I have learned to hold all things loosely, so God will not have to pry them out of my hands. --Corrie ten Boom

How Much Longer?

I Knew I Loved You...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here they are.
The top ten boy & girl names for 2008:
1. Isabella
2. Ava
3. Emily
4. Elizabeth
5. Abigail
6. Madison
7. Emma
8. Addison
9. Madeline
10. Olivia

1. Aidan
2. Jayden
3. Jacob
4. Michael
5. Ethan
6. Caden
7. James
8. Caleb
9. Andrew
10. Matthew
I did this same post last year & if I remember correctly, I don't know that this has changed all that much. Think I will have to go back & take a look to satisfy my curiosity.

Okay, I couldn't stand it. I went back & looked. It is a little different. Here they are just as a refresher from 2007.


Sophia, Isabella, Emma, Madison, Ava, Addison, Hailey, Emily, Kaitlyn, Olivia


Aiden, Ethan, Jacob, Jayden, Caleb, Noah, Jackson, Jack, Logan, Matthew

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Big Surprise!

You won't believe what happened a couple of days ago. It is a secret though~so, shhh! (Well, a secret from my Mom anyway & she doesn't have Internet access, thus she is not a blog reader! So, our secret should be safe here!) Thomas surprised me with the news that we get to go back to Missouri for Christmas! Can you believe that? I still can't believe it. The thought never even ever crossed my mind as I assumed that is wasn't even a possibility. As always, I knew that Thomas would have to work the day before & the day after. Well, the other day he was visiting with his District Manager. He asked Thomas what our plans were for Christmas. Thomas told him probably just a quiet dinner, just the two of us. Then he asked Thomas what we wanted for Christmas. Thomas told him that honestly we don't want for anything & that as cliche' as it might sound just health & happiness for us, our family & our friends. Thomas explained that we really don't get too hyped up about doing the gift thing & try to not get caught up in all the commercialism & stress of it all. Anyway, then he said to Thomas, "What about going home?". Thomas told him that we never even considered it. He then went on to basically tell Thomas that since his store isn't open yet & most of what he is doing right now he won't be able to do around the holiday since so many things will be closed for business & that the store where he is filling in as Interim Manager has people there who can carry out Thomas's instructions~anyway, he told Thomas that he was giving him a Christmas gift...to take off Wed., Thurs. Fri. Sat. & Sun. so that we can go home! (They further went on to discuss how many hours will be required of him in the coming months in preparation to get the store open~) The only person that knows this yet is my Dad. We are not telling my Mom. I am going to call her on my cell phone when she gets to the dinner on Christmas Day at my Aunt's house to tell her "Merry Christmas" & that we miss her & wish that we could be there & so on. I am then going to tell her that I had something delivered for everyone for Christmas since we couldn't be there (I have done this before, so this will not make her suspicious) & that it should be out on the front porch & that I need her to go & get it. Then I am going to ring the door bell & have Dad make sure she answers it & I am going to be standing there on my cell phone talking to her. We don't exchange Christmas gifts~so, this is our gift to her. We are excited & hoping that the weather will cooperate for our travels! It has been a little crazy weather wise up here the last few days, but we dug out & the roads were fine. (Well, Thomas had to work~I dug out of our driveway. Let's just say I will not be doing any arm work at the gym today. Oh my goodness I can barely lift my arms from all that shoveling!) Thomas had an hour commute to where he needed to go the other day for business, so he waited until about 9AM so that they had time to get more salt on the roads, but he did fine. We thankfully have a four wheel drive, so we should do just fine. Might take us a little longer, but short of some major ice, we should travel fine. It will take us, if the roads are good about seven to eight hours depending on how many times we stop. I have spoken to my Mom several times in the past couple of days & have had to catch myself just in the nick of time from spilling the beans! Thank goodness I didn't spoil it. As far as I can tell, she doesn't have any idea!

My MIL knows too. We will arrive at her home on Christmas Eve. We will have Christmas Eve Dinner there with her, Thomas sister & her family & Thomas's brother. We so wish that Thomas's other sister Terry could be there as well, but at this time we are not aware of any plans for her to be able to join us. We will spend the night there & then the next day will head about thirty minutes more of a drive to my Aunt's for Christmas Day festivities. Then, that evening we will head home with my parents about another thirty minute drive & stay with them a couple of days. Then, we will come back through & visit with Thomas's Mom for a bit longer. Then on the way back to Illinois we will stop in our old town & check on our house that is there on the market. Then, we will come on home to Illinois. Should be a great trip. We are excited!

All is well here. Thomas's job is going very well & we are thankful everyday for it! So many right now are out of work & not able to find jobs. We do not take his job for granted or the living that it provides us.

Looking forward to 2009~guess I should mention yesterday's significance. It was seventeen months to the day since we were logged in for China. Yep, seventeen months with no end to the wait in sight. Well, let me just say that we assume that is right. Within this last batch there were seven families who were supposedly logged in on a specific date & were suppose to be included in this batch of referrals. There referrals did not come. When their agencies checked with China they were told that there log in dates were actually not what they had been told & were something different. So, now back in the line they go & they must wait longer. So, with that in mind~according to what we have been told, with a log in date of 07/20/07 we hit the seventeenth month mark as of yesterday. We did nothing to mark the day other than to make note of it & went on.

Any other adoption news? A little. Don't want to get into it a lot at this time as we really don't have a lot that we can share. For now, please just be in prayer that if these little babies (yes, I said babies) are meant to be our children that they will be. We are a long way from knowing that, but a few things have unfolded recently that may indeed be indicative that they may in fact be. However, as I said~we are months away from knowing for sure & are likely a ways away from being able to share much more than that. I can & will share that their mother was on December 9th five months pregnant with the babies. After what we have been through, our feet are very much now & will continue to remain on the ground about this. If in fact these are our children, we will be thrilled more than words could ever articulate. However, right now they are not~so, until then-if that times comes or if it doesn't we just hope & pray that if they are meant to join our family & we are meant to be Mommy & Daddy to them that God will bless all of us involved & that things will go as they are suppose to. The story is after all already written. (Jeremiah 29:11) It is a page turner, that's for sure!

I have been doing quite a bit of baking. Homemade pumpkin bread, cookies & such. I have enjoyed it & have very much enjoyed passing the goodies out to our friends & neighbors. For the first time in a long time we have an oven that isn't ancient. This one cooks evenly & even has a timer~I know, probably not a big deal to those of you who have always had one. However, from someone who has had an oven that burned nearly everything for the last seven years-believe me, this is a thrill!

I just want to take a minute to tell each of you Merry Christmas. Here's hoping that 2009 for us all brings good health, much happiness & His continued abundant blessings! & for those of us struggling to grow our families~here's hoping that 2009 may finally bring for us some peace, no matter how it comes-whether it is reassurance, renewed faith & hope or maybe even finally some of us will see our babies faces for the first time & better yet maybe even hold them in our arms. Whatever lies ahead for each of us as we continue our individual journey's, may we have peace!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Update on Raffle/Give Away~

****ANOTHER UPDATE: Checked in on MckMama & the Fam & guess what? Raffle is over...Nope, I didn't win~but that is totally okay! Why is it so okay, you ask? Well, because some great charities totally won in a HUGE way. The final tally at last check was OVER $19,000.00!!!!!! WAY TO GO to all of us that participated! & the wonderful lady that did win hasn't totally revealed her scheme just yet, but it sounds like she has something under her sleeve to "pay it forward" as a result of her good fortune. So, stay tuned to see what her plan is. I have an idea, but I won't spoil it just incase I am correct.

****UPDATE: 12/12/08~I checked this morning & even though the "chip in" box is now stuck on a little over $10,000, MckMama reports that they have now raised OVER $12,000 up to this point. Three more days to enter. Happy raffling!

I don't know why~but, every time I click on the link to hop over & see how the fundraising is going with the Raffle/Give Away mentioned in my previous post, it is still showing that they are at just over $4,000.00. However, MckMama posted & stated that they are currently at $7,482.30! Such wonderful news, huh?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Click on over to http://www.mycharmingkids.net/!!! MckMama is having one heck of a give away/raffle! Get in on the action before it is too late! What a fabulous idea! This is so exciting! Happy raffling!
(If you use the link over to the side of my blog, instead of the link above within this post you might (for some reason) get a pop up asking for a password. If so, just hit cancel whenever that pops up~mine does it three times. I just hit cancel & it goes away. ????)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Thanksgiving Challenge

Okay, Angie over at "Bring The Rain" wrote a post & issued a Thanksgiving Challenge. I follow her blog & know most of you do as well. This post I could so identify with~

So, I am taking the challenge.

No. I don't feel like I mean it. I don't feel it to be the truth in my heart today...but, yes. I will take the challenge.

