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, October 13, 2009

Wonderful Surprise

Such busy weeks ahead for us! Everything is going very well. A is feeling very tired & struggling with rib & back pain. She gets B12 shots weekly right now as that was running low. She always feels so much better after she gets that. She is also getting weekly adjustments. The doctor no sooner gets her ribs back in & Brynn kicks them back out. Little stinker!

We will be very soon making the road trip to spend some time with A & her family. We are so excited. We have plans to spend quality time together cooking, Scrabble marathons & just lots of hanging out. No agenda really, just planning to have a great time!

We had our meeting with our case worker yesterday in her office as we continue to work on getting our home study updated. It went very well. It lasted about two hours. It was very neat for me to be able listen to Thomas elaborate on many of the topics brought up by our case worker solely from his perspective. He is pretty amazing. As I listened to him talk openly about many of the subjects that she was interested in hearing more about I felt so blessed. I sat there in awe of him, his attitude & his ability to articulate to her his most intimate feelings on subjects that most would prefer to keep private. I can't wait until he gets to be Daddy!

Thursday morning we will have a home visit with our case worker. Been through it all before, so it's been a fairly simple process for us. Just a little time consuming. We will be pretty close to finished by the time we leave for our trip. At our meeting yesterday though our case worker assured us that even if Brynn would choose to meet us all a little earlier than expected, or even a lot earlier, that we shouldn't be worried. She let us know that we are far enough along even now to get a permit until everything can be completed officially. No worries! That was a relief to hear that.

As for the wonderful surprise, Thomas & I found a package from A in our mailbox last week. It was not only new ultrasound pictures, but also a CD & a VIDEO! We are so thankful & grateful to A for blessing us with this wonderful surprise! The pictures were great, & the video, well...just amazing! She was moving non stop. She would draw up her legs & stretch them out, she was kicking, she threw her hand over her face at one point, & there was a very good shot between the legs that we missed the first time that we saw it. We stopped the video & now feel very confident that the sea of pink sleepers packed are just what we will need! At one point in the video it appears that she pulls her hand up to her mouth & pops out her little thumb & it looks like she popped it into her mouth. I honestly could put the video in & just play it over & over. Also, the part where they record & calculate the heartbeat was so awesome to be able to hear. Like I said, what a blessing! We are so grateful & thankful to have received the package. I don't know if you are reading this A, but if so, I am sure you are getting tired of hearing it by now, but THANK YOU again SO much!

I am making list, checking them twice & crossing things off as completed. Our calendar is a little ridiculous with list that we are making to help us to get things done. Today, I am getting my hair done. I am also going to the post office to stop our mail so that when we take our trip our mailbox won't overflow. Then, going for an oil change to get our car ready for the road trip & so on.

We are about 42 days (not like I am counting?!?!?) until the scheduled induction day. Time seems to be moving very quickly now. Right now, we are just looking so forward to spending time with A! Won't be long now.

Better go! There is a segment coming on the the Today Show titled, "Best Toys & Must Haves for Babies". Think I should pay attention!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Changes Are Coming...

Happy fall ya'll!

As the leaves begin to change & fall arrives, our family is seeing some big changes as well! Very soon, as time allows, I will be revamping "Journey To Mia Lynn" as we have come to know it, including a change in the blog name as well. There are several reasons that these changes are coming.

As most of you know, our wait to China just seems to continue to grow longer. We are still logged in & at this time for now plan to leave our Dossier logged in with the CCAA in China. We are logged in with a log in date of July 20, 2007 in the Non-Special Needs line. The process which we were originally told would take us nine to fourteen months is now being estimated in excess of a five year total wait time. There seems to be no one who is willing to or who seems to be able to tell us even an estimate of how long we may actually wait. There is speculation that the CCAA may at some time completely do away with their Non-Special Needs Program. However, most that have made that statement do feel that those of us already logged in would still most likely receive our referral even if that did happen. All of this & most everything that we are told & hear is only speculation as the CCAA says very little, if anything, on this subject or any other. We certainly hope & pray that someday we might get to travel to China & finally bring home our Mia Lynn as we have long planned to do, but we have come to terms with the fact that it very well may not happen as we had hoped. We are hopeful & are cautiously optimistic, but choose not to be naive about a process that we can do nothing to change.

Due to the drastic change in the timeline surrounding our China Adoption, the very reason that I originally started this blog, my blog & it's original purpose for it doesn't lend itself very well to very regular posting. There is just not much to say about a process in which nothing is happening. Someday I hope that there will be much for me to update about this; many stories to share & pictures to post about our journey to China & to our Mia, but for now we just wait.

