Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hope this works

We are trying Etsy to sell our shirts -- Check it out:

7990 Shirts
Click above

Shirts are in

We finally got another batch of shirts in. Click here to see what they look like. If anyone knows a great way to sell these online, please leave us a comment. We've been looking for a free site but haven't come up with anything. So far the old fashion way of writing checks and USPS has done just fine.
They are $20.00/each and the proceeds go to purchase formula for the orphanages in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. If you'd like one, please leave us a comment letting us know which color (Red, Gray or Green) and which size (M - L - XL) and we will get in touch with you.

(Again, there's got to be an easier way to do this!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A great thing about marriage

There are many highlights to be married. And many of them most married people will tell you about before you actually get married. However, here's one of the greatest things about being married that NO ONE ever told me about: You rarely run out of your favorite food. When Abby and I got married I would always freak out when we would run out of Pace hot salsa -- until I realized my lovely wife had a new jar waiting in the pantry. I always thought that was one of the greatest feelings in the world -- to think you're out of something and then "BAM" a new something appears. Well, Abby out-did herself this time. Last night we were making a grocery list and I couldn't think of anything to add. Then in the shower this morning I had a craving for cereal, but we've been out of my favorite for a while so I thought I would tell Ab to add it to the list. So I go to the panty to get a "B-Team" cereal when the greatest thing ever happened. Abby restocked my favorite cereal. Again, there aren't many emotions that compare with wanting something really bad, thinking you won't get it for a day or two, then you open the cabinet and this is staring at you....

I went in to wake Abby to tell her how great she is.....Here's the conversation:
R: Thanks for getting me Reese's Puffs. You are awesome.
A: I know.
And with that my day started. Not too bad. Not too bad.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Three months today. Waiting for three months. It's gone fast, but not really. I really don't want to write about waiting because that is what we've been doing with the adoption recently. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. So instead let's talk about my dog Jill. For the past 3 days I've been wanting to write a little something about my dog Jill but haven't taken the time to do it. So tonight, when Gramps cancelled our Monday Night WWE "Raw" date, I finally had the time.
The reason I've been wanting to write about my dog Jill is because this past weekend we went to see Marley & Me. Amazing book. Good movie. And I would apologize for crying (almost out loud) for the last 25% of the movie, but my father-in-law was two seats down from me wiping tears for the last 40% of the movie. So, no apology. I keep saying "my dog Jill" because Jill is the first dog I've ever had. Jack, my other dog, came with Abby. Jack has always been and will always be Abby's dog. He's the one that gets to sleep in bed anytime he wants. He's the one that can do no wrong. He's Jack. Jill is Jill. She's the first dog I've ever raised from a puppy. I never had a dog growing up (I'm over the bitterness, Mom and Dad) -- so after Abby and I moved into OUR first house together we decided Jack was lonely and needed some company. WRONG! Actually, Jack is just Jack -- he's more human than dog. So, we got Jill to give him some companionship -- and he promptly ran her over (literally) in the yard any chance he got. They are now typical brother and sister. Playful one second, ripping each other apart the next. Back to Jill. I still say potty-training Jill is the greatest accomplishment of my married life. (The greatest accomplishment of my life was getting Abby to marry me -- but that's another story for another day.) A shortlist of the amazing things about my dog Jill:
  1. She can eat faster than any dog. Period. Pound for pound she is the Joey Chestnut of the dog world. (Joey Chestnut is the hotdog eating king of the world. This 4th of July when you're looking for something to do, watch the Nathan's Hot Dog eating competition on ESPNHD. Because we know you need to see a person eat 50+ hot dogs in 12 minutes in High Def.) But to this day I don't think Jill has ever tasted anything.
  2. Her left front leg is slowly turning out....faster and faster all the time. We think when she was a puppy she went crashing into the wall chasing a ball on our hardwood floors. This injured her growth plate causing it to twist. Now she looks like a ballerina or model. It doesn't slow her down. But when her hair is cut short her front leg looks like a "s."
  3. She is easy to train, with food. She goes into her kennel for the night as soon as she sees Abby and I heading to bed. We don't have to ask. We don't have to yell. She just does it. Potty training was a good 3+ months of hell. (I know, I have no idea what's ahead with kids and potty training.) But after she got the hang of it she hasn't had too many accidents. All we had to do was put some peanut butter in a Kong, throw it in her kennel, and she was potty trained...for the most part.
  4. We call her "Bear" a lot because she looks like a polar bear. Low to the ground. Fluffy. And cute as those polar bear cubs on the old Coke commercials. In case anyone was wondering, she is actually a cocker spaniel/poodle mix.

There are more reasons I love my dog Jill, but after seeing Marley & Me I just love her so much more. The ending of the movie has a great quote about Dogs:

"A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not. As I wrote that farewell column to Marley, I realized it was all right there in front of us, if only we opened our eyes. Sometimes it took a dog with bad breath, worse manners, and pure intentions to help us see."— John Grogan

Friday, March 13, 2009

I'm not sure

I really have no idea who these people are....I just found their blog as I was jumping from one blog to another. But I'm pretty sure this video explains what this whole process is all about!
(We've added their blog to our list on the left) -- Mr. Isaac...