"I am thankful for my journey to parenthood & all that has come with it in the past & that will come with it in the future."

Whew. That feels like a big ol' lie. However, this is a challenge, right. A challenge is not suppose to be easy. Ugh.

Hop over to Angie's blog, read the post (& maybe her brother in laws post that she refers to as well) & then decide if you want to take the challenge too.

What Are You Thankful For?

I wanted to take the time to do a "What I Am Thankful For" post, however I don't know that I have the amount of time to devote to it this morning that I would need to do it right. However, I will give it a quick try.

I am thankful for God, my husband (Thomas~you are one in a million. Every day I am thankful for you & our marriage. The blessings that you bring to our life & to me are endless.) I am thankful for my health & the health of all of my friends & family. I am thankful for my family & friends & the joy that they add to my world. I am very thankful for Thomas's job. I am thankful for our home, food on our table, clothes on our backs & the safety that we feel & are provided living here in our great country. I am thankful that I don't have a lot of time today to do this post as that means I have fun things filling my holiday. I am thankful for babies that are born healthy! (Congratulations Kristin!) I am thankful for the men & women who are not with their families today who are far away in another place serving in the armed forces. I am thankful for all of my relatives that have passed away who have left me with memories of holidays past that fill my heart & mind with warm thoughts of Thanksgiving Holidays that were filled with traditions & memories that I will forever treasure. I am thankful for the sights & sounds of the holiday season & that we live in a place where families are able to celebrate & worship how & if they choose. I am thankful for a new church family. I am thankful for new neighbors & friends in our new town who have welcomed us into their lives & even their homes today for a wonderful holiday on a day when we would usually be with our family & can not be. (THANK YOU BRIAN, CHRISTINA & FAMILY!) I am thankful for many things...too many to list~mostly, I am just thankful for my life. No, it is not perfect. Like everyone, I have had my share of difficult times & no doubt will have more of those. There are things that I certainly wish were different, but over all, I can not complain. I am blessed to have more blessings than I can count & more things to be thankful for than I have time to write about.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I hope that you too have more blessings than you could ever list. I wish you all joy, health & happiness today & always! For all of you traveling, be safe! Enjoy your day, your friends & your family. And of course, enjoy the eats!

Speaking of eats...off to do some cooking for the dinner today!


(Oh & BTW, I am thankful for my new GPS! I wrote about that in my last post a little. It was a b-day gift to me from Thomas. For those of you wondering~No. I did not throw it out the window yesterday. Actually quite the opposite! I LOVE THAT THING! I don't know how I ever lived without it. It is a life changing piece of equipment. If you think you would never use it~think again! I will never be without one again. I will write about it more later. However, I would say to you~if you are thinking of getting one & are checking them out during the holiday sales, go for it! You won't be sorry. The ease of use is unbelievable. Believe me, if I can do it you can too! I could go on & on~but, I can't right now. In a day or so I will elaborate on my experience with it yesterday. It was amazing. )

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Birthday, Thanksgiving, New Friends & a New Blessing

The birthday first~"Who's?", you ask. It was mine! Happy birthday to me, November 25th! 36 years young yesterday! Thomas had to work yesterday, so on Sunday after church he took me to PF Changs. Yum! Then we hit the mall & Ikea. We spent the day together just walking & talking. It was nice. We of course went to Starbucks for an afternoon coffee too. He even joined me in Bath & Body Works for a ridiculous amount of time patiently tolerating my need to stand there & smell every candle that they have. Scrumptious! I woke yesterday to find a card & a gift bag on our kitchen counter. It was a lovely card from Thomas with some special words & a really cool coffee mug with the city sky line & "Chicago" on it. He is taking me into the city via the Metra to see Chicago all decked out for the holidays. Lights & music will be in abundance! Fun! Can't wait. Last year we did the Plaza in Kansas City for my b-day. (Think I posted pics of that.) We did the carriage ride around the Plaza with our Starbucks coffee & a blanket. The lights & sounds of the holiday in K.C. were beautiful, I can only imagine what it will be like in Chicago! My Mom of course called me bright & early with a serenade of "Happy Birthday" (Yes, she really sings to me-every year!) & some beautiful sentiments too! I got several birthday cards which I appreciated very much. In the afternoon I went over to my friend's & neighbors house, Christina. They had a card for me & had baked me cookies. THANKS GUYS! Thomas also got me a GPS. He has wanted to get me one for a while now & I have been resistent. I am a little hesitant as I am not great with the electronics stuff, but he assures me that it is very simple to use & that I will have no problems. It is a Garmin...we will see. I am going to try it out later today when I am running errands.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I hope that you all have wonderful holiday. We all have so much to be thankful for, don't we? (Hopefully between today & tomorrow I will find the time to do a "What I Am Thankful For" post. I think that kind of reflection is good to do now & then...)We won't be able to get back home to our friends & family for the holiday, but have fortunately made some good friends here who have been kind enough to include us in their holiday plans. We will be spending Thursday afternoon with our neighbor's. We will be feasting on a fabulous meal & enjoying their company & getting to know each other better. We are looking forward to it & appreciate the invite so much!

We have a calendar full of holiday events. There is so much to do around here. Just every day or so, there is a list of things going on that you can go to. Every Village has a website & list their calendar. It is nice to have options. We have not been use to that.

& for the new blessing~My dear friend Kristin won't have to think very hard for what she is most thankful for this year. Yesterday afternoon (ON MY BIRTHDAY!) Kristin gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Ashlyn Mae! 7.10 oz, 21 inches long @ 2:35PM~This is their first baby. All is well. CONGRATULATIONS Matthew, Kristin & Ashlynn! We are SO happy for you all!

Better shower & get to my errands. I am making my most requested Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad for the dinner tomorrow. Plus, think I will make some Pumpkin Bread & maybe a loaf of homemade bread as well. Oh the carbs of the holiday season! Happy eating everyone! (Wish me luck with my new GPS & maybe offer prayers for me to please have patience...& that it won't be thrown out my window by the days end!)


Friday, November 21, 2008

No Evidence Of Progress?

At times nothing seems to be happening. So it must be for the bird that sits on her nest. Things are apparently at a standstill. But the bird sits quietly, knowing that in the stillness something vital is going on, and in the proper time it will be shown. It takes faith and patience for the bird, and such faith and patience never seem to waver, day after day, night after night, as she bides the appointed time.
Restless and doubtful we wonder why we have nothing to show for our efforts, no visible evidence of progress. Let us remember the perfect egg--unchanged in its appearance from the day it is laid. But while the bird waits faithfully, doing the only thing she is required to do throughout those silent weeks, important things are taking place.
--Elisabeth Elliott
I wait for the Lord. My soul waits, and in His word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning. --(Ps 130:5, 6 RSV)

Well, these two pics pretty much say it all really. Sixteen months have past since our Dossier was logged in at the CCAA in China & we are still waiting. Are we closer? Well, it depends on how you look at it. Are we half way there? No. Are we even a third of the way there? Not likely. How much longer? Great question. The only ones that might have the answer to that question; the CCAA, they aren't talking. Us? We are just going to go about our life in a way that this whole China plan-it is going on the back burner. Yes, we are still hopeful & prayerful that the day will come when we will finally receive our referral & be blessed to see our sweet Mia's face for the first time. However, we are not living our life as if the dream is such a sure reality for us. We are making plans, moving forward & living our lives in such a way so that if China never comes to be for us, if we never get to bring our Mia home~then, we can still say we lived in spite of the fact that we were "in waiting" all of these years. The limbo, the constant state of uncertainty, the living as if you are waiting for the day so that you can really go on living is over for us. Life has resumed & I am better for it. China, Mia & all that comes with it will always be on my mind, but tucked away safely so that I can still function & be happy with my life & not constantly be plagued with the "ifs" & "when" every day, all day long. So, yes~yesterday marked sixteen months since our log in date, but so what? It really means very little & frankly I have wanted to be a mother as long as I can remember. All that yesterday was the anniversary of was that sixteen months ago yesterday some employee in China stamped a date on a pile of papers & put it in a huge stack with thousands of other hopeful families "lives" spelled out in black & white & displayed in photos. The date at one time meant so much to us & hopefully will again someday as with that date stamped on that paper came so much hope of a dream that we knew would soon be realized & now...well, you all know that reality is now so far from a reality & is a distant dream that we can only hope & pray for.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

15 Things I Am Not Afraid To Admit:

Okay, Alicia, a buddy of mine tagged me. She did this on her blog & then tagged me, so now I am suppose to do it. This should be interesting...here it goes. (I don't know that I can get to 15, but I will give it a go.)

