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...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Just checking in...

Not a lot to post about today...just thought that I would check in. Things are going well with us. I will be picking up more hours at work in the coming weeks. They are short handed & since we are still childless there is not really any reason that I can't be out of the home a little more often & pick up some more shifts at the hospital, so I did. Plus, it is nice to have the extra income so we can save a little more back. The only reason that I had cut back on my hours a few months ago was in preparation to stay home with "Emma Kate". Since she is not with us, I will be working more again...for a little while anyway.

We are getting closer & closer to our big day. It won't be long now before our surrogate will have the first insemination. We are so excited & so grateful. The truth is, we have no expectations. Honestly, we are just so grateful for each day that we are blessed to be able to have so many feelings of excitement & anticipation. We are so thankful to have hope once again. We are thrilled to be able to look ahead to our future & know that there is a chance that our greatest dream may actually come true. For these things, we are so, so grateful. For now, that is enough. We are taking each day as it comes, one at a time. We are hoping soon to have very "positive" news to share with you all!

I just got finished working out. Whew! It is so hot. It was ridiculous hot here today anyway. Our air conditioner is cranking & I had the fan on me while I was on the treadmill & I am still soaked in sweat. I went to a few garage sales this morning in search of a great bargain that I just couldn't live without...& what do you know~I found a few! Ha. I got so hot by about 10AM, I threw in the towel on that agenda & headed to Wal-Mart. We have a week off in early August & we are headed to see my family. They live by a huge touristy area with a major lake. We are going to do some fishing, swimming, BBQ'ing etc. I needed a new swimsuit to take along. While recently in the Dominican Republic we realized that mine was a little thin in the derriere region! Ooops! You could about see right through the darn thing. I have a couple, but that one was my favorite. So, I wanted to find another one that I really liked. Then, after Wal-Mart I went to Maurices & bought a couple of new outfits. Guess I was in a shopping mood. I am a big second hand shopper. I don't generally buy brand new, at least where clothes are concerned, unless it is for a special event. Well, along my weight loss journey I have pretty much gotten rid of a lot of my clothes as they were too big. I just don't have a lot of summer items that aren't just t-shirts & capris or workout wear. You know, stuff that is just fine for around the house or a trip to the grocery store, but not so great for an evening out with your hubby or your friends. So, I bought a few things today that I am really happy with. I was feeling like a slouch always wearing t-shirts, so I broke down & made a few purchases.

We had major flooding here in our town just a couple of nights ago! We got something like eight inches just over night. It was awful. So many people's homes were flooded. We had many city streets & main roads closed with water up over the road. One of the local parks was completely flooded. There was water up over top of the picnic tables! They are calling for rain for the next five to six days. We just feel so badly for the families that have been affected. We have a garden that is suffering terribly. However, it is not a crop that we rely on to feed our family necessarily or provide monetary income for us. There are so many that have crops & farms that are a source of income & food for their families. They have so much invested. I can only imagine what that must feel like to be helpless in regards to the weather only to be able to stand by & watch it happen. Our thoughts & prayers are with all those who are suffering at the hands of Mother Nature right now!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

One year ago today...

Well, we have reached a milestone of sorts today I suppose. One year ago today the CCAA in China logged in our Dossier & our wait for our Mia officially began. We are not "celebrating" this day. Not really a conscious choice not to do so, we have recognized that today is one year & we talked about it & are very thankful that we are one year closer than we were before. However, that will be the extent of it. Every day we long for her, every day we think about her & pray for her, every day we wonder how much longer & every day we are ridden with anxiety in regards to all of the uncertainty these days with China Adoption. My point? Today is no different. All of those things are just the same.

We are having a very good weekend. Thomas & I are both off. We are enjoying our time together very much. We went to our local farmer's market yesterday where we walked around & purchased some produce & some other goodies. Then we hit the coffee shop. We got coffee & bagels. We found a bench there on the square & enjoyed our breakfast. We visited with some people that we ran into that we knew. We came home & watched a movie & then grilled out last evening. It is great having Thomas back at home.

Some friends from a local waiting group are in China now & finally have their sweet little Lindley. http://lindleybuchanan.blogspot.com/ You can go here to their blog & read a little about their first meeting & see a couple of photos. They haven't posted much as they have said, "We have been busy being parents." So understandable! However, they have taken the time to keep us posted on how things are going. Congratulations Buchanan Family!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A lot going on...

Things have been a little hectic for us lately. Thomas has been away on business for the past four weeks. He has been in Arkansas. Thankfully, he has been coming home on the weekends. Although we both enjoy our visit & he really needs the time at home, it is a long drive for him round trip in such a short amount of time. The trip is about eight hours one way! He could have flown, but the airport he would have most likely flown out of is quite a drive from our home. By the time he would have driven to the airport he would have been almost halfway to his destination. Well, not quite half way, but he still felt like it would have been more trouble than it was worth to fly, so he chose to drive. He says that although he has not necessarily enjoyed being away from me & our home, that this business trip as far as his career is concerned has been worth every second of being there. In relation to his job, this has been a very successful trip.

