Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Lover's Spat

Jack and his (girl) friend were pretending to go camping today. He broke up with her when she stole his pink pillow. They say young love never lasts. Counseling anyone?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weekend in Review

It's hard to believe that April is almost over. This month has gone by incredibly fast. This weekend was no exception. I wish it would have slowed down. There never seems to be enough hours in a day to visit family and friends.

On Saturday, we visited Liam's birth family and the time spent there was precious. They are a wonderful family and we have a great time when we're with them. During our visit, we met Liam's uncle, great aunt, second cousin and birth father.
We were excited but nervous about meeting Liam's birth father. After all, you only get one shot to make a good first impression. But despite the early awkwardness, probably more me, it was a great opportunity to get to know him. Liam is his little mini-me. They look so much alike. It was also a great time to give Liam's birth mother and birth father a chance to visit with their son in private. They even helped him drift into a peaceful nap. I hope we will have the opportunity to get to know him better in the future.
On Sunday, we celebrated my brother Steven's birthday.
I'm thinking, "I can't believe this will be me someday."
My nephew Christopher attempts to crush the pinata.
My beautiful niece - what an egg head!
Grandpa and his boys.
We had an eggcellent weekend!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter!

I am enjoying watching these two boys develop a relationship. Liam clearly adores his older brother and, for the most part, Jack is amazing with Liam even wiping his nose in the car until Liam tries to grab the kleenex and eat it. Liam already wants to play cars with Jack. These two are going to get in a lot of trouble when they get older. I'm so glad they have each other.  
My chocolate bunny!
We are looking forward to seeing wonderful family this weekend. We made brownies tonight. I hope they're edible. Happy Easter to all my friends and family. Love you!

I'm a Model...

"Ready for my close-up."
"Hello, who's calling? Calvin Klein?"
"What you lookin' at?"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Big Hearts

I want to award my father and mother "Farmers of the Year" awards for taking extra special care of a cow and her calf. The momma cow hasn't been able to stand up on her own or walk since giving birth. One leg isn't working properly. Dad has been using a tractor attached to a halter to help her stand while he feeds and waters her. Meanwhile, my folks are bottle feeding the calf and he seems to be doing well. Keep in mind, it wasn't too long ago that my father was knocked down by a bull. I realize there is only so much my folks can do to take care of the cow. I'm really proud of them for going the extra mile.

Somebunny Loves You!

My wonderful friend Laura sent me this poem after watching a video I produced for work. Isn't she great! I have some of the best friends in the world!!

Remote in hand, what did I see?
A cute little bunny grinning at me.
Telling jokes but being booed!
No respect from the truly rude.

Don't they see those cute little ears?
The big big eyes, the cottontail rear?
The jokes fell flat, it's sad but true,
But you gotta know--somebunny loves you!

Here's a link to the video.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Tonight was a good night with the boys. You know, those moments when you think, yeah, I've got my parenting groove on. The boys were happy, playing together and having fun. Liam adores his big brother and loves to follow him around. He wants to be in his bed, check out his toys, etc. Both boys crawled on top of me at one point tonight. I finally had to put an end to that so no one would get hurt. Liam loves to get behind our recliner and "hide" from you. You look at him from one side, he laughs and crawls to the other side. He thinks he's being the awnriest and funniest little boy during this version of "hide and seek." Of course, Jack is one of the smartest, goofiest boys I know. I wonder how much of his silly stuff (some of which he got from me) will rub off on Liam? And is that a good thing or bad thing?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Long Live the King!

Someone knows how to rock the guitar and piano.
We've had an easy going weekend. Jack and I attended a Flashlight Egg Hunt on Friday night. It was chilly so we put on our winter coats and had fun looking for eggs.   
Liam has been congested and now has nasal drip and a cough. I also have been feeling poorly although I am feeling much better tonight. I hope Liam feels better soon. We have a lot of wonderful family to see this weekend! It's hard to believe that Easter is almost here!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My 9 Month Old Cutie

Happy 9 month birthday beautiful boy. You make walkers look cool.

The Right to Parent

When can an adoptive parent just be a parent?

China has established new guidelines for people who receive travel approval after August 1. Although we hope to have Maggie's referral by then, we probably will not have our TA by then. Therefore, we will have to abide by these new guidelines which require reports at 1 month, 2 years, 3 years and 5 years in addition to the already required 6 and 12 month post adoption reports.

Although I am raising two awesome boys, I will still have to prove to the government that I am a good parent five years after we bring Maggie home.

There is a reason for post placement reports. The government needs to know that these children they entrust to families are well taken care of. I understand that but there are times when you just want to be a normal family. I had a goal for myself that I wanted to be done with home studies and post placement reports by a certain age. With these new China guidelines, I will not make that mark. Although I love our social worker and these extended updates will give me the opportunity to continue to see her over the next several years, I just want to be a mom. I don't want to have to "prove" myself to our government or China.

As adoptive parents, we have gone through yearly physicals, CPR training, home visits with social workers, fingerprinting, criminal (passed that with flying colors) and financial background checks, asked for letters from our priests, family and friends, etc., etc.