1. I love reality television.
2. I went to college, with a major of Physical Therapy, switched to Education & then quit to marry my husband of the last 16 years! Absolutely no regrets!
3. I love to shop at The Goodwill, garage sales & second time around shops.
4. We have been moved into our new place for a month now & we have yet to get all of the boxes unpacked & aren't the least bit organized at all yet!
5. Even though I have been dragging myself to the gym daily, I still can not say that I like it!
6. I am scared to death that parenthood may never find us.
7. The beach makes me cry. Every time that we first arrive & I look out into the ocean the tears begin to roll like the rolling waves. Yes, every time. It never gets old for me. Every time I lay eyes on the ocean it is like seeing it for the first time for me.
8. I drove a Chevy Chevette Hatchback when I was 16.
9. I am 6'1 & wear a size 10 shoe. Yep, really.
10. I still today miss "Emma Kate" so much I ache.
11. I am somewhat of a control freak & tend to be a perfectionist. I like to be organized & am generally a planner. I will write something down on a list just to cross it off! I am working on letting these traits go a little.
12. I use to also be a clean freak~this too is passing the older & wiser I get.
13. I have to balance my checkbook every month & it has to be to the penny. If it is off, I have to find it.
14. I usually screen my calls~okay, most always. We have caller id, what can I say?
15. Thomas & I enjoy playing Scrabble. Exciting, huh? We have even been known to hang out at a local coffee shop (we love coffee!) & play a game. Thomas always wins!

Hey, I did it. Let's see~I tag:

Brandi "The Silver's Scoop"
Sara "Wish I May, Wish I Might"
Tamara "Climbing The Great Wall"
Jess C.
Linda H.


Email is fixed!

Apparently our email address is up & working. I have waited almost a week before telling everyone this. I sent out a note saying that it was fixed once before only within hours to find that it wasn't working again. This time, I waited & it appears that the fix is permanent. I am still checking my gmail account as well & am using it for some things, but I have changed my blog to be associated with our email account with Comcast that we use with our Outlook Express program. That address is thomasandjennifer@comcast.net

Friday, November 7, 2008

Difficult Decisions

Some decisions are not came to lightly, are they? So many things to think about. It is so difficult to think that something that you have prayed & hoped about for so long may not come to be in the end. To contemplate letting go of a dream~something that you feel you are meant to do.

Thomas & I are at a crossroads as. We are up for renewal of our I-171H. (paper work for our China adoption) It expires 12/22. We are really under the gun time wise. We just moved to Illinois, so we couldn't start the process until we arrived here as we needed to re-do our home study in our new state. Yesterday, we began the process of calling agencies to very quickly get things rolling. We were shocked to find out that in Illinois the average price for a home study update is between $2000.00-$3150. 00!!! We couldn't believe it. Apparently Illinois has some sort of in-state International facilitator who oversees the entire process. So, even after our in-state agency does our home study update, it apparently as we understand it then has to go to this person. In Missouri we paid $800.00 for our update & thought that price was unreasonable. Things are so relative, aren't they. That made me think of when we first were beginning the paper chase & they told us "about nine months". It seemed like forever then~oh, what we would give to hear that now. Kind of like how we would love to be able to pay $800.00 to update our home study!

With having a LID of 07/20/07 we know that we have years & years in this line ahead of us. Realistically, there is no way around that. (The agency that we spoke to out of Chicago yesterday was more than clear that with an LID of 07/20/07 we in fact do have MANY years ahead of us in this line.) Even if there is speed up, we still have years~how many years is the unknown.

We have a few things in the works that may come to be & may not. As most of you know we have a couple of Domestic situations brewing. Nothing may ever come of them & something may~they are however possibilities that remain tucked away in the backs of our minds. We are also strongly considering a few rounds of InVitro towards the end of next year or in early 2010. We never did InVitro. We opted to take our money (no Infertility insurance coverage) & pay for the "sure thing". We thought we were paying our money for the route that would grow our family. Again, things are so relative.

We are also very interested in researching some info. on Taiwan & Korea. Our agency doesn't offer these countries, so we would have to choose a different agency & of course decide whether to stay in the China line as well or get out.

We spoke with our agency yesterday & corresponded via email several times. Yesterday I spoke with one large agency out of Chicago that has a China program-I spoke with their Director of the China program. She offered a lot of insight for us.

She told us that if we were her clients that she would tell us to let the I-171H lapse/expire & just leave the home study be for now. You see, when she quoted us $3150.00 for the home study update she explained that included the post placement visits & several other things. I told her that we didn't want that package. I explained to her that we wanted the bare minimum just to be able to stay in the China line. She was confused as she went on to say, "Who is going to do your post placements?" . She was very aware of the uncertainty of the China program & was very understanding about our feelings. I explained to her that we wanted to stay in the line, but that at this time weren't sure if this was going to come to be in the end. I explained that at this time we couldn't say whether if that were to happen that it would be a decision made by the CCAA for us or if it would be a choice that Thomas & I would make, but that either way we needed some time. Unfortunately, time is what we do not have with an expiration date on our I-171H of 12/22. We knew that we had to make a choice soon or the choice would be made for us as there would be no time to get the renewal completed prior to the expiration date.

The agency out of Chicago continued to explain why just letting it lapse was a reasonable choice for us. I questioned her about how the CCAA would react, what about the fact that we would then become a Hague case & what it would mean for our place in this line. She said that it means nothing. She said that yes, we would become a Hague case, but so is everyone else who has gotten in line since April 08. She said that wouldn't have much effect on anything. She said that it is a little more work, but nothing that can't be accomplished. She pointed out that people are still sending Dossiers daily & that they are all Hague cases as of April 08. She pointed out that it must be going just fine as the program is still continuing & that although slow, the line just keeps getting longer. She said that we would just have to do ten hours of online parenting/attachment/bonding courses from an accredited source, (We already spoke to someone who had to do this & they did it online through an agency that offered them. The cost was $100.00.) & that you have to get a background check from every state that you have ever lived in, instead of just the one from which you currently live. There are some concerns about our agency. (Which BTW, they don't have an office in the state where we live, thus the reason we have to use a private agency for our update.) The concern in regards to our agency is that they have not received Hague approved status. They have been assured that they will be granted this in Jan. 09. I checked. They are not on the approved list, but they also are not on the denied list either. As far as our place in line, she explained that will not change. She said that the CCAA does not keep in contact with the UCSIS (Is that the right agency?!?!? You know who I mean, right?). She said that we would just stay right in line right we we are today. She said that our I-171H would just be expired & that is it. She explained that if & when the line begins to move-she recommended when it appeared that we might be about a year out to then go ahead & update the I-171H & our home study (if it has not been done by then) & then we would be set. She said that many, many families are taking this route & it appears that it will work out fine.

Our agency strongly discourages us from doing this. We asked them what their bases was for their feelings & all they could say was that the Hague is just so new that they feared the unknown & just felt that we should stay current. Well, as far as we are concerned this whole process is nothing but risk & the unknown. So, for us~that is just more of the same. To be honest, yesterday I was ready to pull the plug completely & honestly had planned to today. I had said that I was tired & just spent. I feel that the this whole process has reached a level of what is almost cruelty to potentially adoptive parents & their families & quite frankly I think some government entity needs to stop it. I am not going to debate about the children & what is best for them & who are we doing this for & why are we doing it & that China never promised us anything.... I have heard that on other sites a million times. Thomas & I are not out to "save a child", we want to grow our family~period. So, prior to speaking to the Chicago agency that is where we were headed~to stop this for ourselves. We were going to pull our Dossier & just sit with things for a while. We were going to wait out the brewing Domestic possibilities, get this move under control, continue to research InVitro, Research Korea & Taiwan & other agencies & quite frankly~we were going to just breathe while we took some times to see where things are headed for the China program. We felt that we refused to be forced to hurry & do something that we weren't sure was right for us simply due to some piece of paper that was expiring. For us, it just didn't feel right. We were ready to put some of the control back in our hands.

Will becoming a Hague case have some kind of long term ramifications that no one knows about right now? Maybe. But, this is a better alternative for us than completely pulling our Dossier. Our Dossier can stay there, we can remain in the line, we can keep our LID & all the while still be thinking about what is best for us. We don't have to be rushed or forced to do something simply on the basis of the expiration of our I-171H. (Not too even mention the financial ramifications of having to do a renewal or an update three or four & maybe more times!) In our eyes the whole process is an unknown right now & is a huge risk. Am I encouraging anyone else to make this choice or saying that anyone else should take this route? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! I am only telling our story & sharing our thoughts. We would love to hear from all of you & welcome your thoughts & opinions & what you have heard. We have made our decision. This is what we are doing. It is what is right for us.

We will have to update our home study for Illinois if & when a Domestic situation arises. That's fine. We welcome that time & will be glad to do it if & when the time comes.