Some of you also know that Thomas is beginning to interview for a different position within his company. The interview process is tough. Most of the people in Thomas's position that have interviewed for this promotion in the past have gone through the process six-nine times before actually getting the placement that they are trying for. It is a three step process that involves first a phone interview, then a second phone interview & then a face to face interview which also includes actually performing the duties of the job for part of the day while being monitored by the superiors that are conducting the interview. You don't necessarily go through the whole process every time, it just depends on how far you get. About a month ago Thomas got asked to do his first interview. He only got through the first telephone interview which was fine & what he expected. He just chalked it up to a good experience & that he was thankful that he would know more of what to expect next time. Well, while in Arkansas last week he got a call that they wanted him to do another phone interview for a different location. He did the first phone interview, the next day they called him & that afternoon did the second phone interview & then that afternoon told him to be in Illinois on Monday morning to do the face to face interview. Whew. What a whirlwind. It is down to Thomas & two other candidates. He doesn't anticipate getting this one as this is as I said only his second go at it. Again, he is just very happy to have the opportunity & to get more experience in regards to the interview process. (For those of you that don't know, Thomas works for a huge company that has stores all over the world. He is currently applying to take the next step up from the position that he has now. Since this is a public blog, sometimes I don't know how explicit I should be, but most of you know where he works that need to & I will just leave it at that for now.) His boss here in town told him that last week regional supervisors from other areas also called for a reference on Thomas as well. So, it sounds like we may be moving soon, however, we have thought that for a while now & haven't yet. Plus, if everyone else is going through six-nine interviews before they are getting their placement Thomas may have a while yet to go. Who knows? We may be calling Illinois home in the near future. I think the other two locations mentioned this last week were Kansas & Arkansas. Time will tell.

This week on the 16th of July "Emma" will turn three months old. It feels like to me she should be about one year old already. I don't know why that is. I have said that before. I have finally reached a point of accepting what happened and I have also accepted that we will never get her back. I am okay with that, but only because I have no other choice. Life is short & I refuse to waste any more of my days always being sad & hoping & praying for something that is just not going to happen. I am a very proactive person. If there is something that I want, then I want to be actively working towards it. I have a very difficult time just sitting idly by waiting. I want to take action. There is no action that I can take, nothing that I can do to fix this. So my only choice is just to let it go; let her go & I have done that. However, I still miss her terribly & I doubt that will ever change. At least I miss our time with her, the "Emma" that we knew. I have accepted that she has a new life now, a different mother & even a new name. I know that the "Emma" that we miss doesn't exist other than in our minds, our hearts & our dreams. Her picture is on our fridge & many times while doing dishes the tears will come as I gaze at her sweet little face daydreaming about what she is doing or what she looks like today. That happens less & less as I know that I must move on. I will & I have. That said, if the phone would ring & on the other end it was her mother saying that she had once again reconsidered...we would be in the car on our way to her in a moments notice! We don't think that will happen, but the reality is that if it did, we know that we would not even have to think about whether or not to go as our hearts have already made that decision for us.

The same day that "Emma" turns three months old is also the one year anniversary of our "DTC" or "Date to China" for our Dossier. Then, on the 20th of this month we will have our one year anniversary of our "LID" or "Log In Date" of our Dossier being logged in. (when our waiting officially began) One year anniversary...so many say, "We will celebrate our one year anniversary of our LID..." Me? I just say that we will have our one year anniversary. Yes, I am very glad that a year has past & that we are at least that much closer to Mia & I am grateful for that, but celebrate? We will celebrate when we get our referral. Okay, maybe we will go for Chinese or something. Maybe we will do something to mark the occasion. I do want to be able to tell Mia that we celebrated on that day. However, mostly I will just be thinking that we should be already home with her by now. I will be pondering as I do everyday just how much longer will we have to wait. I will feel anxious & ridden with anxiety about the unknown that is our reality, all of our realities (for those of you waiting for your child too) in the world of our China adoptions right now.

