Friday, December 26, 2008

Sponsor Joseph, Anyone?

I got an email today from the child we sponsor in Rwanda at Widow's of Hope asking to help find a sponsor for her 15 yr old brother, Jospeh, who wants to go to civil engineering/ carpentry training. Looks like it's about $400 each term, 3 terms per year, for 3-4 more years. Anyone interested can email widows of hope.

On the paperwork front, my 1-600a was returned since my check did not have my address permanently printed on it. How STUPID is that!? They DO take personal checks, and instantly deduct them from your account, but not unless your address is there too- it wasn't enough for me to just write it on. Never mind it's coming from ME, with MY SS#, MY passport and MY birth cert copy, OUR marriage cert, AND my husbands Birth and Pass port copy. What more ID do you want?? No wonder nothing ever gets accomplished in government. Sigh. I don't even HAVE checks with our address on them. I either have to 1- order new checks, or 2- get a darn money order which of course, costs more money. SIGH.

We had a PERFECT christmas eve but hectic Christmas, with Christmas eve spent 1st at our church service, then driving our secret santa packages around downtown to deliver to homeless people we see laying on the streets (our third year in this awesome new tradition) With one package left to deliver, we found a live nativity at 10:30 pm at one of the historic churches in old city and all got out ot See Baby Jesus with the "an-mulls" as E-- says. We fed the goats, lambies, baby donkey and baby calf some bread, much to emilia's delight! We met a couple who had been coming for 25 years to feed the animals in the nativity (despite the sign saying not to, but I think they have grandfathered in rights to feed them:) It was a fun diversion from secret santa-ing and a beautiful sight.

We got back in the car and had not gone more than a few blocks when we heard the bells tolling at Christ Church, and saw they were having an 11:00 service. We decided to go! It was gorgeous, and so cool to be in Church a few pews over from where George Washington sat. When the congreation sang "Gloria in excelcius Deo" the organ stopped and the whole "Gloooo-ooo-rrrr-ii-aaaa" was sung a capella by all of us gathered to worship. It was magical. The music filled the whole church and you could feel a connection to 300 years of Philadelphians all worshiping in the same House of God. E-- was so good the whole time, especially since it was MIDNIGHT and she was still awake. She was 'talking' a little but she did say "amen" after prayers (sooo cute) and the pastor let her have her First communion. (I asked if she was too young but they said it was Ok, I'm sure she will do it again once she really understands what she is doing. ) She didn't eat the wafer but when we got back to our seats she did and asked for "Mo Mo" (for more). I told her, honey, you can have as much of Jesus as you want, but only 1 communion wafer!" She seemed ok with that answer :)

As the service let out at 12:30 am Christmas morning, we walked down the quite street to our car listening to the bells on a perfect Christmas eve. The morning would bring the usual rush and flurry of presents, but Christmas eve together was simply perfect. I wonder where our little one is across the ocean. I hope safe, sound, and maybe hearing the far-away bells of the Christ Church in his dreams. On the way home, we found a final homeless Brother and I left the last package while he lay sleeping. God be with our homeless brothers,sisters, and Children. I hope they know God watches over them too while they sleep.

Finally, I saw a shooting star on Christmas day, as Bill filled the gas tank when we were leaving to go back home after visiting everyone in Harrisburg.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

bill get fingerprints

again, baby steps- biil got fingerprinted for the state yesterday 12/22/08. slow and steady wins the race!

Friday, December 19, 2008


not much to report but i got state fingerprints today, no wait and all of a 5 min process...bill has to do his asap.

Oprah's Interview with Lysa Terkeurst

Here is a link to a video of Oprah's interview withe the families that adopted sons from Liberia. This is the story that changed my dad's heart and how God spoke to my dad. It's a powerful story in itself and testimony to God's work in average every day people's lives. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Waiting and waiting