Thank you all so much for your friendship & support. Nothing has changed for us except that effective 12/22 we will be a Hague case. That's it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Confused, What did Arkansas just do?

I of course like most of you this morning have been watching the election recap. There has been so much focus on the Presidential campaign, that not a lot of us have been very aware of some of the social issues on the ballot. I do not live in Arkansas, but was just in shock as one of the states ballot issues was announced on CNN. Apparently, they had an issue on the ballot that would ban singles from adopting. What?!?!? Apparently, according to CNN their intent was to prevent homosexuals or couples in same sex relationships from adopting. Their idea of a good solution to what they deemed as a problem was to put this issue to a vote. It passed. They do not recognize same sex marriage, so they have succeeded in their attempt to prevent homosexuals or same sex couples from adopting. I think the bigger focus here is that they have now stopped anyone that is not married from adopting. No single woman or man will be allowed to adopt in this state as a result of this law. This seems appalling to me. To be honest, I really don't have much more to say as I am somewhat speechless. I know that China recently chose to not any longer allow singles to apply, but this just happened in the United States. Don't they know how many singles irregardless of their sexual preference adopt & not only do they adopt; they often adopt older children & children with special needs. I really don't think I should go on right now about this as I think I need to digest this for a while~I am just really shocked right now.

Temporary Email Addy

We just recently got new EMail service. Well, I should say that is what we were suppose to be getting. Eight days later, we have Internet service, phone service & cable service~but, still no EMail service. Finally, a brilliant friend (Thank you Sara L.) suggested to me that I open a GMail account. After eight days of fighting with that crazy other EMail account, I followed her advice (Why I hadn't thought to do that, who knows?!?!?). However, when setting it up I used my last name right in the address. I was reminded that I probably shouldn't plaster that on my blog. I suppose they are right. Basically, I just wanted to let you all know that if you would like my email address, just leave a comment here & I will EMail it to you privately. Eventually, we hope to have the other one up & running properly. When that happens we will let you all know & will then be using thomasandjennifer@comcast.net Until then, we will just use the GMail account. Feel free to leave me messages here or like I said, just request from here & I will shoot you a private EMail with our temporary GMail address. EMail sent to tomandjen@cableone.net will never be received by us. It will just go out there to cyber space somewhere never to be viewed again! :o)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

To cut or not to cut...

Okay, I had been debating back & forth for a while. Cut it or don't cut it? Everyone had their opinion about what I should do, but as with most things these days I found myself indecisive. I found this day spa/salon called "Elle" about seven minutes from our house. When I got there the stylist that I had been referred to had the very cut that I had been contemplating. The stylist had hers a little more edgy-more stacked in the back & little longer in the front than in the back. We modified the cut a little to fit what I was wanting. To me, when I walked in & saw her hair I figured that was the Universe telling me to go for it. So, I did it. I am very happy with my decision. It no longer takes me thirty minutes to dry my hair & I no longer can each & everyday have it pulled up either in a pony tail or piled up in a knot on top of my head. Thank goodness!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Checking In, Catching Up & Settling In~

How is everyone? Not online much these days. No time. However, be warned, I have a little time this AM while drinking my coffee so this will likely be a marathon post!

We got moved. Load day was a little difficult as it poured rain. However, everyone worked really hard & did the best that they could under less than perfect circumstances for a move. Nothing got damaged & other than us all being a little wet behind the ears & damp down to our socks no one & nothing was any worse for the wear. The next day we met the moving truck to unload at our new place. It was a chilly & brisk morning, but sunny! We unloaded without any problems. Over all, the move as far as a moves go, I would have to say was pretty uneventful.

We are attempting to get settled. What a process! We are planning to paint every room, so there really isn't much that we can do until we start that process. We sold a lot of our furniture prior to moving & have plans to make some purchases, but again until we choose paint colors & get rolling with that we really can't make many choices. The house is fairly empty right now & we would like to keep it that way until we get a lot of these initial projects underway. It will just make them easier to complete. Right now, our main focus is to just get the boxes unpacked & get somewhat settled with the way things are & what we have now so that we can live fairly comfortably in our home as we begin to tackle projects one at a time. It is difficult to even choose blinds or curtains until you know about paint colors. It is slow, but we are making little bits of progress every day.

The house was a new construction & had never been lived in before. It was completed, other than the flooring, for a while before we moved in (almost a year actually). There are certain things that you just don't know/find until you move in & have lived in the home that needed to be finished off or that should have been done differently. The house is good. We really like it. "My list" is all just cosmetic issues mainly~but, the list is ever growing! I am so picky & pretty close to being neurotic about stuff like that. I just get focused on something that I see that needs to be or that I want done & I want it done right now. I have no patience for waiting around on stuff like that. So, I am learning that it isn't all going to get done in a day & that I need to just relax. It will all eventually get done.

The breakfast nook & most of the kitchen is open to the family room which we absolutely love. That is our favorite part of the house. I have finally been cooking in the kitchen. (Now that we can see the counter tops!) There are so many windows on the back side of the house & just like the family room being right there by the kitchen the windows run that back wall of the house right by the kitchen. I love that. We purchased a new television for the family room. We really like it. It is the biggest t.v. (52 inch) we have ever had & has the best picture. We haven't had much t.v. time, but when we have indulged ourselves with a little down time in front of the t.v., we have really enjoyed it! I don't generally get too into the whole electronic scene. That is usually Thomas's thing, but I must admit that I was pretty excited about this purchase too.

We really like the area. We love all of the options of so many places to shop & lots of activities & events always going on. We really like our neighborhood as well. We have already been invited over to a bonfire at a neighbor's house. We are looking forward to that! Everyone is so friendly & we have found the service in the area to be exceptional. We weren't sure how the people would be in a metro area, but we have been very pleased to find that the people that we have come in contact with so far have been super.

I have been venturing out on my own more & more. For those of you that know me, you might know that I can literally get lost in a cardboard box! Thomas is insisting on getting me a GPS. So far I have resisted. Mainly because I think I will probably just crash the car while trying to work the crazy thing while driving or that it would be a waste of our money as I would get so frustrated with not being able to figure it out that I might be tempted to throw it out the window at some point! (Also not great with electronics either!) I haven't gotten lost yet. Driving I will say though is a whole different experience here. People flat drive & if you don't they honk to let you know about it! Thomas & I just crack up. We still have Missouri plates on our cars & can only imagine what they must be saying about us Missouri drivers! There are so many stop lights, but the speed through them is 50 & 55MPH! We have been use to 30-35 MPH through areas with a lot of stop lights. Plus, there are business's everywhere & people are always stopping & turning. I won't even hardly talk on my cell phone while driving any more as there is just too much going on!

Our home back in Missouri hasn't sold yet. We really don't expect that it will now until spring. It would be a great surprise if it did. We really hate to have the burden of worrying about the care & maintenance of it through the winter months, but we have some great neighbors checking on it & our realtor is watching it as well. It has only been on the market a very short time & in this market-well, we won't even go there with that conversation. We have all heard way enough about "the market", haven't we? (Stock market, real estate market & grocery market...& any other market that can be gone on & on & on about!)

Thomas's job could not be going any better. He has fallen in love with his career all over again. He is very pleased with how things are going & is filled with anticipation for the future, especially in regards to the grand opening of his store that is tentatively planned for March. He is very happy. The other day we were of all things bagging groceries together at a discount grocery store. He looked at me & said, "I love my life." I smiled at him, winked & said, "You love your wife? Isn't that what you said." He laughed & responded that since I am after all a huge part of his life, that yes, that was exactly what he said. Right now he is with work having to do quite a bit of driving. This doesn't thrill him. He is use to living less than five minutes from the front door of our home to his store. Lately, he is about twenty to thirty miles away from our home to his work plus he does a lot of back & forth meetings. He is working in one store & then has to go to meetings in the town where his store is being built. Plus, living here it isn't like twenty miles=twenty minutes. Oh no! Can you say traffic!?!?! & usually lots of it! This also means that he doesn't get to come home right now for lunch either. Other than that, all is well for him at work. This is not really a problem. It is just a new part of our life that we are not use to. When his store is finished though & he is working in it full time, we will be about five miles from our home to his store.

I have been only working in the home keeping things running around here. I am thinking of picking up some PRN or part time hours somewhere though. Haven't decided what or where yet for sure, but I have been thinking about it & have spent a little time researching some of my many options. I don't know that I will go back into the hospital setting, but if I want to there are many to choose from. It is very different here though as everyone in the patient care field is required to be licensed with the state whether you are a CNA or Tele Tech. It is no different than being an RN. Obviously, it is a different education level & is a "license" with the state verses a degree, but it is impressive to me that they consider all patient care staff positions very seriously & require the utmost commitment & education from all positions. You must pass the state accredited course & be licensed. I think that is awesome, especially from the point of view of a patient!