Something that I have not been able to share until now I have decided to share today. I won't share the all of the specifics yet & especially not here on my public blog. However, the people in our lives that needed to first know of this now know so I feel more comfortable sharing some things about a new chapter in our lives here now. A while back someone very close to us offered to carry a baby for us. (as we get farther along & with her permission I may be able to share with you exactly who, but for now just know that it is someone who we love & trust more than words can express. It will be as close to me carrying this baby as possible as we have ZERO doubt in regards to any relinquishment issues.) We have went through all of the preliminary things that will be necessary in order for us to move forward with this. She has been to first her OB/GYN & then on to a Reproductive Endocrinologist. There have been many steps along the way & now we find ourselves almost there. We are very excited. Please keep us all in your thoughts & prayers for a healthy pregnancy & a healthy baby. As I said, there are lots of details, but most of them would just bore you. You get the idea of what is going to happen. Now at this stage, just as if it were Thomas & I trying to conceive we are hopeful & prayerful that conception will take place. Once that has happened we will then of course move to being hopeful & prayerful that the pregnancy will be maintained, that this most fabulous woman keeping our baby safe & sound for nine months will remain healthy & well & that at the end of it all we will have a healthy child! We will keep you posted as details that we can share become available! Wish us luck! Let us just say too, you know who you are & if you are reading this we love you...& as we have said many times, but it bears repeating a million more...we will never be able to say thank you enough. We will never be able to express with words what this means to us. You have heard it all already, but be warned you will hear it over & over...thank you. Typing those two little words seems like a joke when trying to express the gratefulness that is in our hearts where you are concerned, but I know that you get it & that you understand. I hope & pray that in our talks & letters back in forth in the past that we have in some way expressed our thoughts & feelings to you in a manner that maybe meant a little more than just a simple "thank you".

We are going to have a garage sale. My house is cluttered with stuff that we don't wear, use or need. So, it is time once again to gather it all & sell it! Our third bedroom has been taken over with all of the items piled up that we have gathered thus far. This will be a process that will be ongoing over the next few weeks. I am not sure yet when we will have it, but we do know that we will be having it sooner than later & in the meantime I have just accepted that this house is going to be a mess! IF we find out we are moving soon, then it will turn into a MAJOR moving sale as much of what we have is not going with us! However, the furniture & a lot of the larger items will not be sold until we move. So, we may have one sale now & another when we move. Unless of course we find out we are moving soon. Then, we will just have the one in a few weeks. Garage sales are a lot of work, but it will be nice to have everything organized & cleaned out. For whatever reason I in the cleaning/organizing mood. I am catching up on my filing, getting this garage sale business under way & when it is all done I am going to give my house a good cleaning! I have been a slacker in that department lately & it is certainly in need of a good ol' top to bottom shapin' up!

Anyone working out these days? I am & could use some motivation from time to time if anyone has any to pass around. I am using our treadmill, our elliptical & our weights four-five times per week. I have been diligent for about three weeks now. Prior to that it was really just hit & miss in spurts. I don't mind it once I get going & my endorphins kick in, but I tell you the first fifteen minutes, boy do I wanna quit. Worse than that, getting started kills me. I procrastinate & just get myself in quite the mood knowing that the time has come! For me it is working better to get it done & over first thing in the morning so I don't focus on knowing that I have yet to get it done all day long. However, when I work I have to be there at 6AM, so there is no way that it gets done in the morning before work. I work a twelve hour shift, so that means I get home around 6:30PM & then after that have a really hard time doing it for sure. I only work two-three days a week that shift, so that shouldn't cause me too much of a problem. Thomas is doing great with it too! He has been running & doing the elliptical. He is finding that it really is a great release for him. He puts on his MP3 player & hangs in there for an hour plus. This morning I slept in & I heard him working out downstairs. When I got up he was soaked in sweat. I was impressed as it wasn't even 7:30AM yet! Anyway...any thoughts, tips, advice or just encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

With Thomas being gone the last four weeks I have had all of the responsibilities of the household both inside & out. We usually tend to do the yard work together anyway as I enjoy being outdoors this time of year. However, we have a huge lot. It is about big enough for at least two homes if not three with decent size yards. Anyway, with a rider to mow it & then weed eat it takes about four hours. The other night I had quite a fiasco. I couldn't get the mower started, then I finally did, ran it out of gas, didn't have any more here at home, had to go to the gas station a hot, disgusting, sweaty mess, was frustrated from all of that & ran over two of our cedar bushes in my haste & ate two holes in them with the mower in our front yard, flooded the weadeater, never could get it started...need I say more! Ugh. Plus, with all of this rain I by myself can not stay on top of the weeds in our garden. It is ridiculous! One day when Thomas was home he spent eight hours on his knees out there pulling grass out of our garden. I felt so bad because by the time he got home the next weekend it was all almost back. With so much rain & then the sun comes out...there is just no staying on top of it. Everyone tells me they are having the same problem this season. I will say though that we are already getting jalapeno peppers, Anaheim peppers & grape tomatoes. The garden doesn't look anything compared to what it did this time last year as the flood of 2008 took its toll on it pretty bad, but it is surviving. It doesn't look the best, but we still enjoy it.