After a lovely evening in front of the exciting "christmas Yule Log" on TV writing Christmas cards (have you seen the Yule log? endless action as the fire crackels, exciting drama as you wonder, is it going to repeat itself? and if so, will I know the difference?) we are going to bed. I announced the news of our Paper Pregnancy in all the cards tonight, and I couldn't help but wonder what the extended family's reaction will be. Many family members are Christians, so I hope they understand we feel God's plan is in action. But sometimes people's emotions overpower their Christ-centered heart as we have already discovered with our immediate family. So we pray the news is greeted with the same excitment and joy we are feeling. I did write one card with a heavy heart, to my Great aunt. Her sister was my Grandma Dot,who actually led a widow's ministry at our church for years and grew it to several hundred followers in her newsletter, Widow's indeed. She sponsored a widow in Uganda for years too. I wish I could tell her our adoption news. I think she would be so thrilled to know we are following God's call to action and that she would be having another grandchild. She was a powerful woman of God. I know she would be so happy for us.
Did I mention I looked online and found out that my CA Birth cert should be here TUESDAY?? Wow. Thank God, since I will need it for the homestudy Dec 28.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Slow as molasses but moving on.

Well, after calling the homeland security number yesterdayand being bounced around more times than a rubber ball on a tramploine, I managed to get through to deportations office in philly. I told her, no- I was looking for importations. She laughed at that then managed to connecct me to another office, who connected me to ANOTHER person who was, SUPRISE, officer Copestick who handles all the 600a adoption forms. The MAN. And he was none to happy that a peon who hadn't even filed yet managed to get his direct line. After yelling at me my pathetic sniveling and groveling connected to his humanity and he answered my question, which was, can i send my passport or a passport copy instead of the birth certificate, to which the answer was "Yes" Well, yes to copy or yes to original? I was too scared to ask and press my good luck at getting through to a real human of authority so I took the YES and ran.

So, I sent a notorized passport copy off today with our marriage cet and bill's Birth cert and 830$ in cool hard personal check. Let's hope it works!

I also got ANOTHER physical today and blood draw for the HIV/HEPB/HEPC/SYPHYLIS/CBC/ scurvy, rickets, goiter, cooties, ebola, mad cow, and Rabies testing. (I actually did get the rabies antibody test, but that's an unrealted story:) That's all the blood work the home study lady failed to tell me i needed the FIRST time they almost made me pass out from my blood draw.

Finally, we did the online payment at "cogent" for PA fingerprinting. We will still need federal fingerprinting, and this is in addition to my NJ state fingerprints already on file in cyberspace somewhere for my professional license. Can't These burocrats CONSOLIDATE and COMMUNICATE? Egads!

So pray that the INS accepts my notorized passport in place of my MIA CA birth cert., and we can move forward once again.

Finally, one last note, my Cat husband Brown Mouse's breath has been restored to the freshness of a mountain spring after removing his stank tooth on wednesday. After a tense morning in the clinic, the techs all breathed a sigh of relief when he awoke from surgery healthy and happy and I allowed taking and laughing again. I can kiss him on the lips again. Mwahaha!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Arnold! You suck!

Well, the governor of CA is on my yuck list, since i found out yesterday it can take 20 WEEKS to get my CA birth cert, which is basically going to hold up the entire process unless the homestudy lady and INS for the 600a form will accept my passport as proof of US citizenship. I re-applied for a BC via and "rushed" it, so we will see how fast that route is. I guess i will end up with 2 BC, but that's beter than zero. we'll have a spare for our second adoption... :)
pray ARNOLD stats my birth cert. Sigh.b

Saturday, December 6, 2008

One more thing...

I was just reading another Blog for the "smith family" who said they decided to adopt on Oct. 19th. That is almost the exact day we decided to adopt. I think God is hearing the cries of His children in Rwanda and going to raise up an army of families to come to their aid. I pray it happens soon! Pray Pray Pray!

christmas party

Tonight was Bill's Christmas party at work and it was so exciting to share the news with all the wives of Bill's coworkers. Everyone I told was thrilled for us and I got re-energized again for "The Process" I am firmly beginning to think it will be a boy, and I want to name him Elijah. Bill dreamt Emilia's name so I hope I get to pick our new son's name :) The homestudy woman Megan emailed me yesterday and said she got the application. We're scheduling a homestudy for Dec. 28th ! Yeah!