We really like the gym that is available to us right here by our house within our subdivision. (I don't know if you can call what will soon be 2500 homes a subdivision. Maybe community would be a better word.) They have great drop in classes too & a lot of activities going on in the community center as well. (I am headed there after I am finished with this post.) I have been trying to get there as many days a week as I can. It is really a great break. They have flat screens all across one wall. You plug your ear buds into a jack on the machine & set the jack to whichever t.v. channel you want & you can hear whichever t.v. you select. It is a great place to meet people too. I have made a couple of friends there already. They also have activities & drop in care for children of all ages.

For those of you that have been asking/wondering, we haven't heard any more as of yet about the possible twin adoption. That is not a surprise. She will only be four months along on November 9th. She said weeks ago that it may be several months before we heard anything more. And then of course, we may never hear another word about it. As most of you know, you just never can tell about these situations.

As for China~no news really there either. It will soon be time to begin our renewal for our paperwork. We are not looking forward to that process again, financially or emotionally. Having moved to a new state it will be double the fun, no doubt. When we started this process & went through the initial "paper chase" the first time around we just kept thinking that if we just could get through it once we would be home free. We never dreamed that we would be doing it over & over due to lengthening wait times. They are telling us now that we could potentially wait a total of four to five years. Some speculate even longer. As of today it has been one year, three months & ten days since our log in date. So, that gives you an idea of the wait that could still be ahead for us. We are prayerful that something will change & that wait times will shorten. As we are faced with this timeline, we continue to pursue other options domestically, as well as we are strongly considering InVitro in the future. There is a great fertility clinic nearby our new home that offers a shared risk program. You pay initially $18,500.00. This includes everything for three fresh & three frozen cycles. At the end of the entire program if you have not had at least one live birth, they refund you 70% of your money. They of course have to qualify you to be a good candidate for the program first, so we will see. Also, the state in which we moved is one of the few states that requires employers who insure over 25 employees within their company to provide Infertility coverage. However, since my husband's company is not headquartered in the state in which we live, they may not fall under this requirement. We are still doing some research on this.

As a lot of you know, our email hasn't been working properly. Our Internet provider is working on it & tells us that it will be up & running by tomorrow (Friday/Halloween!) morning. If & when it is working our email address is:

Don't forget! Sunday is Daylight Savings Time. You get to sleep an extra hour or have an extra hour in your Sunday to get in some R&R, however it will get dark way early which I don't love.

Are you all ready for the trick or treater's? In our community the kiddos are only allowed to knock on doors from 3PM-7PM. The weather is suppose to be good! Be safe everyone!

We actually had some snow the other day. No accumulation, but snow for sure. It started spitting ice. Sort of like hail, but quickly turned to snow. And let me tell you, when they say "the windy city" they are not kidding! My goodness, the wind is really something here!

Are we ready for the election? I am pretty excited. I am not 100% Obama, but I just can't get behind McCain for a variety of reasons that I won't drudge out here. (Mainly one word mainly explains it all where I am concerned, or rather one name-Palin. Ugh.) Regardless of your political stand, let's hope for a fair election & a new President that will bring our country the change that it needs!

It has been somewhat difficult & a really odd experience not knowing even where to get a haircut, where to go to the dentist, who to choose for a general physician etc. Our realtor & the people that we have met have been great to give us some referrals. I find myself very indecisive these days about the simplest decisions. I think it is because all of the sudden I have so many options. Instead of one Lowe's we have four (not to mention Home Depot (several), Menard's (several), umpteen hardware stores & a litany of other places that sell the same stuff that I had never heard of before. Instead of a couple of salons we have fifty plus, instead of a handful of dentist there are pages & pages in the yellow book, instead of one hospital there are six within driving distance, instead of a Wal-Mart & a HyVee~now we have at least twenty grocery stores & I don't even know how many retail shops (mind you~NONE even coming close to the awesomeness of Wal-Mart!~no favoritism there, huh?). And don't even get me started on the churches~we could visit one every Sunday & never go to the same one twice I think! Thus my indecisiveness. I finally chose a salon & have a appointment on Saturday to get my eyebrows & hair done. Thank goodness. I am looking pretty shaggy!

Speaking of choices~how many of you have an Ikea? Where has that place been all of my life!?!?!? A lot of what they have is a little modern for our home. Some of it is more for what we imagine in like a loft in downtown, but oh my goodness! They have everything! And the prices~wow! We love it. We have only been here a couple of weeks & have been there like three times already & it's about fifteen-twenty minutes from our house! Oh & Costco~never been there either. Now we are members & really like it too. And Laurie~your post about your frequent trips to Red Robin with the family prompted us to check that out shortly after arriving & YUM is what I have to say about that! Also, "The Weber Grill" restaurant~if you have the chance to ever try that out, do so! The smell is amazing. When you walk in there are about twenty Weber Grills lined up in a row in their open kitchen in which they do all of the cooking on. For those of you that know Thomas, this was a near Heaven like experience for him. He is a Weber Grill fanatic. I got him for our anniversary a few years back the big daddy of all Weber Grills & he loves that thing! He won't use gas, even though we all know it is much easier he is a charcoal man & it must be a Weber. The food? Awesome! However, get one entree' & split it. The portions are hugely ridiculous! Oh & you all know about our love for good coffee~Starbucks on every corner just about! I have put myself on a Starbucks budget. Really. It may be good, but cheap it is not! At Costco they sell $100.00 in Starbucks gift cards for $79.00. We are thinking about doing that. That is a good savings.

So, all in all it is starting to feel like home. We are getting into a routine, finding our way & are beginning to settle in a little. Some have asked for pictures of us "getting settled" to be posted. Uh...not yet. Firstly, I have no idea where my camera is & even if I could find it I doubt the batteries are charged. Second, I have no idea where my USB cables are & third-to be very honest although I may sound like this is all somewhat coming together, honestly most mornings I am fairly certain that I may very well lose my mind at some point in the day from the utter lack of disorganization & chaos in our home. (You know my type A, control freak, organizational, planner, almost neurotic personality at times has not went away just because we moved!) Really, believe me. You don't want to see photos of boxes stacked in the garage or my hair standing on end from the stress of it all. (As Thomas will tell you it is really not all that stressful, I just tend to get amped up about clutter & disorganization-thus, my utter fascination with all of the organizational components at Ikea!)

Not far from our home is a brand new GoodWill. A lot of you know that I love a good second time around store. Tomorrow is the GoodWill Grand Opening. I suppose you can guess what I will be checking out in the morning.

Okay, the gym & the boxes are calling my name~

Sunday, October 12, 2008

We are outta here~

As most of you know we are moving. Thomas is back home now & we are in full packing/moving mode! We will likely be taking the computer down & packing it away today or early tomorrow, so this is me signing off for a bit. I think this couldn't have come at a better time for me. A little Internet hiatus. First, forced due to the move & now, I think I might just roll with it for a while.

Just quickly, I want to say thank you for the many private emails that I received regarding all of the hype & drama from the other day in the open forum. I am so fortunate to have so, so many who understand not only where I was coming from, but so many of you understood my true intentions. I appreciate all of you!

I hope the next months bring only good things for all of us regardless of where we are in our journey! I hope that when I do check back in that lots of you will have big news to share!