For those of you that check in on us here from time to time you know that over the last couple of years, I have somewhat transitioned the blog into more of a family diary or journal. In my mind it is really time for now for "Journey To Mia Lynn" to transition into something different.

We have another change quickly approaching in our lives as well. We have great news that we are excited & have been given permission to share. We are in a relationship with an amazing woman who has chosen Thomas & I to be the adoptive parents of the baby that she is carrying! We couldn't be more thrilled & excited!

We will share minimal details at this time. As time progresses we will share more & more details with you as we can & feel comfortable doing so. I will not be sharing personal information about the woman carrying the baby at this time on this blog. She is wonderful & has told us to share away, but we feel that there are parts of this all that are for now still very much her story to share & not ours. So, for the purpose of the blog for now we will refer to her as simply "A" in order to protect her privacy. Our relationship with A grows stronger & stronger with each passing day. We love & care for her very much! We will be going to spend some time with her & her family in the coming weeks. We are looking very forward to our visit!

According to several ultrasounds the baby is a girl! We are thrilled either way! She is healthy & that is most important! A is taking amazing care of her & for that we are now & will forever be so grateful!! We plan to name her "Brynn". We are not settled on a middle name, but are considering "Elise". "Brynn Elise", we think it is beautiful. The baby is due towards the end of November. We have new ultrasound pictures on the way & are anxiously anticipating finding those in our mailbox! (Maybe today!)

With this is mind, & with our current situation with China, it is time for my blog to take on a new title & focus. Of course, with a new addition to the family very soon, we will have many new & exciting things happening in our life. We are so thrilled with the way everything is progressing! Not only are we finally going to be parents, but we are also gaining a wonderful new extended family as well! For us, this adoption is in so many ways such a blessing beyond what we could have ever imagined! As time passes, if & when A gives permission I may share more about all of the wonderful things that have been & no doubt will continue to happen in all of our lives as a result of all of this! Maybe...we will see. For now, we will keep A's privacy very guarded!

I have not yet chosen a new name for the blog. I also don't have time right now to choose a new format or to work on one. We have many things on our "to do" list & revamping my blog is not high on it! (If anyone reading out here in blog land has any suggestions or would like to themselves help out with designing my new blog, shoot me an email.)

We did get a new SLR camera & HD camcorder! We are very excited as we also have a MacBook Pro, so our media options for videos, scrap booking online, blogging, photo shopping etc. will be endless. The only thing that will be in short supply for a bit will be time & also my knowledge of how to do all of that is limited as well. Brynn will of course come before everything else, but I do have plans to learn sooner than later! We very much hope to document our new life as to never miss or forget a moment of what's to come for us in weeks, months & years ahead! Plus, we now live many hours from our closest friends & family. They will want daily updates & no doubt will want those to include pictures & videos.

Our journey to parenthood has been a long one, but in looking back & now looking forward everyday it becomes more & more clear to us as to the reason that we have been on the path that we have. The road has been downright bumpy & filled with potholes at times for sure! It hasn't always been easy. There were days when we wondered if our journey would ever have a happy ending. We of course have felt for a long time that our life, although full, just wasn't complete. Now we know, that not only is our daughter going to be a part of filling our life up, but also A & her family too! We couldn't be happier!

For now, it's off to organizing stacks of Rubbermaid Tubs that need to be moved out of one room to make room for...yep, you guessed it~Brynn's nursery! I am sure she will not spend much time in there for many months, but at least we will have worked towards it being ready for her when she is ready to spend time in her room.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A break from my blogging break...