Can't we just be parents?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Silver Screen Shots

The following stills are from the video I shot this weekend with Jack. My tribute to the silent movies is titled "Damsel in Distress."
Our hero arrives as the train approaches.
"Don't worry. I'll save you."
But she was looking for a hero, not a silly squirrel.
"Never mind."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Another Look at this Weekend

Meaghan decided to build the kitties a house to protect them from future storms. Eventually, she added grass to give the shelter a roof. And she sprayed lavendar scent on the area. Maybe she is going to be a realtor someday.
Jack felt the need to supervise.
Liam took a ride like a big cowboy.
And got smooches from Grandma. He is getting so big. You can see him pinching Grandma in the picture. That is Liam's new thing - pinching bits of skin and it hurts. He has a grip! It's a good thing he's so cute.
And the kids decided to push the toy gator up a couple of hills. Why, oh why? This looks like too much work to me. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Busy Fun Weekend

"It's just a matter of time before pigs fly...or at least one drops from the sky."

We headed to see our folks this weekend. I needed to shoot video at a local railroad track for an upcoming promotion. Unfortunately, the ties and depot were gone. Only the rails remained and the grass had grown thick along them. So, it looks like I'll get an "A" for creativity on this project but a poor grade for realism. My silent movie tribute will look a little more hokey but this isn't Hollywood baby. A big thanks to my mom who was a wonderful assistant and also helped with the boys.
My uncle Joe came over to help mom and dad till their garden. Dad is supervising. :)
In the end, they decided to burn, baby burn the top and bottom garden. It was mom's turn to supervise.
We also saw Mike's family this weekend. Here, Liam checks out Grandpa Pete.
Hello Grandma Judy. Do you have any bling that's worth chewing on?
Liam has such a beautiful smile. Mike was rolling him around in this walker like a car and Liam was having a blast. You can see the pure joy on his face.
Cousin Allie who is a month older than Liam is already walking!
Liam decided he was a big boy too so he grabbed onto one of Allie's toys and began walking with it. Notice his tongue is stuck out in concentration. Liam is pulling up on everything now. Before you know it, he'll be walking without the help of a toy.
"I'm so proud of me!"

China Upate

The latest projections (look at Wntr 2011 column) seem to indicate that we will receive Maggie's referral in July. Our log-in date is 7/7. The column projects that China will send referrals to people with log-in dates up to July 11 2006 by July. Not holding my breath. China could decide to send out a lot less, but if the current rate of referrals holds steady, we may be headed to China in September/October. I'm excited about bringing Maggie home but also dread being without my boys for two weeks. That is going to be very hard on this momma. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Celebrating Brotherhood

We met Janeene, our wonderful social worker, and Michele, who also works at our agency's office, to celebrate the finalization of Liam's adoption and Jack's official big brother status.
Janeene presents him with his Big Brother certificate.
A closer look at Jack's award, featuring one of Jack's favorite cars. Janeene also gave him a Scooby Doo book. Scooby Doo is one of Jack's favorite cartoons.
While Jack celebrated with ice cream...
Liam chewed on Jack's motorcycle. Everything has to go in his mouth.
The Brotherhood.
Janeene and Liam!
We love you, Michele and all of our supportive friends at LFCS. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tons of Trucks

The city Parks and Recreation hosted an event that featured tractors, fire trucks, police cars, tow trucks, garbage trucks, etc. Jack and Liam had a great time.
Mr. Smiley Face. I'm in love.
Bad boys, bad boys. Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
Hey, look Grandpa. I have my own Precious, well, okay, I borrowed it. Aren't you proud of me?
That silly brother of mine.
Mr. Cool Stuff.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Overheard Conversation

On Saturday night before church began, I couldn't help but overhear two older ladies several rows behind me. They must have been a bit hard of hearing. In-between praying and wondering whether I should listen or block their voices out, I picked up a few words and realized that they were talking about adoption.

"(something, something about child preferences)....between light, light, light, but not dark, dark, dark. (something, something). They got lucky."

From what I gleamed from the conversation, the adoptive parents got lucky because they were able to adopt a child with light colored skin. Is a child with a darker complexion less worthy of a parent's love? Does our color have to define who we are when we all start out as a baby who needs unconditional love from his parents? My God, I wanted to scream, we're talking about a baby here, not a car or some other object incapable of love and feeling. And you're in church! Do you think God gives you extra credit for being a pasty old white lady?

I realize that if/when we adopt our daughter from China, she will not look like Mike, me, Jack or Liam. She will definitely stand out a bit. God help the person who says something racist about my daughter. I'm sure I will give them a piece of my mind. And I can guarantee you that if someone says something stupid about my daughter or any of my children in regards to their race, I will not feel the slightest tinge of sadness in removing those people from my life. I'm a momma bear and I won't tolerate it. Grrr...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Goodbye Uncle Buck

One of my uncles passed away last week. He was 78-years-old. The fondest memory I have of my uncle dates back to when he and a couple of other uncles were helping my father with our roof. My Uncle Francis, or Uncle Buck as we all called him, had candy and threw it down at us from the roof. My brother and I were young and LOVED candy so we scrambled for it and as we did my Uncle Buck would make chicken noises. It's an unusual memory but it's the one I associated with him. My uncle also made amazing wine and was excellent with his hands whether in the garden or with carpentry. I know this has not been easy on my father. It is never easy to lose a loved one even though you know that heaven is winning a soul. We know he is at peace and with his wife who passed away two years ago. Still, their physical presence is missing from our lives and that is difficult.

It is not easy to explain death to a 3-year-old. As we headed to my Uncle Buck's funeral yesterday, I told Jack that when a person dies, they are no longer here. We cannot visit them anymore. They are in heaven. Jack said, "But the doctors can make him feel better." Sometimes, even the best medicine is not enough when it is time to go home.

I found comfort in today's reading from Ephesians 5: 8 - 14

For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret; but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it is said, "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light."

Uncle Buck is no longer asleep but alive and in the presence of God and Christ. His love continues to shine in the hearts of those who will always love and remember him.