Some Clarification and Thoughts

Now 2 1/2 months into our adoption process, most everyone we know has heard and understands we are adopting from Ethiopia, but we frequently get lots and lots of questions asking how much longer we have to wait, what happens next, why do you have to wait so long after your referral, what does "referral" even mean, etc., etc. Since we love to talk about our adoption, we are more than happy to try and answer everyone's questions and inquiries because I take that to mean people are excited and anxious for us and are thinking about us and, hopefully, saying a few prayers for us too. So I thought I'd just do a little post to help explain where we are in the process and what we know right now.

1. We still have a lot longer to wait. There are days it feels like we've been waiting forever already, but then I realize I've technically been waiting THREE YEARS now to become a mom, not just the 2 1/2 months since our paperwork has been received in Ethiopia, so no wonder I feel at times there is no end to this process. I have been saying lots and lots of prayers asking God to grant me continued patience and strength with this entire adoption process; it is going to get harder. With that being said, Roger and I feel this summer or early fall is the EARLIEST we could receive a referral. We were told by our agency at the beginning to expect a 6- to 9-month wait for a referral, so that is what we are expecting. Could it happen sooner? Of course. Anything is possible. Is it likely to happen sooner than that? Unfortunately not. Could it happen even later than that? Like in 2010? Yes, it could take that long. But we are hoping and praying we will be matched with a baby in 2009.

2. Why do you have to wait so long if there's so many kids and babies in Ethiopia without parents? This is probably the most frustrating part of this whole process, but there's good reason. First of all, Ethiopia has become a very popular place in the world of international adoptions. There are lots of other countries right now whose programs have closed indefinitely (like Guatemala, Vietnam) and there are other programs who currently have a wait time of 3-5 years (like China). So, to an extent, adopting from Ethiopia has become a matter of, "Get in line, people." Second of all, Ethiopia's government has become more stringent in what they expect and need from the adoption agencies and orphanages in regards to paperwork. And paperwork takes time. But this really is a good thing, even though it is cumbersome. It is to ensure everything is on the up and up. It is a very good thing. The worst thing that could happen to us is for Ethiopia to shut down their international adoption program altogether due to suspected illegal adoption going-ons before we are able to adopt. That would be heartbreaking for us and we are tired of having our hearts broken. So we will patiently wait (our turn for a referral) and we will patiently wait (while the necessary paperwork is collected and in order). We will patiently wait.

3. What does "referral" mean? A referral is when our agency (here in Springfield) contacts us by phone and email letting us know we have been matched with a baby in Ethiopia. We will HOPEFULLY receive some sort of medical record and a picture of the baby at that time. That is what we are entitled to expect. We then have the opportunity to accept or deny the referral. Why in the world would we deny a referral, you ask? Well, quite honestly, we probably won't. But we do have the right and opportunity to have a physician (adoption specialist) here in the States review whatever medical record and photos we have to try and determine if there are any chronic health problems or special needs the child may have before we accept the referral. No, it is not an exact science. The medical records usually consist of gender and age and that's about it, and there's only so much you can tell from a picture, even if you're a doctor. But this is all a part of adopting internationally, and, yes, we did sign up for it.

4. Are you getting a boy or a girl? How old? We don't know if it will be a boy or a girl, but it is likely to be a boy since we did not request a girl. Apparently girls are in high demand. Don't ask me why -- I don't know. Quite frankly, we don't care what we get. Beggars can't be choosers. We would just like a baby, as in 12 months or younger. With that being said, the nursery is already decorated with a boy in mind and the clothes have been bought with a boy in mind. I cannot stop myself from preparing (aka shopping), but I have talked about this before, so enough said. If on the off chance we are matched with a baby girl, I will have no problem re-shopping for girl clothes. Seriously? Do people even think that's going to be a real inconvenience to me? It will be like Christmas morning for me if I get the opportunity to shop for baby girl clothes.

5. How long will it be after you get your referral before you travel to Ethiopia to get your baby? Well, that is an interesting question. Lately that time span has been growing longer and longer. There are a few reasons contributing to that. After you accept your referral your "case" gets scheduled to go to court. Your case must be heard and approved before your adoption is legally recognized by Ethiopia's government. Right now it's taking 2 to 3 months to get a court date. And then not all cases (like 50%) pass court the first time due to missing paperwork, etc. Then you might have to wait another 1 to 3 months for your second court date. After you pass court you can expect to travel to Ethiopia within 4 to 6 weeks. So first we have to wait for a referral (6 to 9 months), then we have to wait for a court date (2 to 3 months), and then we have to wait to travel (4 to 6 weeks). So best case scenario: we have a baby home by Christmas. Worst case scenario: we won't think about that -- there's no point.