Life is busy, but good. Madison my niece has been here for the past three weeks. It has been great having her here! Not even wanting to think about her going home sooner than later! We have been on the go since she arrived. It has been so much fun. The first weekend she came we had some other family here as well. (My aunt, uncle & cousins.) We spent some time at the pool & then all went to The Taste of Chicago. We took the train into the city. Maddie thought that was pretty cool. We had fun. We took Madison to Lou Malnattis. She would prefer to eat there everyday now. She loves it! Who doesn't it? Wow, that's some great pizza! Maddie & I had a girl's afternoon out & got pedis & manis...she is still rockin' that bright blue polish! She wears it well, let me tell you! We went to Discovery Zone LegoLand & spent the day. That was awesome! We went bowling with some friends another day, have hit several thrift stores & GoodWill's checking out all the bargains & have been shopping on several occassions. We went with some friends another day into the city & went to American Girl & then to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. We all went to the local Greek Fest one evening & had a great time. Over the 4th of July, we attended two fireworks displays & a Red, White & Blue Festival. The fireworks were amazing at all of the events. We went to Six Flags & the adjoining waterpark on two separate days & had more fun than we could of imagined! What a great family attraction both of those places are! Maddie & Thomas have had a couple of date nights. They went out & saw "Night At The Museum 2" & also the new "Harry Potter" flick...number 6 I think. (I know NOTHING about Harry Potter...not my thing, but they enjoyed it.) We still hope to get to the beach & to spend several more afternoons at the pool, but it hasn't been very warm. The high has been only in the 60's & 70's a lot of days. Maddie would also like to see The BlueMan Group, go to Navy Pier & to the Aquarium. We'll see. The plan is that she will stay another week making her total time with us four weeks. However, this is a very busy week at work for Thomas. So, we might not get some of our list accomplished. We are already talking about her next visit & making plans. We are planning to meet my parents half way, spend some time together & say our goodbyes. (Again, not really wanting to go there just yet!) I am so enjoying life as a family of three. It has been beyond wonderful! Days filled with homemade blueberry or bananna chocolate chip pancakes, sidwalk chalk, trips to the swimming pool, putting her hair in a pony tail, washing extra clothes, using more Spray-N-Wash than I ever knew was possible (That girl is a Ketchup magnet!), news paper covered tables for arts & crafts, girlie outings, a crowded bed with three exhausted people in it at the end of the day & everything in between...I couldn't ask for more or be happier! I am grateful for this time that we have had & am so glad to have such a great niece to share life with! She is awesome & I will forever cherish every moment we have spent together these last few weeks! I love you Maddie!
Speaking of family...we are once again back in fertility treatment. We have found a couple of great specialist in the area. They are very confident that we are on the right track & say that we should be expecting sooner than later. I keep telling everyone that we are from Missouri, so we say, "Show Me!". We will keep you posted. Things should be fairly quiet on this front for about another week & then things will really pick up.
I would like to say CONGRATULATIONS to a good friend & great woman & her family that will soon be expanding! Congrats Linda, Jim & "Little J"! Linda, as I said on FaceBook, it has been great to share this journey with you thus far! I am excited & can't wait to share the days, weeks, months & years ahead with you as you begin this wonderful new journey of parenthood of two!
Well, I hear Miss Maddie stirring. Time for me to turn this computer off & spend time with the little gal who has put a big smile on my face every minute of every day these last few weeks!
Oh, & I suppose before I close it is worth mentioning that today marks TWO YEARS since our paperwork was logged in with China. July 20th, 2007 officially marked the day that our wait to travel to bring our Mia home officially began in the eyes of the China agency; The CCAA that handles all China International Adoption. Not much else to say about that. No end to the wait in sight...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of us; those of you who are already blessed with your babies & especially to those of us still waiting to be Mommy! You are all in my thoughts & prayers today, even more than usual.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I interrupt this regularly scheduled blogging...

Okay, so maybe I didn't blog on a regular schedule, but I need a break. I am not going to say that I won't blog at all or that I won't occasionally drop in & check in on a few blogs that I tend to follow, or that I won't hop on FaceBook via my iPhone if I am waiting in line somewhere or waiting at an appointment...but, I need a break. I am just finding that my time management skills are in need of an overhaul. I have the best intentions. However, I get on my computer & before I know it I look up & way too much time has passed me by! & yes, I recycle, but time is the one thing that can't be recycled or reused. So, for now I need to take a step back & re-evaluate how I spend my time. I feel like I am behind on some things & generally I tend to be super organized. For me, when I feel unorganized I feel stressed & everything just snowballs unnecessarily.

So, if you normally check in with me on FaceBook or my blog, just know that if you leave me a message in either place it may be days & it could even be weeks before I see it. The best way to reach me is to text me on my iPhone. If you want my iPhone number, leave me a message here & I will gladly send it to you privately. I have unlimited texting, so feel free to text me anytime. Or I can also give you my home phone number too. I still have email & plan to allow myself 15-30 minutes a day to check & return emails as needed.

I enjoy blogging & I most certainly enjoy following so many of you via your blogs. However, the whole process has just become a vacuum for me sucking up my time & I need to check myself. So, stepping back from it for a while seems like the best plan for me.

I am hoping that checking in less often, that maybe when I do check in that I might be pleasantly surprised the next time I hop onto Rumor Queen! Maybe not checking in for weeks at a time, I will hop on one day in a few weeks & see that they have gotten through a whopping two weeks! Okay, it's wishful thinking I know, but I am hopeful & prayerful for good things to come in the coming months for all of us.

I would ask for your prayers. This is going to be a challenge for me. I so enjoy keeping up with so many of you! However, I survived before & I shall survive again.

