Saturday, April 28, 2007

My heart is still racing (I feel like I’ve been jogging non-stop since Thursday), but I am finally thinking a little more clearly. My hands aren’t shaking quite so much either. But I still don’t have much more news to report. We haven’t purchased our plane tickets yet. I hope to get the details ironed out with our travel agent this afternoon. We’re out of town at a wedding all weekend, so communication has been a little difficult. I’m actually sitting in the bathroom of our hotel room while I type, trying to preserve as much serenity as possible for the flower girl who is STILL sleeping, despite the fact that it’s almost 10 am. The miracle of blackout curtains!
It looks like we’ll be leaving for Vietnam in less than 2 weeks! Our plane will leave LA around 1 am on Friday, May 11th, and we hope to return sometime before Thursday, May 31st. I’m not sleeping much trying to process all that needs to be done between now and then. I really felt like I was prepared, but now that it’s finally happening I realize there’s still a lot to think about! I’m determined to enjoy the time though and soak up every last ounce of Alyssa and Parker before I have to say goodbye to those sweet faces and our world turns upside down forever!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

My hands are shaking, my heart is racing, my mind is a big muddled mess. We finally got our travel dates!!! In just 2 weeks we’ll be leaving for Vietnam, and on Tuesday, May 15th Reagan will be ours forever!!! I’ll write again when I’m a little more calm, but couldn't wait to share our most exciting news!

When a four-year-old makes breakfast... you end up with wheat toast topped with apple butter and dried cranberries. She ate it all with no complaint, but needless to say, mama didn't ask for a taste!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Nesting again… I finally made the time to paint the stripes in Alyssa’s (and soon-to-be Reagan’s) room. I had tackled the same project in our last home and she’s been bugging me to do it ever since we moved here. For over a year now the room has been the lighter base color. It actually does have a tinge of pink in it, but Alyssa just keeps telling me, “but I can’t see it!” So when I started cutting in with the darker pink she excitedly told me “I can see now!” Later she gave me a big hug and said “I appreciate it mama.” I guess that makes all the hours of taping worth it. Dan likes it so much that he wants me to do a couple of horizontal stripes in Parker’s room. Just when I thought I was coming to the end of my list!
I told myself I wasn’t going to play this game because to me it just seems way too hard, but Cindy was so sweet about the way she tagged me that I couldn’t say no. It also requires me to reveal all the TV shows I enjoy, and some of the episodes in some of these programs are not entirely honorable. That said, please don’t consider this a blanket endorsement of any series =). So this is the way it works: I’ve selected 3 key words from the plot descriptions of 10 of my favorite TV shows past or present. Your job is to try to guess what they are. If that sounds like fun to you, I welcome you to play along. If not, don’t worry about it!

Tribes, million, reality
Global, pit stops, pairs
Central Perk, “Smelly Cat”, paleontologist
Makeover, $5000, nominated
Grissom, forensic, Las Vegas
Mode, telenovela, sweet
Family, overbearing, Barone
Missing, FBI, recovery
Branson, adventure, prize
Quiz, questions, “Daily Double”

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

All my griping has been for naught… our paperwork has been moving after all!!! Reagan’s dossier has been sent to Hanoi for processing, and is already on its way back to the government in her province. They’ll approve it and send it to the People’s Committee who will then set our Giving and Receiving date. Which means… we’ll soon be boarding a plane for Vietnam! We should know our travel dates within the next couple of weeks, and I think at that point I’ll finally be able to believe that we really are going to have another daughter! God is good, even when I’m struggling!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Over and over I’ve heard it said that adoption is a roller coaster of emotions, but I really wasn’t prepared for how it would feel when it was my turn to ride. Last week we were climbing up, sending away for our visas, pouring over new pictures, being assured that our paperwork would be moving on any moment. I thought this down would be the exciting climax of the ride – the last crazy loop before the finale and relief. I was sure we’d hear today that Reagan’s dossier was already in Hanoi and possibly even on its way back to her province. I was pretty sure that a Giving and Receiving date was on the horizon and we’d be making travel arrangements in the next couple of weeks. I was wrong. We received no news today. No bad news either, for which I should be grateful, but once again I’m disappointed. I’m really getting tired of this. Mondays hold such promise, but Monday nights can be so dreary. I’m ready to get off this ride. I’m ready to stop waiting. I’m ready to get my girl and get on with life.
Okay. Thanks for listening. Now I’m ready to go to bed and stop whining.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I got so excited about the new pictures of Reagan that I forgot to post Easter pictures. Here are some cute shots of the two precious gifts I enjoy each and every day.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