Emilia had a great time w/ nanny and pap tongiht and reveled in her giant bin of beanie babies. It's with utter delight I watch her bounce around neck high in toys, but the back of my mind thinks of my son or daughter laying in an orphanage bed in Africa all alone, hungry, dirty, with no stimulation whatsoever and I get so upset. They keep playing that Christmas song about "there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas, the greatest gift they get is life" (I think it's "band-aid" circa 1980's) and this year hearing it sends a direct hit to my heart. That song is not about "kids" somewhere, but about MY CHILD. I feel a desperation that this paperwork takes so long. Where is my CA birth certificate??? Arnold!!???

So you, dear reader, when you hear a song like that, or see those kids on TV's "save the children" with flies all over them, think- what can you DO??? Happy thoughts & warm fuzzies & "Oh, isn't that sad?" sent their way does not lower infant mortality rates or reverse starvation. Like Nike says- JUST DO IT. I'm not saying everyone should go adopt an african baby, but I am saying you should DO that good deed you've been thinking about, like volunteering at the homeless shelter, visiting that elderly neighbor, or writing a friend a word or encouragement. Last time I checked, none of us were getting any younger. . If not today, when?
Carpe Diem, yo.

In other news, my cat, Brown Mouse, (otherwise known as Meow Tse Tung, or TheMostWonderfulBeautifulCatontheFaceofthePlanet, also known as my Cat Husband) has a rotten tooth. His stank breath has been really bad the last few weeks and multiple examinations of his upper teeth revealed only mild tartar, but I finally made him open his whole mouth only to find...the cause of Stank Breath, a rotten tooth. Oh, the horror! Although it does explain why, as Jenniwon said, "is that his breath or did he fart?" Ouch. I will squeeze him on my wednesday sx schedule for a tooth extraction. My baby! (my cat baby that is...)

Well, on that note, good night all. Good night, my little ones. One with me in my home & heart, and one only in my heart. For now.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Paper work is arriving...

Good news, the first of our paperwork has arrived- our police background checks and child abuse clearance. Yesterday (Dec 3) we mailed the $250 deposit for our homestudy to begin that process. Still waiting on birth cert. from CA, that could take awhile. Yesterday my boss told me he wrote a "glowing recommendation" for us for adoption, but he still has to have it notarized. I'm blessed to have an employer who is so supportive, especially since it means I will be taking some maternity leave when the baby arrives, which is more work for him.
I stress constantly about whether or not to take Emilia along. I can't bear the thought of leaving her, but I'm equally freaked out to expose her to so many diseases her body would never have seen before. I also learned that 6 Us and europeans tourists have died from Yellow Fever since 1996. However, 7 people have died since 1996 of the Yellow fever vaccine. I would opt NOT to have the vaccine. But it's required for Rwanda. So my brain is spinning to find a way out of the vaccine. Yikes. I think I could get Emilia around the vaccine since she had a reaction to DPT vaccines (my good Dr. Kady may make the stretch for her) but *I* do not especially want to die of "multiple organ failure" from it either. Sigh.

In other news, my brother left for Iraq a few days ago (I don't know exactly when) so pray for his Safe return. And pray his brain gets adjusted and he realizes "kill thy neighbor" is NOT in the Bible. He is in intelligance unit so they are probably reading my blog so I'll just contain my opinions to that. And thank God my friend Wendy's lump in her breast turned out non cancerous.

So for now, it's hurry up, wait, and also figure out how to swap the yellow fever vaccine with saline... any suggestions or bribe-able health official tips would be appreciated.
As a final note, Emilia could be the most insanely cute organism on the face of the planet. She immites dozens of new words daily and knows "how many?" (but the answers is always "two") and know the words for turtle, fish, shark, dolphin, octopus, apple, banana, cheese, choclate, candy, hippo, cat, dog, duck, butterly, snake, caterpiller, bird, giraffe, elephant, zebra, house, shoe, key, lock (and where to put them!), forehead, chin, cheek, all the parts of the face, the letter "O" and so many other words I couldnt begin to list them all. We call her "Uber-Klug" our german word for smartest EVER baby. she will be such an awesome big sister. (oh, she says awesome and cool too :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

So it begins....