I will be back...& as I said, I am not saying that I am signing off or that I am completely going off line. I will still as time allows check in. If checking & returning emails only takes me ten minutes one day, then I will have a little time to do other things like checking in on my blogging buddies. Essentially, as long as I am not online/on the computer for more than thirty minutes on any given day I will be thrilled with myself! Like I said, I have an iPhone, so there are many times waiting in lines & at places like the oil change place for our cars that I have downtime while waiting that I could take advantage of. I just want to use the time I have better & more efficiently.

We'll see...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pray for Mia

I don't have much information, but just heard from Sara Lane that they are at the hospital with their little Mia. She is sick & I really don't know much more than that. As soon as I know anything more I will update. For now, I just wanted to ask that you all pray for her healing! (Click on title of this post to hop over to the Lane's blog)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy Birthday "Emma Kate"

This time last year Thomas & I were anxiously waiting in a hotel room for the telephone to ring.

We were waiting to hear that a sweet baby girl had been born that we were told was to be our blessing. That phone call came. As most of you know, another phone call that we were not anxiously waiting for came only days later. As I held that sweet, precious baby girl I was told that we would not parent our sweet "Emma Kate" beyond those four days. Our worst fears had once again become our reality. Her first Mother had chosen to parent her.

I was crying so hard I could barely see. My chest hurt so bad I was most certain that I was dying & in fact in that moment was wishing that I were. I was sure that nothing could have hurt any worse than what I was already suffering through. I felt panic, desperation & agony. Barely able to stand, thoughts running through my mind of how I could keep with me the most precious soul I had ever laid eyes on. I knew I had no choice. So, as quickly as I could I began to feed her, change her diaper, dress her in the sweetest little mint green jumper with pink flowers & a white collar & then I swaddled her in a pink blanket~doing this all, knowing that it would be the last time that I would have the blessing of caring for her in those ways.

Mere hours later Thomas placed her back into the arms of her first Mother & into a life that we had not wished for her.

Today as I write this, I am tear free. I feel strong. I feel hopeful, faithful & will continue to be prayerful. I know that God has a plan. He is my strength. I now know that in the past I placed faith in people & ideas, MY plans, MY dreams, MY hopes. No more. The only thing that I have faith in now is Him & His plan for my life. I am at peace that it may not be the same as my plan. I know that my life may never look like the picture that I created in my mind. I know that in this life that I may never understand. For the first time in a long time~maybe ever, I am truly okay with that.

The only thing I have hope in is in God's plan. Believing in Him & His plan~even if it doesn't turn out to be what I had hoped, I know that by doing that, that my life will turn out perfectly, just as He planned & that is all that is important. It will all be perfect in the end...knowing & truly believing that; not just speaking or writing the words, but living them has given me an unexplainable peace that I am today so grateful for.

No, when I sit back & look at my life it is not everything that I had hoped it would be. As I type this, the morning news is all that I hear in the background. There is no pitter patter of little feet behind me, no little one tugging at my shirt tail, no baby cooing in a crib in the next room, no toddler calling out for Mommy, no diaper to go change or morning bath to give, no play date to get to...no, my life is not what I had planned it to be or what I had thought it would be at this point. But, the question I instead ask now is whether or not my life is what God planned it to be. He is the only one who knows the answer. I have to let go, give all of this to Him & have faith that in doing so, whatever the outcome, I know it will be well with my soul.

Now, let's remember I am not perfect. I will still have bad days. I will still from time to time get the "Why me's?". I am human. Yes, this day, my reality~it stings. My arms still ache for her. When I close my eyes & think back to those days I can still feel her in my arms. It is difficult not to think about what I should be doing today verses what I am actually doing. Scurrying around preparing for her to wake up so that we could have the best day ever, helping her to take her first steps, taking her one year old photos~but instead, this morning I find myself praying that she wakes up to her Mommy singing sweetly a Happy Birthday tune to her, that she has a cake to dig her sweet little hands in all to herself & that she is surrounded by friends & family who are showering her with love. For me today & in years to come this will be my reality in relation to her life. I am an outsider who can't look in. I can not be part of her life & I have accepted that. My only role in her life is praying for, wishing for, hoping for & loving her... As much as I love & miss her, I am not her Mommy. A piece of my heart will forever be with her. I have accepted that. I am forever changed as a result of the four days that I got to be her Mommy & I am now & will forever be grateful for our time together. This is the new me, my new life, my reality.

I trust God.

It will all be okay.

It is all okay.