ANOTHER new picture! This is the first one we've seen in which she hasn't had little booties on...look at those long toes! I really thought that new pictures would satisfy me for a while, but instead they have just made me even more anxious to hold that sweet girl.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Guess who is applying for visas today? Us!!! I couldn’t be more excited! No, that’s not true. I would be more excited if we were getting on a plane, or I was holding my baby girl in my arms, but I’ll take this for now. Reagan’s paperwork still hasn’t been sent to Hanoi, but our agency and our lawyer in Vietnam are sure that it will be “very soon” – probably the end of this week, or possibly the beginning of next. Most families travel about a month after that, so we’re getting close! We were told to put May 1st as the earliest entry date, which I’ll take as a sign that May travel is likely. Yeah! Off to fill out more paperwork – I’ll post more good news as soon as we get it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Well, it’s my turn to reveal 10 odd things about me. Dan really liked this topic and was quick to point out many of my oddities. Here are a few:

(1) I always have to set my alarm to an odd number, and preferably not :15 or :45. Most mornings it’s set to 4:51 to help Dan wake up (which, incidently, is actually 4:48 – I can fool myself into waking up a few minutes early this way).
(2) I eat more than my husband. I don’t eat a ton, but he is not all that interested in food and sometimes actually forgets to eat. I, on the other hand, need a meal at least every 4 hours. Fortunately, I have been blessed with a fast metabolism, which helps explain #3.
(3) I am the hot one in the family… temperature-wise that is. Most of the time it’s the man who offers his jacket to his wife. We reverse that trend. I’ve passed the gene along to Alyssa too. She and I can happily go all winter with no more than a denim jacket, while Dan can rarely be found without his ski coat.
(4) I can drink Diet Coke (or lately, Coke Zero) at all hours of the day. I don’t drink coffee, so a can of soda provides my caffeine boost many mornings, and can happily replace dessert. I’m a little nervous about whether I’ll able to track down this favorite treat in Vietnam.
(5) I love pedicures, but have never been interested in manicures. I think my first and only manicure was for my wedding. My frugality factors into this, since they just don’t last very long. My primary reason for neglecting my nails, however, is that I’ve played piano almost daily since I was 8 years old and therefore must keep them short. A manicure doesn’t look that cute on short nails.
(6) I compulsively set the emergency brake on my SUV, but rarely hard enough to actually keep the truck from going anywhere. I often get blocks away from home before I realize that it’s on. This one drives Dan crazy, so I’m gradually kicking the habit.
(7) I lived on a moshav in college while studying the Bible in Israel. I traveled quite a bit internationally in my teen years, but it is the one place I am determined to take my family someday.
(8) I skipped the 6th grade. I was a bit of a geek in school.
(9) I drink at least a gallon of milk a week. The four of us plow through 4 gallons per grocery-store trip.
(10) My kids will attend the same high school as my mom, though I grew up 1100 miles from here. My parents met at the college Dan attended, moved away for 30 years, and only just moved back when they realized their grandkids were staying put.

That’s enough for tonight, and I’m sure enough to scare all of you. Sit down and think about it long enough and you’ll find that you’re probably quite strange too! I tag Jessica, because she is dying over there in Florida waiting for a referral, and Erin, because I think it may be the only way to get her to update her blog!

Thanks Leigh!

Monday, April 09, 2007

It seems that the mom who wrote a description of Reagan for us while she was at her orphange had her mixed up with another baby girl. This actually describes Reagan's little friend Sophie, who's just one day older. Her recollections of Reagan are as follows:
"[Reagan] was a doll baby. She, too, looks well fed and healthy. She spent a good deal of the time in one of the care-takers arms. They are so loving to the children. I had to love on her, too. I did not see her cry while we were there. She is a beautiful girl and so attentive to what's going on around her. Her parents are SO blessed to have such a precious angel."
I agree. Thanks Heather!

