explain how lucky I feel to be his wife...seriously.

2. My kids...I don't know if I should list them separately...but they are all equally non-sucky. They have their own little personalities that bring me such a great big lump of joy everyday.

3. My job - there are times when I have to work alot. I get a great deal of personal satisfaction and enjoyment out of what I do. There is a lot of opportunity to make extra money with overtime and when I finish residency it will be a pretty well-paying gig. It has taken a lot of work and a lot of sacrifices to get to this point professionally...but I feel really lucky to have a job that I like, that pays well, and that gives me personal satisfaction.

4. Diet Dr Pepper....I love diet dr pepper. We ran out of Diet Mtn Dew and keith was drinking a diet dr pepper and Zeb got very upset....he told keith "no no..that's mommy's coke". You know, in Alabama...every kind of a soda is a coke. Since I drink Diet dr pepper it means I can eat like 2 hershey's candy bars while i am writing this blog post because i am drinking diet!

5. My black boots...they are comfie (naturalizers) and cling to my leg so I can wear them with a skirt and they have heels that are blocky and make me look skinny. I love those boots.

6. Pandora - it is great, you pull it up on your internet and make your own little channel where you pick your favorite song and then it uses the magical music genome project to find other songs that you might like. It is pretty cool. I have a Bikini Kill station that plays the craziest stuff. They played one song by STP that I had been looking for for years.

7. Starbucks...duh grande 2 pump mocha

8. my super cute little pink acer computer keith got me for xmas. It is awesome and I am typing on it right now...did I mention it is pink.

9. Worldvision...I love buying christmas presents and father's day presents from the catalog and I love sponsoring a little girl in Costa Rica with Lilianna. She just gets really excited about it and I probably need to do better about actually mailing the pictures and presents lilianna makes for her....oops.

10. Christmas...I love Christmas. Maybe this is a bad time to think about it because it is over this year and I always hate it when the tree comes down and the decorations all go away..and the christmas songs leave the radio. I just love the fun of Christmas......Christmas definitely doesn't suck.

It was a lot harder to come up with things that don't suck than i thought it would be...even though I am in a super not-grumpy mood.

Your turn!

feeling much better

I woke up this morning feeling so much better. I got a super good night's sleep and I was just back to my normal optimistic self. These things happen in international adoption and you just have to well-rested enough to roll with the punches...I suppose. Although, i was really grumped out about the whole thing.
So today I started anew and though that the timing might be better....I was very optimistic.

Then around 430pm I got another call from our coordinator and turns out....they decided to let us and one other family file for a court date before the 90 day waiting period because our applications had been approved before the 90 day rule went into effect. So we are back on for a travel date sometime that may or may not be before March...I love uncertainty!

In any event we got some other news of other forms of uncertainty associated with court dates, but it just rolled right off my back. I think the over the top disappointment I felt on Wednesday kind of pre-conditioned me for any kind of curve balls this process might throw at us in the next couple of months...so that is a good thing.

I am happy again and feeling better about the whole thing!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Yes...I am throwing a temper tantrum

I thought about going back and removing my last post....my temper tantrum post. It gets frustrating and If I am being honest with my future self (who is going to come back to read what I was doing 2 years ago to her which is my now!)....I do not take everything gracefully. It hurts to get excited about bringing home your children only to find out either it might not ever happen (Aaron) or it is going to take at least another year...which is how long I think it will take to bring home B and V if we are lucky. 3 months here, 6 months there....it adds up.

I started this post because I was starting to really calm down and put a more positive spin on things..John's comment was very calming. For as upset as I get - John faces the tragedy of poverty, abandonment etc every day...and there are far more families that have endured greater difficulties on their road to adopt...but even knowing all this intellectually...as I think about it again I am just start to get upset. So, I guess I need more time to calm down. I am not upset at any one thing...just upset. I am really disporportionately upset....like above and beyond any reasonable expectation of upset. And to top it off I am stuck on OB (which I totally hate) with an attending that I don't really know that well.

I hate to whine and I am done complaining...Ieven though I was starting this post to apologize for my complaining-ness! Until I am able to rationally deal with how my disappointed I am dropping out of the adoption world for a while....so all yahoo forums are set to no mail and all blog posts will be non-adoption related until I can get a grip on this total irrational disappointment I am feeling at the most recent news.