The news is official, and I it's been so for about a month now, but I am just now starting to record the process!! We really made the decision to adopt just a little before Halloween. Emilia was 16 months old in October and we decided to put thoughts into action and begin to find our next child who's waiting patiently for us across the globe somewhere.

We told my Dad and Deb first, on Oct. 25. We were met with disbelief and attempts to talk us out of it, so we took a deep breath and told Bill's parents the next night, who responed with complete silence (Bill's dad) and change of subject (bill's mom) So, informing the parents was a D-, if I had to rate it.

We were not going to let negative attitudes discourage us. I really feel God is providing us this opportunity to care for one of His children, and the devil loves to throw hinderances out like tacks on the road. But we have spare tires, so on we go.

Luckily, my coworkers are very supportive. I think city people are much more open minded and infinitely less judgmental than suburbanites. Part of the reason we moved to the city. Isn't it ironic how "Christian Values" are thrown under the bus when it suddenly affects YOUR family, but my radically liberal (and generally non-religious friends) embraced the idea of helping the helpless. Just shows God is in their hearts too, whether they realize it or not :)

Nov 1-3 Weekend vacation with Bill's family at SAugerties, NY light house. A wonderful weekend and we all had a great, relaxing time. But we didn't mention the adoption at all.

Wed, Nov 19th. I had my pysical for adoption. The nurse missed my vein the first time. She had one more chance or I was walking out. luckily for her, she got it. :)

Thursday, Nov 20 Had a nice, serious talk with my dad about the adoption. I told him how I felt the Lord is calling us to do this, and every child is precious to God, whether he or she is our birth child or not. I told him of many events in my life that suddenly all lined up, clicked together and opened a huge door all at once when Bill and I decided to adopt a child. He was quiet for awhile and said if the Lord's hand is on this, it's meant to be. He mentioned that Bill's and my professions could make a child into a powerful force for good someday, if he or she every returned to Africa to help others. (engineering and medicine are desperatly needed there!) He ended the conversation telling us to "go get that baby!"
Friday, Nov 20- Now God worked a real miracle today . I had ended the conversation with dad the day earlier feeling much, much better about the adoption. But today made us both realize the adoption of this child is bigger than we both imagined- and God's orchestrating it from here on out. Dad was listening to the radio on his hour commute to work and called me in the car to tell me he heard a broadcast about a woman who adopted 2 teenage boys from Liberia. she talked about the resistance she met from her 5 friends initially, who all 5 later went on to end up adopting kids from Liberia too. Well, this went straight to Dad's heart and he called me (in tears, although he said it was a peanut stuck in his throat ;) and said the God's hand is on this adoption process and he was completely behind us. He even joked he thought he should adopt a child! He talked about God sending "verification" to people when you are needing it most. I don't think you can get an any less ambiguous message than the one my Dad got. Praise God! I get goosebumps thinking about this conversation between Dad and me. There was electricity in the form of the Holy spirit going through the phone line. We both felt it. I was utterly humbled and at complete peace knowing this is the work of God we are undertaking.

Don't just think about helping your others- DO something: Matthew 31-40
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, [6] you did it to me.’

In the paperwork front, I Mailed the request for my birth certificate off today.

Sat Nov 22- Mailed the police clearance request in the morning and the child abuse clearance in the evening from lancaster, where we met dad and Deb for dinner at our FAV mexican restaurant, el serrano's. i LOVE the ceviche. i could eat that pickled raw fish for breakfast lunch and dinner. YUM.

Thursday Nov 28- Thanksgiving. Printed the application for homsetudy. Feeling sluggish with paperwork. A hectice day on a tight schedulle as all our harrisburg holidays are. I wish there was a solution. Family A is Always mad becaseu we spent more time with family B, then family B gives guilt trips becuase we have to go visit family A, blah blah blah. But when we stay home for holidays there are tears and guilt-laden calls asking why we're not at home, how relatives A,B,and C want to see us, why didn't we come home. AAAAaaaaa. These are the times that try men's souls. I am so Thankful to God we have our families alive, healthy, and well. I just wish there was a solution to the reality that all of OUR holidays as a family are stress-laden, hectic, and miserable trying to please our extended families. We are unanimous that we do not enjoy holidays. Period. Solutions and Suggestions GREATLY appreciated.

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