We'll be there soon baby girl! This picture was taken just a few weeks ago by another mom picking up her son at Reagan's orphanage. She just gets more beautiful every time I see her! News that our paperwork is moving along would be even better, but this precious snapshot will tide me over for a little while.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

I thought we were doing a pretty good job of teaching Alyssa and Parker about the meaning of Easter. However, a brief conversation on Friday made me doubt whether we’ve really gotten through to them. Before we went to see grandma, I warned the children that grandma and grandpa’s dog, Roxy, had died.
To clarify, Parker asked, “Roxy died?”
“Yes Parker, Roxy died” I replied
His next question is what made me wonder (and made me laugh):
“On the cross?”

Dying eggs is fun... just a little messy. The dye seems to come out of clothes okay, but little bitty fingernails seem to be indellibly stained, just in time for celebrating Christ's resurrection. I've tried soap, nail polish remover, hydrogen peroxide, and most everything else I can think of. Any ideas?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

First of all, thank you. Though I’m still feeling a little anxious, I have been greatly encouraged by all of your sweet comments, e-mails, and most of all – prayers.
I’ve also been rebuked and strengthened by my study of Romans chapter 12. Verse 11 commands believers to not be “lagging in diligence.” One commentary explained that whatever is worth doing in the Christian life is valuable enough to be done with enthusiasm (even adoption!). Another said that this phrase is “directed against the serious problem of weariness in doing good (Galatians 6:9). If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you know how easy it is to get discouraged. It is hard to keep on steadily.” Don’t I know how true that is! Then just one verse later we are commanded to be “patient in tribulation.” While I’ve certainly never experienced the kind of tribulation Paul and so many other Christians have endured, this process is no doubt a trial. I often think about the principle found in I Peter 2:20: “When you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.” The context here is physical persecution from harsh employers. Obviously I’m not being beaten, and my trial isn’t the result of hostility, but my suffering is a direct consequence of doing good – extending mercy to an orphan. I think it’s then reasonable to conclude that God would commend my patience in the midst of this process… if only I was being patient. Something another adoptive mom wrote about months ago has stuck with me: there is a difference between waiting and being patient. She was in exactly the same stage of the process at the time, and I think I’ll always remember her call for prayers for her own patience. Just because we’ve waited so long doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve learned all the lessons God had in store for us. Which brings me back to Romans 12:12 and this final thought from my Bible study notes: “Paul adds ‘in respect to affliction be patient’ – not just resigned in some fatalistic sense, accepting what cannot be changed, but rather waiting confidently for God’s resolution of the problem, knowing that He will reward good and punish evil in His own time” (emphasis mine). I want to honor God in my wait. I want to be patient so that now and in the future I, and others, can say with certainty "God is in control and He deserves all glory for working out His best in my life."

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I have to admit that today I’m a little discouraged. I long to say with confidence that NEXT month we’ll meet our daughter, but I’ve been disappointed SO many times throughout this process that I’m afraid to even hope. 20 months ago this week we sent in our initial application to our agency. That’s just WAY too long to be pregnant, even in the paper sense. I think what scares me the most is that I feel my faith in God’s timing wavering a little. In my head I know that He loves me and will accomplish His best for our family, which is always better than any plan I could orchestrate for myself. My heart, however, wonders if I’ll still be able to call that plan “good” if we don’t travel until June. We’ve already waited a week longer than all but one family who has adopted from Reagan’s province. If we don’t hear that her paperwork has moved onto Hanoi inside the next few weeks, May travel will become less and less likely. Our agency seems confident that we’ll be hearing good news soon, but they were also pretty sure we’d wait 1-3 months for a referral. We actually waited 4 ½. Compared to the wait now, we were very fortunate, but the disappointment wears on you. We have been on the long end, or past the long end, of every timeframe we’ve been given thus far. You would think I’d just accept that each successive step would follow the same pattern, but I can’t help but hope for the best.
Okay, now I’m starting to sound a bit whiney. That’s not good. I know all you adoptive moms out there will sympathize with what I’m feeling though, and I’m grateful to have this avenue for sharing what I’m sure are not uncommon thoughts. Even those of you who haven’t adopted can pray, and today I need it. I’m not even sure what to pray for anymore, so hopefully those of you godly readers will be willing to speak to God with more clarity and wisdom than I can. I want to pray, “Lord, bring her home TODAY!” I know I should pray “Lord, bring her home in Your perfect time” but I’m afraid. Afraid that His time just might be longer than my heart can bear. So for now I’ll just pray that He’ll continue to take care of her, and give me the patience to endure with more joy than I’m feeling right now.