I am okay.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Just a quick note... As most of you know I took a job in Sales & Marketing about six weeks ago. It has been going pretty well. This was a new adventure for me for sure. I knew very little about the job, but in the first six weeks things went very well. During my first six weeks with the company I was going into the office daily. During the initial phase I really needed the support of the owners as I was learning my new position within the company & becoming familiar with the product. As time passed & things continued to go well, I approached them about working some of the time from our home office. They agreed that it was feasible. We collectively decided that we would give this a try. So, mid-week last week I began yet another new journey. So far, so good. We will see how it goes as I move forward with this new set up. I will still go into the office from time to time for meetings & for responsibilities that I have that I can not do from home. This is a good opportunity for me. I can still have my job, but I also have even more flexibility with my schedule than before. This is also affording me the opportunity to start another new venture. I have mentioned it to most of you already. I have started using BeachBody products & have decided to become a "Coach" as well. www.beachbodycoach.com/jenpearse Having so much flexibility with my schedule will also offer me endless possibilities with this as well. I am looking into online course work that would offer me a certification in personal training. I have a long way to go before I will be ready to offer anyone else much more than support & endless encouragement, but I am excited to check out what my options are so that I can become as knowledgeable as possible! I think I sent most of you some information on BeachBody & would love to hear from any of you that have any questions or are interested!

Thomas's store will grand open on the 29th! I got a tour a few weeks ago! It was awesome! We are so excited. He is enjoying his new market & his job so much! We appreciate your prayers as he continues to work long hours in preparation for the big day & that all will go well!
We are loving Illinois. We love being so close to so much to do. It is amazing to have so many opportunities all around you all of the time. I never thought of myself as a city gal, but I have settled in better than I ever thought I would. We really have the best of both worlds, living in smaller community, but being so close to the city. (I will have lots of photos to share as the weather begins to warm & we spend much more time in the city seeing the sights!) Of course we miss friends & family, but we have made new friends & found a great church. That helps! ...& of course, thank goodness for unlimited long distance & email!

Better get busy. Just wanted to let you know that I am working more often than not now out of our home office, so I am once again more available during the day if for any reason you want or need to get a hold of me. I am on the phone a lot, so you it may at times take me a minute to get back to you, but just leave me an email or a voicemail & I will get back to you sooner than later.

Hope everyone had a BLESSED Easter Holiday!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Changing into a BUTTERFLY

Really to be very honest with you all, though I have been keeping up with a few blogs & checking Rumor Queen now & then, I have just been busy enough between work & other things that blogging hasn't been a priority lately. The last few days if I am being very honest with you all I have been struggling. I am much better now. Nothing that I want to dwell on as, believe me, I have done plenty of that over the last few days. As I am sure you can figure out it has been related to all things adoption, fertility, children (or better said lack their of) etc. There have no doubt been several contributing factors. The biggest of which I think is that I am PMS'ing...but, to add to that April 16th @ 9:21 is "Emma Kate's" first birthday. I have constantly found myself wondering how she will spend her day. I pray that she is surrounded by people that love her & that she will have her own cake to dig her precious little hands into! For whatever reason a lot of times my memory is not that great when it comes to history or day to day life. However, the four days that we had her with us & were blessed to be her parents are so vivid to me. I mean it has literally been like a video that someone else took of us playing over & over in my mind that I can't stop rewinding. I can tell you every detail~down to what each of us were wearing at even given moment. There is not one unclear or blurred minute. It is like a perfectly painted canvas right in front of my face in which I can describe each & every detail. Also, I have found myself with feelings that I am not proud of that I can't seem to get rid of. & for this I have been ridden with guilt which hasn't helped either. I have friends who have recently been blessed with children, both adopted & birthed, friends who have just told me that they are pregnant...& although I am truly happy for them, I really am~I find myself envious & jealous. I hate it. I don't want to be that way. I don't want to feel those feelings, but yet they are there inside of me. A friend of mine had kind words that have in past days helped me. Here is what she said. (I will withhold her identity, as I didn't get her permission to share this. I know she won't mind, but without her saying it is okay I won't name her.)

"Oh, Jen. I know that feeling. It is really, really hard. You don't want to feel that way, but how can you help it? I probably told you this already...but humor me...I remember my mom taking me out to eat for lunch and me just crying and crying about my fear that it would never happen. Sure enough, our waitress comes up (some young girl...I assume she wasn't married) and she was pregnant! It just made me cry harder. I felt like everyone in the world was having a family but me. So, I certainly can identify with those feelings. I wanted to be a good friend and be excited and joyful about the wonderful news for all of them. But, inside, I just wanted to smack them sometimes! I was just so jealous and angry that my dream was coming true for everyone but me. Such ugliness it brought out in my heart! But, it was a really good refining and purifying time for me. I understood that ugliness in a new way and was able to work through it. I realized that I didn't need to be "the perfect Christian" and always "suffer well." I just had to be me and that God would meet me where I was, which indeed He did. I didn't need to pretend that I was okay or act a certain way. Keep praying about it. I will pray today along with you to that end--that He would meet you where you are and supernaturally change your heart so that you can let go of those bad feelings. "

I am trying...& praying. All the time. I have listened to nothing but Praise & Worship music in the past few days & have prayed more than usual. I am just trying to get myself to some kind of place of peace & acceptance as to where I am today. I feel MUCH better today than I have in days, so I think I am headed in the right direction. It is difficult when everything else in your life is good & the one thing that you want the most you can't get no matter what you do. I have in the past had control issues. Those are waining as I get older, but for me this has been & I fear will continue to be the biggest struggle in my life. & THANK YOU friend for the above counsel! It helped a lot.