Take Care!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Wow, yes that is really all I could think of to say about something that I started yesterday. I posted something in a forum that is a very popular site that many people within the adoption community visit. I did it without malice, but boy was I naive. My words were read in a much different way than they were written or intended & well, the rest is history! I will not hash out all of the nasty details of exactly was or wasn't said here again on my blog. Most of you know the website & can go, if you have an hour or TEN, & read the thread if you want to. I will say in short that all I wanted to know was where everyone's minds & hearts were in regards to an issue. The issue I knew would be a very, very sensitive topic~but, I felt that the forum in which I was raising the issue was a safe place to bring it up. OOPS! Wrong again! I knew that it would not likely make me the most popular gal around, but little did I know...I was bringing up the subject of families returning to China for multiple adoptions or even families with several biological children adopting when there are many families who are childless as a result of Infertility who haven't even been once yet. I talked about back when the climate with China Adoptions was very different; the wait was much shorter & according to the CCAA; there were many more babies available for adoption. I stated that I realized that there are MANY variables to this situation, such as special needs~but, just overall I was curious as to everyone's thoughts on the subject. The one great thing that did come of it was that through some of the outrage & slamming that occurred, & believe me there was a lot of that, there were some great post. Some that I am happy to say really opened my eyes to other's points of view. There were many post just basically yelling at me telling me that I should be ashamed of myself & that I should apologize for bringing up such a topic. There were many who said that they were very offended. Some who even went as far to say something like (not quoting here, just paraphrasing)~they were planning to take their children that they have now to China with them when they go this time for their next adoption & to think that there are those who feel this way just devastated them. Surely they already knew as I am told this issue has been brought up many times in the past. I am sure that they realize that only mere years ago that this was in fact one of the rules for China-at least that is what I was told. I know too that there are some countries still today that require that the family be childless & there are those that even require Infertility to be the reason. Now hear me clearly, PLEASE~I did say FOR MY FAMILY that it would be a difficult choice for US to put ourselves in line in front a family that was childless if we already had children in the home. That being said, I said up front that I was very sensitive to the sibling issue & thankfully due to some fabulous discussion amidst all of the hype yesterday I even have a better understanding of this now. I never wanted to push my feelings on anyone else or expected them to change their views. All that I really wanted was for people to share their thoughts, opinions & feelings on the subject so that we could possibly all open our minds & walk in another's shoes if only for the discussion. I thought that this would bring people together & help us to understand one another better. Whew, I was so naive. I even said that I knew that the CCAA makes the rules & that even if someone wanted to, you have to stay in line where you are placed. I get that. Someone emailed me privately & mentioned an idea that they had about separate lines. It was a very good idea. She was afraid to post it on the forum as she said she wasn't up for all of the slamming. Her instincts were better than mine!

I haven't been back on the site recently & don't intend on it. I did however try to post a brief comment last night & now the moderator is having all post (well, at least mine & a couple others as they have mentioned it.) go through her prior to allowing them to be posted. The thing of it is, my comments were far from the hateful tone that many took. I never told anyone to be ashamed of themselves or demanded an apology. However, my comments are not being posted, nor does it appear that anyones are who has an opinion or comment that falls on the minority side of the issue. I thought forums such as this were suppose to be fair & un-bias. Now, it is like only one side of this subject is being allowed to be posted & that is very sad. I can understand moderating a site. I mean obviously we need to keep things clean, but I would hope that we would not see censorship, especially if it made a subject seem very one sided when clearly there are many on both sides of the issue. I am not saying that is what is happening, I am just saying that as of last night it appeared to me as such.

In closing, I will just say that I wasn't offended, upset or hurt by what anyone said. I appreciated the discussion. I read the thread & just tried to see through the slamming & hatefulness to get to the good stuff. Overall, it was a good discussion & I still contend a good topic that was fair to bring up in the forum in which I did.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Here We MIGHT Go Again...

If you can believe it ~after two failed domestic placements we have received yet another call this past week & yes, we are jumping in with both feet. It is VERY early & still VERY uncertain. The Mother has not completely made her decision. Therefore, we won't be able to share many details as of now-if ever, as we will always keep her & her entire families privacy at the center of our consciousness. We will keep you posted as we can. I can & will tell you one fun, VERY exciting detail-IT'S TWINS! We may not know any more than we do now for months & we may know more details next week. The main thing to know is that she knows that IF & WHEN she is ready, we are here & ready to go forward.

Thomas is coming home Saturday via the train! YAY! I am so excited! After two weeks of being in two different states, we are way ready to be reunited!

We will make our big move next week. We are ready~well, we are ready to be moved, but still have much to do to get moved. I am a good organizer & am a planner by nature. I have a date book that has every step of this move planned out day by day, so it should all go smooth. There is just so much to do as all of you that have ever moved know.

I am off to take myself a little break though. I am DVR'ing Survivor & then Grey's Anatomy~so, off for a little television watching.

Oh & for those of you watching the stock market~YIKES! I don't even want to look at our 401K & investments. Ugh. No sense in looking right, nothing to do about it but wait it out I suppose & hope for the best in the long term. It is just difficult to think about what was there & what is there now.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Blogger ? & Some Misc. Thoughts~

First, the blogger ?, whenever I sign onto my blog I use my email address & then a password. I assume you all do the same. When we move, we will lose this email address & have to get a new one. What is going to happen with my blog? Is there a way for me to change the email address associated with my blog? For those of you out there that have been through changing your email address while having a blogger account & wanting to keep it & have done this already, thank you in advance for any help that you can give me.

I just first have to give a shout out to the weather~WOW! Could it get any more beautiful?!?!? Unfortunately, I have been stuck mostly inside packing & organizing, other than a few trips outdoors to the mailbox, trash & the few minute breaks here & there that I have forced myself to take just to sit & take in the awesomeness of this day! Fall is here & I love it!

Thomas has called me several times today. Being the weekend, he is not working today. So, he finds himself with time on his hands & us separated by a lot of miles & many hours. He has been keeping busy today though. He is working out the details so that he can take the train home next week. He will leave the car there in our new town & then take a taxi to the Metra Station. Then, he will hop on the Metra & ride to Union Station/Chicago. From there he will walk over to the Am track Station & catch a train to home. I will pick him up at the station closest to our home, only about ten miles from where we live now. This will be great, as we will only have one car to drive back when we move so that we can ride together. He purposefully took the smaller car & left our SUV here so that we will have more room to load that down with some of the most fragile items. He headed over to Ikea today. We love their stuff & are hoping to make a few purchases from there once we get moved, so he is checking it out today getting some more ideas. He keeps calling me from the inside the store to tell me about things that he is finding. He was in awe when he pulled up~he called me before he even got in the front door telling me that the building just for Ikea was like a mall & that it was about four stories high. He had lunch at the Weber Grill restaurant. Thomas is a huge Weber grill fan. He won't use gas, only charcoal for him. I got him the mac daddy of Weber Grills a few years ago for his b-day & he loves that thing. Anyway, he found out that they had a restaurant & he has been excited to try it out ever since. Very close to our new home they have several, so he called me from there today & told me to guess where he was having lunch. He was pretty excited. He said that he can't wait to take me there. I told him that I could almost smell it from here! http://www.webergrillrestaurant.com/
Check it out at the above link.
Anyhow, he is doing well. He is getting the lay of the land & will no doubt have much to show me once I am there as well. I am looking forward to him being my official tour guide.

My day has not been nearly as fun filled or exciting. I am sure you can guess what I have been doing...I think I already mentioned it matter of fact~packing & organizing & more of the same! It has been fine mostly. However, who would have thought that packing & organizing would bring with it the flood of emotions that I was overcome with today?!?!?!? I was working in the garage. I bought a bunch of Rubbermaid Tubs to do some-yep, you guessed it, "organizing & packing". All of our baby stuff was already mostly in tubs & labeled. (It is not however organized by sex or size, however, that will come later when we get closer to our referral or the delivery of our kiddo if that would come first via InVitro (myself) or delivery via a surrogate...) Anyway, everything was mostly already washed, folded neatly & put away in tubs, labeled & ready to go on the truck. However, there was some stuff that still needed to find its place. Most of that was from our most recent failed placement ("Emma Kate"). Having those things in my hands again brought back memories~memories that if I were to write about in a post again I would likely title it, "The best of times, the worst of times...".

The other day I may have mentioned, that my friend Kristin & I met & had pedicures & then went to lunch. Lately any type of beauty regimen for myself hasn't even been on my radar screen. Okay, let's face it~most days I do good to get a brush ran through my hair! Usually by 3PM, you can find me with my hair on top of my head, still in the t-shirt & shorts that I slept in, standing amidst piles of, yep~you guessed right-boxes! So, thank you Kristin for what was a very welcome break. The massage chairs at the pedicure place were great. I didn't want to get up even after my toes were dry.

Well, I just needed a little break. & yes, now my break is over & it is back to, yes, again you guessed correctly, "packing & organizing"!

Friday, October 3, 2008

So, What did you think?

For all of you that watched the debate, what did you think? Me? Yes, I watched it beginning to end & all that came afterward & this morning. Gov. Palin drove me nuts every time she kept turning & addressing Sen. Biden. One of the main rules of a debate is that you can not under any circumstance address the other candidate. Every comment, statement, question etc. must be addressed to the moderator. As you noticed, Sen. Biden addressed everything that he said to Gwen, the moderator as the rules clearly state~that just bugged me. Follow the rules please Gov. Palin. As far as the issues, I thought that they both did a lot of side stepping & avoiding, changing the subject & just carrying on about whatever was on their individual agendas irregardless of what the moderator asked or directed. Gov. Palin even went so far as to state that she would do it her way irregardless of what the moderator or Sen. Biden might ask or want to know. I got quickly tired of hearing about how they do it in Alaska & quickly grew weary of hearing about the soccer moms of the world & BTW, who the heck is "Joe Six pack"?!?!? And since when did John McCain change his name to "Maverick"? Ugh. They both need to get their heads out of the clouds~both of them referred to the middle class time & time again as to a family earning annually less than $250,000.00. What?!?!?! They neither one at any time spoke in reference to the lower income families. The families in which a family of four is barely bringing home $49,000.00 annually or the senior citizens living on a fixed income who are going hungry so that they can pay their electric bill & get a few of their much needed prescriptions. They wanted to talk about the bail out, but at no time did either of them care to explain why the "middle class American" is left to pick up the pieces & clean up this mess that Wall Street has caused. And then the health care plans~one is subsidized & the other is a $5,000.00 plan that is going to cause millions of us to get dropped by our companies who now provide us with good health care policies & have to replace it with less than half of the money that it cost in the first place.

