Sunday, August 31, 2008

Megan's flown the nest...

Megan and Nancy have headed to Wisconsin this morning. Megan sent a number of boxes and requested that we send the remaining boxes that wouldn't fit in her car. We were watching the weather reports for hurricane Gustav and thankfully, they will be through the Gulf region and into Tennessee before the bad weather comes ashore. They finished loading and after prayers, hugs, and tears, the girls took off. Karl had to sit next to me in church and pat my hand telling me that he missed Megan already. I'm sure it will take a few days to adjust, the same as when the other girls left home, but Megan's ready for her big adventure.

While Nancy was visiting this week we played tourist. We took her to St. Augustine, Manatee Springs, Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, and Homassassa Springs. I think she enjoyed all the variety Florida has to offer. We saw bamboo forests and huge water lilies, the Atlantic ocean, dolphins, alligators, manatees, and lots of other unique Florida sights.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fay is visiting

For all our family 'up nort' who have been wondering how we're doing... it has been raining all night. I haven't checked our rain guage but I'm sure we have a couple of inches. Thankfully we are on high ground and although our driveway slopes INTO our garage ???, it hasn't been heavy rain so it isn't flooding our garage. The center of the storm is about 15 miles away to our northeast. According to the hurricane center the areas to the east of the storm are getting the more severe weather. As the storm tracks to the west I'll let you know if we get more severe weather.

The storm did blow in a visitor... we had a little black dog named Gypsey visit yesterday afternoon during a dry spell. Del and Karl tried to read her nametag last night but she ran away. This morning we found her on our back porch notifying us that she's ready to come in the house. We read the phone number off her tag and her owner just picked her up. Karl was very excited to pet some real fur again!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Braces for all....

Well it looks like we'll have put all the kids in braces before we're done. Although we're crossing our fingers about Abraham. His teeth look so straight! Anyway, this time it was Erin and Craig's turn to be evaluated. Actually we had Erin evaluated about 18 months ago when we had Erik checked. However, it was pricey to put both of them in at the same time so Erik got them first. This is new orthodontist said Craig could use braces now but he referred Erin to a specialist at UF for TMJ disorder. The specialist found that Erin has a slipped disk on her left jaw and recommended that she go through treatment before getting braces. Otherwise, her jaw will continue to bother her and any orthodontia treatment will eventually be wasted. So I have to check with the insurance company first but it looks like Erin will get a rigid splint to relax the muscles in her jaw to allow the disk to slip back in place in the TMJ. THEN she gets braces to help hold the disk in place. Craig will get his braces in September. Unlike all his siblings, he won't get the spacers for a week first and then the bands. This style of braces gets put on during the first visit. I'll try to get pictures when he gets them on.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Renew our forms with USCIS

When we had to update our fingerprints in May I thought we would be done traveling before it was time to renew our adoption forms with the government, I-600A. However we haven't traveled and the deadline is approaching so yesterday I mailed our updated homestudy in to renew our I-600A. This is an important document issued by our government giving us permission to adopt. The form is good for 18 months so we'd better have the kids home before I have to do this again!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

We're getting close to traveling... Megan, too...

We haven't heard anything back about Abraham's age testing but we're getting close to being done. I've checked out a few travel agencies and am working on which gives us the better deal. Also, I'm working on what to bring. We've got some donations to bring over and then we pack what the kids will need because they leave the orphanage with the clothes on their back and that's about it.

It looks like Megan will be gone before the kids get here. She is moving back to WI in a couple of weeks. She and Theresa will be roomies. Megan gave her two weeks notice and has had to endure her co-worker's sadness this week. Of course, the Floridians wonder why anyone would want to move back to the north country. I've told her that it didn't matter if she was going to college, going to the military, getting married, or just moving out it was all the same to us: we're sad to see her go. As our oldest daughter said, we have " issues with letting go" of our kids. I guess that is a problem when you actually LIKE your kids and enjoy their company! :-)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Need a chuckle?

My friend, Bev, sent me a list of puns today which made me laugh. They were all good but I picked the one I liked best to share with you. Thanks, Bev! Enjoy!

Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him. (Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good)
A super-calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Any photographers out there?

I need a new camera! I've been shopping since February when I went to see my granddaughters in WI. I diligently took a bunch of cute pictures for my family since I went alone. When I got back I found out that all my action photos of the girls were blurs. For the people that know me, half the time I forget to bring the camera, let alone actually use it! Now, I was snapping photos to actually post here about our friendly spiders and hornworms that ate my tomato plants and the shutter won't open!!! So, if anyone has some good recommendations for a moderately priced camera (less than $300) since we still have adoption expenses for traveling coming, please leave a comment for me.

Here are my attempts to bring our Florida insects to your attention.

This is a spider making its web under our eaves. Cute, huh?

This is the one of two hornworms that ate the top off of my BEST tomato plant.

One year we had over 36 tomato plants in our garden in WI. I am struggling to get TWO plants to grow in FL.

This is one of the little lizards that keep me company outside. They change colors based on their surroundings. Also, some of them blow an orange bubble in their throat when they are 'talking' to their friends.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I've added a link about adoption...

I stumbled onto a great blog about adoption called ADOPTION TALK. The blog is chock full of great information about adoption in all flavors. She talks about domestic adoption through foster care, international, transracial, single parent, and more. If you are considering adoption, this is a great place to start.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The next installment.....

I figured the title was accurate regarding the next installment of this crazy journey to adopt some kids from Liberia!!! What I mean is that it appears that Alma is open to letting us proceed with the adoption of Kindness despite the fact that she is not the daughter of the same dad as Diamond and Abraham. HOWEVER, Alma has ordered Abraham to undergo age testing. This isn't really a surprise since we were never quite sure how old he was. And according to other families that have traveled to pick up their kids, AB is one of, if not the tallest boy in the orphanage. Sooooo....that means that Abraham has to have x-rays and stuff by an embassy doctor to determine his age which translates to another few weeks of waiting. We're not sure what the next step is after the age testing. I guess that's the Next Installment. :-)

I thought I was a pretty patient but I can tell I can still use some practice. I know God made the world in six days but good grief!!! does it have to take forever to get these kids home? I know my problem is that we started this journey back when AOH adoptions were averaging between six and nine months. After 7 pregnancies where I was overdue every time, I figured I could handle this timeline. Piece of cake. As you can see from the ticker, we've been waiting since April '07 for the kids and June '07 for these specific kids! Talk about being overdue!!! I tend to be an optimist but like to know the worst-case-scenario to be able to come up with a Plan B. Hence my need for more patience practise. I know of a couple of others that have had difficult 'paper pregnancies' so I dare not complain too loudly. If you're one of those families, I applaud you. You're my inspiration.

There are two travelers this week... Laura R. and Peter G. I'm hopeful Laura will be able to get a few pictures of Kindness since her son is about the same age. I've been mooching pictures off the parents that have already traveled to be able to put together some pages for the kids' life books. Life books are like baby books for adoptive children. However, if you'd ask my bio kids, they'd probably ask, "What baby books??? We don't have one!" Actually, I have baby books, they just aren't filled out and the pictures are in a big box. So, I'm already 8 behind. I was also planning to make quilts for everyone's wedding. I'm two behind on that, too. BUT, I did make two baptismal gowns for my grandkids, so there! Can anyone else relate?