What's with the title, "Changing into a BUTTERFLY" you ask? WAIT FOR IT...it's coming.

In other news...
Thomas is so busy at work right now! His store will grand open April 29th! We are so excited! The store is really coming together. They recently received their first trucks & the merchandise is being put on the shelves. Most of you I think now this, but Thomas is a Manager for that BIG retail big box giant that begins with a W & ends with a T. I don't know~so many when they blog don't put names of companies & such in their writings. They bleep out part of the word...there must be a reason. Maybe you are not suppose to. I don't know. Just in case I won't spell it out here, but I am sure you can figure it out.

My job is going well. I closed several great deals recently & have several more on the horizon. I am settling in, learning a lot & feeling like I am beginning to understand the job & my role with the company. This was all new to me just six short weeks ago, so it has certainly been an adventure, but a pretty good one thus far. I think I mentioned it, but I am doing Marketing & Inside Sales for a call center. Here is our website. http://www.servicedriven.com/ You can check it out.

Thomas is working today. I worked a short day yesterday. (Actually I just went in & checked my voicemail & made a call or two. We usually make Fridays a short day.) I took the day to get all of our household shopping done. Went to the grocery store & then to the warehouse store where you buy bulk~you know the one. I also went to a large chain second hand store & got some great bargains. Fun. Today, Thomas had to work. He is doing an orientation so it will be a full day. I am getting ALL the household cleaning & laundry done today. My goal is that tomorrow we have not one single thing to do, but enjoy each others company. I am even going to do the cooking for tomorrow today, so it will be ready. We will go to church & the we have some fun shopping to do. Thomas needs new dress shoes, so we are going to hit the mall. It should be a good day. We are both really looking forward to it. This evening he should get off by 5PM, so we are thinking of doing something fun this evening too. With him working six days a week from 5 or 6AM till 8PM at night it hasn't left much "us" time. That's okay though. Things will settle down sooner than later.

(The explanation for the title is coming....I promise. Just stay with me & make it to the end!)

We have started talking about vacations. Thomas gets four weeks. We are planning lots of Chicago outings. However, we are thinking of one week going to the LasVegas area. We have been many times, however, this time we are thinking of doing the Vegas thing for only a couple of the days & the rest of the time heading over to the Grand Canyon. Never seen it & want to. We also would like to see Yellowstone. So, that is another trip we are contemplating. I also want to see those GIANT Redwood trees! I think they are in California, aren't they? Anyone know? So, those are a few trips that we are thinking of. & of course, one week will be spent on the beach somewhere. We are wanting to rent a beach house & invite as many of our family that can get there to come join us. Don't know if it will happen this year or next, but that is something that we are talking about as well.

I am trying some new supplements for health, wellness & weight loss. So far I am pretty impressed. Here is the link to the products: http://www.irepcni.com/home/products/core4.html
Here is the link to the FAQ: http://www.irepcni.com/home/faq/index.html
(I would skip at first to the FAQ about the product. You can sell the product as well, but I think at first you will just be interested to check it out for yourself. If it works for you, friends & family will ask about what you are using & they you might want to go there, but for now I would just focus on the product.) I am having so far great results. It has only been a couple of weeks though, so I will have to see results for a little longer that remain long lasting before I can say for sure. However, as of now, I am really liking the product. It does wonders for my energy levels & the scale has been liking it too...so, we will see. I will keep you posted. If you are interested in trying the product, just let me know. I can get you to where you can place an order. If you want to wait a while & let me be the guinea pig first, I totally understand.

And now for the title of this post...I know, I know~FINALLY!
In closing, I just want to share with you something that I read the other day. It struck a chord with me & has remained on my mind since reading it.