I don't know about you, but all I got out of the debate last night was something that I already knew~we are in big trouble folks!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I thought that I would break it down for those of you not logged in for China that might not be as familiar with the timeline as those of that are logged in. A lot of you have friends or family that are logged in & are as impatient & curious about this wait as we are. So, here it goes!

Okay, so as I told you in my last post the CCAA got through the 15th, of February that is-2006!! Remember our log in date is July 20, 2007. They have been on average doing about six days of referrals per batch & on the average they do about a batch a month.

There have been a lot of rumors about a speed up. So, let's just say some miracle occurs & they start doing a month at a time. (The only reason I say that is because it makes the math really simple!) So, let's figure as if they are done with February, again to simplify the math. If they were through with February 2006 (they are not, as I said they are through the 15th-but anyway~), then it would take seventeen more months to get to us. In order for them to do a month at a time, the CCAA would have to start referring four times the batches that they are now-NOT likely.

If the CCAA would start doing double what they are doing now, that would get them to almost two weeks at a time. This would be half of what I described above. Two weeks at a time would put us waiting another thirty-four months.

If they continue at this rate, well...can we even do that math in our heads? Let's see, that would be another 68 months...also known as 5.67 years.

Keep in mind, this is just straight ol' math. Just the numbers as they are now without considering any of the variables that we all know now have to be considered. The biggest one is attrition. So many people have dropped out of line~some have moved to special needs, some have switched countries & some have just dropped out all together. Also, it is worth mentioning the decrease in the number of Dossiers now being submitted for China. After May 2007 the regs were tightened & changed dramatically, so there was a big decline after May. However, the months right before May were huge months as everyone who would not qualify under the new regulations were all trying to get in under the cut off.

As of today, those that received their referrals this month have waited on average for about two years, nine months give or take a month here or there.

We are being told by our agency to anticipate a total wait time of about three years. That would mean that we will wait another 22 months. That will put us at or around August 2010. We must remember though that when we first started all of this we were told that we would wait about nine-twelve months & here we are at just over fourteen months with no end in sight.

We fully expect to wait three-four years total, but nothing would surprise us. I will be 36 next month. At this point, I just hope & pray to see Mia's face by the time I celebrate my 40th birthday.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Not the 19th~

Referrals came & it looks like we made it through the fifteenth. In my previous post I had wished aloud that we would get to the nineteenth. Maybe I should have kept my wishes to myself, huh? We were through the ninth, so I guess we can mark off six days. Well, at least that is something, at least we have continued forward movement~slow as it may be. The referrals that I have been fortunate to see this round are all so sweet, as always. Congratulations to all of the families who are just seeing their babies face for the first time. Here's hoping that your travel approval come quickly!

Tomorrow will be Thomas's third day in his new position in his new market. He has called me many times since arriving & is doing well. He is not too fond of hotel living. He will be glad when we can make the big move, we can both be in the same state again & we can begin the process of settling into our new place.

Tomorrow is more organizing, packing, phone calls & errands for me. Off to bed for now.

Friday, September 26, 2008

We found a house.

Yep, we officially have a new home to move into. We spent a few days this week in Illinois. One of the days we started out early in the morning with our realtor looking at properties & continued through mid-afternoon. In the end, we found a great home in a great subdivision. It is a new construction, so there are a few things to be done yet as you can see in the above pictures. Mainly just flooring & moving some of the appliances in. They have assured us that it will be done in plenty of time. We will be moving in a couple of weeks. Right now we are busy packing & wrapping things up here.
Our new place is in what they are now calling a "multi-generational community". You know how they have some that are 55+, for senior citizens~well, the one that we are moving to is for the other generations I guess. Here is the description of it:
This multi-generational community is a family oriented and value enhanced community that has the amenities of a village in a convenient location for commuters. Currently planned for 2,995 homes, the community was recently named best overall suburban community & has been the top selling community since sales opened in 2005. The community is comprised of 1,164 acres including over 360 acres of open space including 12 lakes, wooded park areas and 5.2 miles of walking and bike trails. We feature a large community center with three outdoor pools, a large gymnasium, aerobics rooms, cardiovascular and weight rooms, a day care center and much more! The community also features an on-site Charter School and pre-school, five baseball diamonds, three soccer fields, several playgrounds and tot-lots and a skate park.
We toured the grounds & the community center. We can't wait to have some little ones who can take advantage of all of the activities that they offer for the younger ones. However, in the meantime they offer many things for Thomas & I too! We think we have really chosen a home in an area that is a great fit for us & the future of our family. We are anxious to call it home.
We had our moving sale. It was a great success. Thankfully, we were able to get rid of all of the large items & most everything else as well. Some items that were left we took to the local Mission & we have a few items that we still need to take to consignment.Our home here is still on the market. It has had some interest & a few showings, but it has not sold yet. The banks have tightened their reigns & are requiring much more of a down payment, even for first time home buyers so that is proving to make it more difficult for some to get financing. That of course trickles down to those of us selling homes as it reduces the number of potential/eligible buyers.
Thomas's last day here at the store went well. He will start his new position very soon. He is very anxious to get going. During this last trip to look at property we were able to sit in the parking lot of the new store & watch some of the bricks being laid. The construction workers were working very hard. They had accomplished a lot since we had been there only weeks prior. It was very exciting for Thomas & me too to be able to see the progress first hand. We both got a little emotional as we sat there literally watching the walls being put into place.
Sounds as if referrals are about to be on their way! We are hoping for a lot of days. C'mon the 19th I say! That would be ten days & something that we could all feel good about, right? If I were being very optimistic I would say c'mon the 27th as some friends of ours are LID on that day. It won't be long now Lane's! With a LID of July 07, we are living vicariously through others who are a little closer than us these days. It is about time for us to begin the renewal process for our I-171H. UGH! What more can I say?!?! And right here when we are moving to a new state! I don't even want to think about it. It make me nauseated. I fear that it is going to be like Dossier preparation all over again~new state, new physician, new social worker etc. I just keep telling myself, "one thing at a time..."!
Well, off to bed. Tomorrow will bring with it more packing...this moving thing~what a job!
**Sorry about the paragraphs in this post or should I say the lack there of...for whatever reason Blogger will not let me edit & fix that?!?!?**

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

When ?

The question everyone is asking that we don't have an answer for..."When are you actually moving?".

Well, we do have a tentative plan. Here it is...coming up first is our big ol' garage moving/sale. Then, we will be leaving to head that way for a few days to meet with our realtor there to look at properties. We hope while we are there that we will find & secure a place to live. Depending on how that goes & how long it takes, at some point we will then return back to our home here to begin preparations to get Thomas packed & ready to move. He will stay in an extended stay/lodging type place for a bit so that he can go ahead & begin work. I will stay behind & tie up business here & work on packing. Once I am wrapping things up here, Thomas will get an additional seven days off in which he will come back & help me finish the packing & then we will actually move.

So, back to the original question..."When are we actually moving?". I guess the answer is that we don't really know for sure. We would at this time think it will be in a few weeks, but we couldn't say that for sure. It just depends on how things go.

We have had several people look at the house already & apparently one family that is very interested. We hope to have an offer from someone soon. If not, that's okay. We are not in any huge hurry to sell it. However, it will just be one less thing for us to not have to deal with once we are moved.

Things are going very well so far with the whole transition. Yesterday was officially my last scheduled work day at the hospital. I was overstaffed & put on call due to low census in the Unit in which I work. They called me at 4:30AM yesterday. I am not going to go into the specific details, but I will say that the end of my employment with that hospital after being there for just shy of six years did not end the way that I would have hoped. However, I will say this; I am taking one huge thing from there with me; well a couple of things really. First, a lot of knowledge. I did learn a lot while I was employed there & I am grateful for that. Most importantly though, I made friends & got to know a few people over the years while I was working there that I feel like now are my extended family. You guys know who you are! (At least I hope that you do!) I will treasure those special friendships always. I will definitely keep in touch. As soon as I have it, you will have my new address, phone number & email...& I will expect you to use them! :o)

Thomas's last day at his store here is tomorrow. They are having a little surprise something for him in the morning that they have invited me to as well. (SHHHH! It's a secret for now!) He is ready to move on, but as with most things that you have done for six years~it will be an emotional day as he makes his exit & moves on to new things. He had a vacation week scheduled for early October. Since he won't be taking it then, he was fortunately able to move it up to this week so that he can be around & more available to continue to prepare for & have our sale, more packing & to go look at homes for us to move into.