Wait

I sometimes feel that God doesn't want us to adopt any more children. In fact, I am frequently feeling that way. We have been trying to bring home another child for over a year...we haven't been too picky. We just want to open our home and our family to another child. There are lots of us out there. People who feel called to have more children and want to adopt to get us there. What is wrong with the rest of the world? What is wrong with UNICEF..what is wrong with the US government..what is wrong with the state of Alabama...what is wrong with all of these organizations that feel like they need to protect the poor, vulnerable orphans from a loving family.

Background checks, waiting periods, sputum tests, beauracracy for what reason? I am full of anger and despair. Children die of disease processes that could have been prevented if individual's and country governments put the welfare of the child truly ahead of beauracratic poppycock. But they don't ...they put procedural beauracracy in the number one spot and forget about the one. there are 147 million...ones.

I have frequently thanked God for opening my heart to orphans and for allowing me to advocate for children and to adopt. I am nearing my breaking point, however. How many of my children are never going to come home? How many times does my heart have to break before I finally give up? Maybe that is what is going on here...I am supposed to give up...I am not supposed to adopt any more children and no matter where I go or how hard I try it won't work.

I think the regular old...kids never coming home thing wasn't dramatic enough to break my spirit...I had to get excited about the next step...we needed the adrenaline rush of maybe travelling next week...we needed the adrenalin rush of hurry get your Kyrgyzstan dossier translated and certified you might be on "the list". It wasn't just enough to crush my spirit with an infinite (never ending) wait...I had to be built up first with increasing hope before it was quashed.

You may notice that I am not my usual optimistic self. I am so sick of being disappointed. I try to take it gracefully...you know...international adoption is uncertain....yadda yadda yadda...but seriously, how much can one family take?

Of course, I am frustrated at the generic universe and I wish that I could just give up and throw in the towel now. I can't, I am not built that way and I will just suffer and be miserable and frustrated.

Today we learned that there is a new rule that says you have to wait 3 months between getting your dossier approved by social welfare and getting a court date. So our petition for a court date was withdrawn and we will ask for a court date in 3 months. Then we will wait for the other steps that have even longer waits. Our fingerprints are due in March and our I600A expires in October...I am sure we will still be waiting for something.

I am on call tonight and all I want to do is alternate between crying and hitting a wall. It is hard enough to work 24 hours with a floor full of pregnant women but to do it after receiving this news and have no time at all to collect yourself and rebound is an entirely different kind of misery that very few people have the bad fortune to experience.

I am very lucky to have the life I have and I know that and tell myself that frequently...particularly when I have had such a horrible day...but I have to keep asking myself why I open myself up to this misery. Why would I willingly open myself and my family up to this repetitive disappointment and pain? Wouldn't it be easier to call my family complete and never open up another email from anyone or anything adoption related?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Polyanna and our boring old day!

Today started with us oversleeping a little bit and frantically straightening the house for our adoption playgroup. We had 2 other families some today - one new family....I am so excited. Amazingly, both families have children Zeb's age. One little boy is from Kazakhstan and a little girl from China. It was very fun and I am looking forward to next month!


Later we went to Walmart and bought some basic travel to Ghana items...an international plug adapter, special TSA approved locks, and a wind up flashlight. We also bought Polyanna....that fabulous Disney movie with Haylie Mills. There are some similarities between Polyanna and Lilianna. I think that Lili is a very upbeat, and very honest little girl who is honestly concerned with other people's happiness. I feel like I am a tad hard on her sometimes because she sometimes lacks ummmm...focus(?). She is just so excited to do things and tell us things and answer questions, and ask questions, and show us something and play with her brothers...she is exhausting in such a happy, well-meaning, caring way. I hate having to reign her in and I feel bad sometimes when I do it...but I guess that is what being a parent is....being a bun-wearing, black dress - wearing, sour-faced, old aunt who won't let you go to the town-Bazzaar.

We watched it when we got home....It was as fabulous as I remember it. Although there were some things I didn't remember that were pretty interesting. We have a wall full of old Disney movies!

Here's to being the bad guy!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Yeah!

I am working.....hopefully not for too much longer tonight!
We have had a very fruitfull day on many fronts!
1. Visas for our trip to Ghana have arrived ! - yeah even though we now have no travel dates we are ready!
2. Our social worker talked to USCIS and he told her he sent replacement I797 this morning so we should have it before Wednesday - yeah!
3. secret summer plans have been initiated...haha....doesn't that sound mysterious! It isn't...I just can't talk about them online until the Spring...but it is good stuff!

Tomorrow is adoption play group day at my house 10 - noon....come on over if you live near Birmingham!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Yes, I am shallow!