As I said before, I struggle with the whole not being in control thing. I don't know why as realistically I know that control is only in our minds & is just an illusion. Really, as a human on this Earth we have zero control. I get that. I also, being human, at times (a lot of the time) get the "Why me's?". Oh, you know those, right? I am sure you get them from time to time too. I more often than not just don't get it. I can't see the big picture. I know in my heart & believe Jeremiah 29:11, BUT~sometimes I just need to understand why or feel that I need to see that final reel in the film at the end of some of the short stories in my life. If I could only know His plan, how it will end up...sometimes the way that I see it as it is happening makes absolutely no sense. I can't find the reason in it. It is beyond my understanding. However, I try to be faithful & not question Him, but it is a struggle for me. When I read this, I thought, "Hmmm. Wow. That makes so much sense." It is really not that profound I suppose, but it struck a chord with me & I love it. "What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a BUTTERFLY!" Change is always difficult. When things don't turn out how we want them to, we just can't imagine that there is a greater purpose or a greater meaning. Especially if whatever happened has or is causing us pain. However, I suppose we are being pruned & being changed into something else. It is so difficult, but I for one want to be a butterfly so I am going to remain strong & faithful (even when I can't see the bigger picture or find reason) & let God call the shots so that my life will turn out just as He planned for me!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Nadya Suleman & the fourteen children...

I posted this in another forum & just wanted to share my thoughts on the subject on my blog as well.

Here is the thing~a person that is mentally unstable can not be held accountable for their actions. Even in a court of law, this is not legal if the person is deemed to not be mentally stable. It is clear that the mother is not in her right mind. The reason that she did this she stated herself on the interview that she did on live television. However, there are millions of woman all over the world who "collect" children to fill an emotional need within themselves. They just happen to be women who can get pregnant on their own & have one child at a time so there is no media frenzy & we don't hear about it as we did in this case. These women are too most often jobless, on government assistance & not mentally always all with it. However, they don't get this attention because they have one or maybe two at a time. My question is, what is at the root of the anger that is being shown by everyone? Is it that she had all of these children, is it that she can't care for them appropriately financially or emotionally, or are we really angry at someone who mentally is unstable-I would think if so, then that makes us a little crazy. Let's look at John & Kate Plus Eight, or the Duggar Family who have EIGHTEEN children & still going...my point, no one is angered at them. Yes, they are supporting their families~but, be assured that they are doing just that with in fact money that they are making from book deals, television shows & the like that only exist due to the fact that they have all of these children. My point is that our anger, frustration & disappointment needs to be redirected. The physician is where we need to focus the attention. Nadya Suleman could not have become pregnant the first or the second time without the assistance of a Reproductive Endocrinologist. He takes an oath, he is suppose to be mentally stable~he, the doctor was suppose to protect his patient from making a poor choice if he saw that mentally she was unable to make an appropriate decision on her own behalf! He should have went to the court system for an order to have her evaluated. She did already have six children in the home. & what about her parents? They are now appearing on Oprah. Really? I mean, her father discussed her mental state on Oprah. Why in the heck didn't he go to a judge to get an order to have her evaluated? They lived with them! Was he or the grandmother, if so concerned about her mental state, at any time concerned about the care of the six initial children. My point~this is not Nadya's total fault. She is sick. No different than a drug addict, a food addict, a gambling addict~she was just addicted to having kids. She felt like she had to have more. It is very unfortunate that there was a specialist out there that was willing to help her do it. Now, the problem is a different one. QUIT focusing on what happened. It happened, it's over~The reality is that there are now fourteen children who are going to need to be cared for. Now, the focus should shift to how that is going to be accomplished. & let me just add~I am not thrilled. I myself have struggled with YEARS of infertility, a miscarriage, TWO failed domestic adoptions (the last of which the baby was taken back from us after four days) & have been in line to adopt from China for nineteen months~a process that was initially only suppose to take 9-13 months~so, believe me when I say that one woman who can't care for them having 14 kids doesn't thrill me, but I am really confused at the media & the public for most of their thoughts on this subject.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It Happened...

Barack Obama has been inaugurated as our 44th President & without incident, Praise the Lord! It was a beautiful ceremony. His speech was direct & honest, to the point & has called the American people to action. I kind of compare it to people who always just want a pill to cure their health & don't want to take on any work or responsibility for their own health; but instead they just want a doctor to give them a pill that they can pop that will take care of all of their ailments. He is clear that he alone can not do this; turn this country around~that he can not give us all a magic potion that is going to just magically fix things. We are going to have to endure great change & sacrifice. It is not always going to be comfortable. He is honest that it is going to be difficult at times, but that it can be done & that it will be done. Anyway...time will tell. Irregardless of people's feelings about him, whether they voted for him or not~now it is time to get behind our country & our President. One thing is for sure, things are a mess now. So, hopefully the next few months will show that we as a country are heading in the right direction. I am really proud to live in a country where we have a bi-racial President & a black First Lady. I hope that soon this will maybe help all of the country to be able to see people as just "Americans" & "Human Beings" instead of people being defined or described on the basis of the color of their skin.