Please pray for us and our adoption. I truly mean this. Please pray that we have favorable outcomes, like a quick referral, a healthy baby, and passing court on the first try. The smoother things go, the quicker this will happen for us. Please pray also for me and Roger, for peace and patience and acceptance of all things out of our control. This is a long wait, a lot of unknowns, and it takes a lot of perseverance and patience to go through it. And I do not mean to be whiny. I truly don't. It is a true privilege to be adopting from Ethiopia. I am greatly humbled and grateful by the way God has worked in our hearts, the ways in which He has opened our eyes and our ears to His plan, and how He has ultimately (and most importantly) brought us closer to Him through this experience. Through our infertility over the past couple of years I often (like every single day) wondered why. Why us? Why me? Why won't this happen? What did I do wrong? I don't ask "why" every day anymore. It's not that I have all the answers because I don't, but I do have a new found peace and joyous anticipation, and that is just as wonderful as having the answers.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Deuces Wild

2 months, 2 weeks, 2 days

That's how long we've been waiting. It's actually gone by really fast....at least at times. Thanks to everyone for your support and prayers.

Monday, March 9, 2009

If You Bought One of Our T-Shirts......

......you have helped feed orphaned babies in Ethiopia. Last Friday night (February 27) Roger and I donated the money our t-shirts have raised (so far) to our adoption agency to be used to buy formula for the babies in orphanages our agency is in partnership with. Due to the global economic crisis, Ethiopia is experiencing a shortage of baby formula because the cost to have it imported into the country from other nearby countries has gone up. We have heard that right now the only way for the orphanages to get formula is by either A) having it shipped over from the United States (very expensive) or B) traveling families going over to be united with their children bringing it with them. I just wanted everyone to know what a vital difference you are making (possibly even in the life of mine and Roger's child) and how much it is appreciated. If you would like to purchase a 7,990 t-shirt, just leave a coment on this blog entry letting us know and we will get in touch with you.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Back to life

Well, that was fun. I've never understood people when they say a vacation engergizes them and makes them excited to get back to work. I'm not dreading work tomorrow....but I am missing the perfect weather and pool. After traveling most of the day yesterday, and losing an hour of sleep last night, Abby and I were bad and slept in until 10:00 this morning. Everyone keeps telling us to enjoy our sleep while we can. Today we did the best we could.

The worst part of a vacation is coming home to a pile of mail, dirty clothes and a house that hasn't been lived in. It only took us a couple of hours to get back to normal after finishing the chores: Abby looking through catalogs and me watching a NASCAR race. Ah, the simple things in life. Speaking of simple, after being on vacation I have realized my horrible addiction to my BlackBerry (BB). It was great to replace the BB with a camera in my pocket for a week. When we landed in Dallas and I turned it back on it vibrated for 10+ minutes. 700+ emails. 700! Really? Most of them were junk, but still. 700?!?! Then at lunch today I got rather ticked when the table next to me had two sets of families and at one time I think everyone but the toddlers were on their phones. So, to simplify my life I am getting rid of the BB....at least on the weekends. From now on, if anyone needs to get in touch with me Friday night to Monday morning they will have to call my house phone (yes, we still have one) or call Abby's cell. It was so liberating to not have a phone with me for 7 days.....it's my one attempt to pay more attention to those around me and not rely on the Blankity-Blank-Blank-BB. *Edited since my mom occasionally reads this.

Since this blog is about our adoption, I thought I should mention a little something about what's going on. STILL WAITING. There's the update. Actually, before we left we had a Welcome Home party for Tarik (soooooo cute) where we got to meet even more great couples in the Springfield area that have adopted or are in the process of adopting. And some people we know just got home with their new child, another just got a referral, and another couple whose blog we follow just passed court. Congrats to you.....hopefully you know who you are! It's always exciting for me to see people going through the different processes. For some reason it's very comforting to know that this is actually going to work. I'm still trying to be optimisitic and pray/hope we have a little one home by Christmas 2009. In the meantime I love hearing about other people's Adventures.

Back to life. Back to reality.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Soooooo.......we're in Cabo

Roger and I are on vacation in Cabo and it is awesome. I'm not going to lie. Sorry to make y'all jealous, but I just had to post some pics because it is so beautiful and we are having such a wonderful, relaxing time. We weren't exactly sad when we boarded the plane in Springfield on Saturday morning and it was snowing big, heavy, wet snowflakes on us either. Roger and I have good vacation timing!! The Buzbees are here with us, so that's who the other couple is in the pics. This is mine and Roger's second trip to Cabo. Last year was our first time down here and we ended up buying a timeshare because we love Cabo so much. We keep trying to get the Buzbees to buy into the timeshare deal at our resort, but they apparently are not as big of suckers as us. Although I must say, I am not regretting that decision one bit right now!

View from our room/patio... where I am blogging right now

Me and Amy at the infinity pool

The view beyond the infinity pool
Roger's attempt at advertising