You may ask..."michelle, what have you been doing since you found out you are not travelling in 7 days?" and I would answer you"drinking coffee and a little of the online shopping - perhaps you might call it retail therapy!"...ok it isn't even retail therapy..it is just shopping.
I think this first doll looks soooo cuddly and I thought an 18 month little girl might like it! Benjamin carries around one of Lilianna's horse beanie babies and loves it...I bet this is softer.


I didn't want to leave B out so I thought she might like this...of course, I don't know her at all...but the manufacturer recommends this doll for girls age 5-10yo...here is the description:

From the Manufacturer
Corolle Les Cheries Doll C├ęcile doll is the perfect doll for older children and tweens. She comes in a fashionable outfit that your child is sure to love. Each doll's hair is individually rooted, so it can be brushed and styled. Their vinyl bodies have a soft vanilla fragrance.


Product Description
Corolle Les Cheries Cecile Doll will help your child build confidence, for hairstyling and fashion play, too! She will love sharing secrets with you and keeping them between only the two of you! Cecile features a full vinyl body and dark brown eyes. This Corolle Les Cheries play doll has her own distinct personality and follows the latest trends in fashion, just like the real girls of today she was designed and dressed to resemble.

While googling dolls, I came across several articles that discussed how black dolls do not sell as well as white dolls - even in African American communities. Surveys have shown that african american girls percieve white dolls as prettier than black dolls. A very revealing symptom of a mass media that is not providing beautiful and positive roll models for black girls.

I would love to know what you guys think on the doll issue! Do you have any favorite dolls?

No travel - yet!

We heard today that we are not on the court docket for Friday Jan 15...so we are not travelling. However, we will find out who our judge is on next Wednesday and hopefully that will get us moving in the right direction.

It is truly a blessing to have run around for the last 2 days trying to get things organized. Travelling was not even on our radar...I guess it is because we have been waiting for so long...not just for B and V, but for Aaron too.

Yesterday when Keith and I were running around getting stuff done we were talking about just that. Because I have been waiting so long, there have been a lot of mom type things I haven't really thought about or processed because I was kind of holding back to protect myself from getting hurt. Then I was hit head on with all of that stuff on monday....all of the 6 million details that I had filed away in the address them later in the process filebox. They all dumped out on the floor and were like knee deep and completely disorganized! Now that we are not travelling right now, I have time to sort them out and address them thoroughly!

So, it is a disappointment, but great opportunity to get things prepared and in order.

Of course, we have been trying to get some Magic Schoolbus dvd's to Beacon House and now we have missed another opportunity! oh well!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

No word....no way -er!

So we still don't know if we are travelling in 8 days. We kind of thought we were going to have more time to get prepared so it is a tad overwhelming. I was post call today and keith took the day off so we spent the day taking care of various things. It was a very stressfull morning that turned into a very nice afternoon.

We really talked about heading to Ghana in 8 days and went through all different kinds of scenarios - even if we can't get a court date we think we would really still like to go. Our referral is - I guess - tentative until an official body approves the referral. Once they approve the referral, then we can request a court date. So ....even though we are totally willing to commit to travel (without an assured court date) we have to wait until this official body has officially approved us for our referred little girls. So we hope to hear tomorrow.

I was overwhelmed and excited yesterday and thought for sure we would be travelling next week....tonight, I am a little more pessimistic. I don't think that we won't get approved for our referral, I think it just might take longer than a couple of days and it will be totally impossible for us to get it all together.

I know that I don't get to set up timelines...I just get to go with the flow!

In other news, I signed an employment contract and now officially have a job starting July 5th...hurray! More details on that bad boy to come.

It has been a great day all in all.....I hope to post sometime in the next 12 hours whether or not we will be meeting our girls in 8 days or not!

Monday, January 4, 2010

no way....

I got a call this morning from the wonderfull adoption coordinator and she told me that she had heard from Beacon House and they wanted to try to take our case to court next week....and they want us there for court. YIKES! They are going to check with their lawyers and make sure they can get us on the docket for January 15 and let us know tomorrow.

So at some point tomorrow, we will know for sure if we are heading to Ghana. I am on call tonight and we have been super busy...I have our Visa applications sitting in front of me to fill out. Tomorrow Keith and I will get some photos at Kinkos and overnight our applications to the Ghana embassy and wait to hear from Beacon House about booking our flights and finding a place to stay.