To those of you who have been a part of our lives while we have lived here locally & for all of you reading this~we will miss seeing you on a regular basis, but no worries! We will stay in touch! Email, long distance, cell phones, the train, auto & airplanes...it will work out great, we will make sure of it!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Round Three

Quick update. Terry is not pregnant. Per our request we are sitting out this month. Lots to do. We will pick up where we left off, plus add in some drugs & try again in a month or so. Depending on how that goes, we will then decide if we will try again with Terry & if so, how many more months.

We are researching some fertility clinics in the area where we are moving. We are thinking about the possibility of giving InVitro Fertilization a couple of shots; with me not a surrogate. There are some great clinics in & around the Chicago area. It is now or never. I will be 36 November 25th, so we can't think about this possibility very much longer. We don't want to look back at some point & wonder if we should have tried it, so we are thinking about giving it a shot in or around April 2010. We need to get moved & settled, plus I want to be in the best health that I can possibly be in. I have about fifty more pounds I would like to lose to be at my goal weight. So, with those things in mind & of course we will see what happens with Terry & also where we are in our timeline with Mia's adoption at that time as well. For now, this is the plan that we have in our minds though.

Moving is coming along. Our home isn't even listed on the MLS yet, there is no sign in the yard & we haven't even had the realtor open. However, there was a family that wanted to see it the day after we signed the contract to list it with a realtor. We allowed them to show it & apparently this family is very interested. They are "sleeping on it". So, hopefully come Monday morning we will have an offer.

We will be having a huge moving sale. We are pricing items for that this week. We are heading to Illinois in a few days to meet with the realtor to look at properties. We will stay there a couple of days. Hopefully before returning home we will have a place secured to move to in Illinois.

Hopefully within a few weeks most all of this will be done & behind us. We will likely be moved, far from settled~but, at least moved!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Brief update~

I gave my official resignation at work today. That really made me realize that this is really happening! We are so ready though & so excited!

Thomas has been in contact with his new region's HR department. He is scheduled to start in Illinois September 27th! NO KIDDING! Isn't that right around the corner? At first they said something like the 15th!!! Oh my! Obviously, we won't be totally ready to move by then, so we are not totally sure how this will all play out just yet. However, his company has an awesome relocation division that seems to so far be ready to handle just about everything that you can imagine for us...from selling our house for us to finding us a new one to moving us & on & on! They apparently do it all.

I am off now for a few days. It will be nice to be able to sit down & make a game plan with Thomas as to everything that we need to accomplish & when. We are just going to sit the priorities & go from there. It will all work out fine.

We don't know anything yet from Terry (SIL/possible surrogate) yet either, but it should be in just a couple of days when we will know something. We will definitely know at the latest Sunday, but probably before then.

We did find out that they don't plan to actually grand open Thomas's store until March 2009. He will get an office in the market office there in a near by town so that he can start conducting interviews.

That is about it for now. I will let you know more as we find out more details.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

We're Moving!

Thomas got the job! Yep, we are home from Illinois...amazingly safe & sound~more on that a little later & yes, we are moving. We will soon be calling Huntley, Illinois our home!

As I think I might have mentioned in a previous post the store is not even built yet, however, while there we took a look at the building site & it is well on its way. The sign out front says "Coming Fall 2008". So, it is likely not far off from being completed.

We don't have a ton of details yet. Thomas got the call to offer him the position on Friday just shortly after noon. It was so neat as he was home on his lunch hour when his cell phone rang. So, we got to get the news together. It was a very special moment.

Thomas has been working towards this career goal for many years now. I am so proud of him!

We really liked the area & are thrilled to be so close to Chicago. There is the neatest train system called the Metra. You just hop on & Chicago, here we come!

While we were there we ate at a Chicago Pizzeria. Wow, now that's some pizza! One piece & done! I was stuffed. However, we were like "This left over pizza is coming home with us for sure!" Luckily we had a cooler with us with water & such for the road, so we refilled that with ice & our pizza made the trip home. It was the best for lunch on Friday for Thomas & I after we returned home.

We think that we we have a few weeks before we have to be there. Thomas has to hire probably at least 400 associates, so he will have a lot to do long before the doors open.

We have a million things to do now. Of course, getting our house on the market being the first. The second is starting the process (which actually we have already done) of finding a home in Illinois. We are also in the process of getting ready for a HUGE moving sale. What an undertaking. We knew the time was drawing near, so that process was already begun as well. Now it will just be a much larger sale than what it might have been if we were not moving.

Well, for the not so fun part of the trip....we had a wreck on the way up there. Really, no kidding. Long story short~I was driving. The front right wheel touched the white line & honest to goodness until the whole thing was over I didn't know what had happened. I couldn't get the car back on the road & when I did the car spun around & went into the other lane (thank goodness there was no oncoming traffic!). Then I attempted to correct back to the other lane & the car was literally skidding sideways down the highway at 55 miles per hour. I was still trying to get the car into the correct lane & straightened out as there was a big drop off on that side, plus I was just waiting to get t-boned by oncoming traffic. Finally, I got it back over but the car was in a tail spin. I couldn't get it turned around & we flew backwards over the shoulder & into the ditch & down into this little field. Thank goodness it wasn't too bad of a drop off! It had rained so the grass was slick-so we slid & we don't know how~but the car didn't roll. If we would have been in our SUV...oh my goodness! We would have turned over no telling how many times! Anyway, I don't know what to say about the whole thing other than it is a miracle that we are okay &...you are not going to believe this, but I drove our car out of that field & other than lots of mud, grass & just overall mess our car seemed okay. We took it to the next Tire & Lube Center & they took the tires off & cleaned all of the muck out of the rims & checked things out. Thomas looked under the car & it looked & ran perfectly. So, we of course called 911 to get a police report just in case we did end up having an insurance claim. We walked down to where the accident started, the place where my tire touched the white line...you know how there is usually additional asphalt poured up to meet the road or at least gravel grated up where the road & the shoulder meet? Well, NOTHING for about a couple hundred yards except for about a six inch drop off & a small gully where rain had washed out a little ditch beside of that. So, my tire probably dropped off the six inches which I couldn't have recovered from anyway at 55 miles per hour & then hit that gully & boom-we were done. So, the Police called the Department of Transportation & made them come immediately with a stat road crew to repair that. He measured our skid marks & took photos. He assured me that other than riding the white line that I did nothing wrong & that anyone that would have had that happen the same thing would have most likely occurred. He said that it had to be fixed immediately as that the next person that came along probably wouldn't be so blessed as to not have any oncoming traffic in the other lane or that they might have went over the other side where there was a big drop off. Thankfully we are fine, (my back & neck wrenched a little, but seem okay now), no one else was injured & the car is fine~so we are just grateful! Really, like my Mom said God just wasn't finished with us yet as that could have been & should have been such a different ending! I mean it was a really bad accident. It lasted a few minutes. It wasn't just boom & over. I mean, the fact that we didn't get hit by oncoming traffic & that we didn't roll over...it is just a miracle. Plus, the fact that we drove out of there. I mean, the car? Who cares? BUT, it is wonderful that it wasn't hurt. Many times after that happened during our trip & even now we have just been so thankful & thinking about where we should have been at that time...laid up in a hospital bed, or in the morgue, or making funeral arrangements for the other...etc. It just is amazing that we are okay.

This week, around Thursday or Friday should be the big day...the day we will find out if Terry is pregnant or not. We are hopeful as always.

Referrals came a lot more quickly than expected, huh ? We just love seeing those babies sweet, sweet faces! Congrats to all who have finally for the first time laid eyes on their baby! Come on big batches & keep them coming quickly, right everyone?

The last couple of weeks have brought a couple of baby showers for my good friend Kristin. First, one that we had for her at work & then one that a friend of her family had for her. They were both great. Kristin, Thomas & I are so happy for you, Matthew & the new little one on the way! Thank you for including me in your showers. I had a good time. Oh & the catering yesterday~YUM! That cake...you weren't kidding about how great it was! So good! It was a nice time! Kristin is due in November about a week before my birthday. I keep telling her that she is going to have to keep that little one cookin' just a little longer so me & the baby can share the same birthday. (Just kidding...I would never wish being nine months pregnant on anyone any longer than absolutely necessary!)

Off to do laundry, finish unpacking from our trip & gather more items up for our moving sale!