It will be a minor miracle if this comes together....I will keep you posted. Like I said, I have been pretty busy today at work...but I have taken a few minutes to look at the pictures I have of the girls and I am overwhelmed with excitement. Of course, I realize, Carrie could call me tomorrow and say sorry...maybe the end of March instead. I have certainly let go of the idea that I have any kind of control over the timeline! Yeah!!

ten years

There is something about 2010 that makes people really look back at the last 10 years. Maybe it is because 2000 seemed so important and now that is 10 years ago. Maybe it is just my age...my contemperaries and myself are starting to feel old and ready to do a personal retrospective...I don't know. I have seen it on other blogs and I, myself, have said those words to Keith...."what were you doing 10 years ago?".


New Year's Eve 1999 - I worked the "sunrise" shift...aka the graveyard shift at Harrah's New Orleans. I spent most of the night downtown and then showed up for work around 3am...and worked a PaiGow table from 4am to noonish. After my shift I would usually walk across the street to the gym and workout and then go home and groggily go through my daily tasks and try to get to bed by 8pm. I hated working that shift. I switched to day shift for a while which was really great. I could ride my bike to the gym, workout, go to work and ride my bike home. Sometimes I would ride the streetcar instead of my bike. I worked the swing shift after that for a year or so and I loved that shift too... I could work at night, go to bed around 4-6am, sleep as late as I want and still have time to get stuff done...I am digressing.

In 2000, I had just started working at the casino, I loved it and I was making more money that I had ever made in the past. I imagined staying in the gaming industry forever, staying in New Orleans forever, getting my MBA. I also started researching adopting from Kazahkstan.

Where do I think I am going to be in 10 years? I imagine living in a small town, my babies will be in about 5th grade and Lilianna will be getting ready to graduate from High School. I hope we have lots of pictures of places we have travelled. When I graduated from high school, my goal was to have lots of experiences that made great stories. I did that, but never wrote any of the stories down...so I am sure I have forgotten half of them. My goal for the next 10 years is to try to write more of the stories down so we can remember them.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lilianna's Home!

Yes...I have pictures...in Keith's camera! I missed this little girl so much. Although, I am sure she grew at least an inch in the last week. I missed her drama, I missed the way she jumps in and plays at 100% with Zeb, I missed the way she does the full-on dissolve into your arms, jump on your lap hug. She really is amazing at hugging..it is like she folds up into the size of a peanut, nestles in and latches on. So she is home.

We had Christmas and she is the queen of the dramatic gift open. The best one is when she opened her brand new easy bake oven from grandma and poppy. We have already tried that baby out. The irony of the easy bake oven is that it is much easier to get those little just add water in a disposable bowl and microwave cakes...oh well....the easy bake oven has that cake pusher/carrier arm thing and that can't be beat.

i am working tonight, but will post some pictures after church tomorrow.

Next Saturday is the January adoption play group if anyone wants to come just email me....it will be fun...maybe we will have easy bake snacks! haha...no. Maybe I will try to make some little Kyrgyz dessert dish though. Any suggestions?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Waakye and tomato gravy

Well...I didn't take any pictures and I have never had it before so I don't know what it is supposed to taste like. But it was pretty good. Keith had seconds and I liked it too....which is saying a lot. The beans ended up being a tad overcooked I think...they were reddish not whitish gray like in the recipe picture. I also ended up adding tomato paste to my gravy - although I think the gravy really would have come out ok if I had had that extra tomato.

It was spicy, but not over the top spicy....likely because i added a small can of tomato sauce. I will try it again.

We also had collared greens, and corn bread....apparently that is also a southern new year's tradition. Here is hoping everyone has a wonderfull new year!

Black Eyed Peas

I am trying to make Waakye from a recipe Anita used a couple of months ago. I am sooooo cooking illiterate. I already burned th tomato gravy...but I kind of picked out the blackened onions and blackened tomato skins. I actually started out messing up because Keith was supposed to buy 8 roma tomatoes for me and as I started this afternoon there were only 7. So if this turns out terrible...it is automatically not my fault. Keith is such a good guy to take the fall for me!

I might add some tomator paste or something...we shall see..we are still about 25 minutes away from working on the peas. I think i will post pictures of the kid's faces when I make them each take a bite.....oh I am so drunk on power.

We are on a family diet so there is no dessert to bribe anyone with...oh well. i am also making some cornbread. I would have made fance cornbread...but Keith brought home jiffy cornbread mix. I can do that too. I am more of a jiffy girl than a cook tomato gravy from scratch girl...but I am working on it. Seriously, I really do want to be able to cook some foods that B will like.

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power