Former President Bush & former First Lady, just waved to the Nation for the last time & got on the helicopter being seen off by President Obama & First Lady Michelle. Now, the President & Michelle & the Biden Vice Family are all standing on the White House Steps watching the Bush's chopper take off. Very significant moment.

I for one have not even made it to the shower today & it is noon! I didn't want to miss any of the big day. I know, we have a DVR but I felt compelled to watch it real time.

So, off to the shower for me!

18 Months Today

18 months down & how many to go? Who knows? If you know, please tell us. We would love to know. At this point, we just continue to wait. We are hopeful & prayerful. We try to remain faithful. It takes effort. We hope that someday we will finally hold our Mia Lynn in our arms.

For those of you that are not closely involved in the International Adoption world; well first let me congratulate you. Believe me, it is not a pleasant involvement as of lately! I know that you wonder & sometimes even ask what the heck is going on & why this is taking so long. I just don't have the inclination to go into it yet again in great detail. Just know, that we know the details & believe us, if there was a way to make it happen any more quickly we would as well as would the some 20,000 other families waiting in this horrid line as well. There is a process that must be followed to the letter. The process for many reasons; some known & some not so clear that this wait has grown from what was once six months to know a dreadful likely four years. The only choice we have is to get out of line or wait. For now, we choose to wait.

So, are we excited to have reached the 18 month mark? Nope. We are not. Not at all. We would have much preferred to never have reached this day. We would much rather be living our lives making memories as a family, but some things are just not in our control & this is one of them. So, we wait...

I won't be perfect, but...

There are women who become mothers without effort, without thought, without patience or loss, and though they are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will be better. I will be better not because of genetics or money or because I have read more books, but because I have struggled and toiled for this child. I have longed and waited. I have cried and prayed. I have endured and planned over and over again. Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams. I will notice everything about my child. I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore, and discover. I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life. I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold, and feed him/her and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream. My dream will be crying for me. I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child. Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love. I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend, and sister because I have known pain. I know disillusionment, as I have been betrayed by my own body. I have been tried by fire and hell that many never face, yet given time, I stood tall. I have prevailed. I have succeeded. I have won. So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs. I listen. And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely. I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth when life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion that only comes by walking in those shoes. I have learned to appreciate life. Yes, I will be a wonderful mother.

Monday, January 19, 2009

We find ourselves today just a little over half way through the first month of 2009. Wow, huh? Where does the time go? It just flies by faster & faster with every passing day, doesn't it? How many of you made a resolution & have kept it or maybe you are one of the ones who has already broken it & restarted it a few times. Either way, with every new sun rise the number on the calendar moves forward & you get another chance. For that, I am always grateful! We are mere hours at this point now from one of the most historic presidential inaugurations that we will likely witness in our lifetime & I can't help but wonder what the next few years will bring as a result of this. For us, this new year brings hope for so many things. We are excited. For many specific things, but for life in general. Though it is not always easy & it certainly doesn't follow our script always as we would write it if we could, but for the most part life is good & we are so glad to be living it!

We had a busy, but good weekend. On Friday night Thomas & I went our separate ways for the evening. Thomas had a business dinner. I went to meet a new friend at her home & then we walked a few houses down to her neighbors where we met about ten other women. We spent an evening just laughing, visiting, eating & playing games. They do this every second Friday of each month. They have invited me to join them on a regular basis. They are a great group. Sometimes they play Bunco, but many times they begin chatting & before they know it, they look up & it is 11PM & haven't even started the game yet! How times can fly when you get a group of chatty ladies together just soaking up everything that each of us brings to the group, huh? We made plans for our group for the upcoming year. It sounds like it will be a lot of fun. On Saturday morning, Thomas had a hair appointment & then he went to his new hiring site to catch up on some things that he hadn't been able to get done during his normal work week. He came home around 11:00, we had lunch & then just hung out. That evening we met some friends at Texas De Brazil. We had dinner. It was very good. From there we went (for the guys) & watched a UFC fight. Then, we headed out with a group of people to go & do some Karaoke. Thomas belted out "Simple Man" by Shinedown. & as usual, he was great. We didn't get home until 2:30AM! I am ashamed to say that Sunday morning I rolled over to look at the clock & it read 11:00! Oooops. We missed church! I suppose we are getting too old to be out until 2:30AM! It took me most of the day on Sunday to feel human again.

My Garmin (GPS) for whatever reason on Saturday night just quit working. We used it on the way to the restaurant & when we came out I flipped it on & nothing happened. It never would come back on. So, around noon on Sunday Thomas took it back to the electronics store where he purchased it. They gave him a little trouble, but after some "discussion" finally exchanged it for us. WHEW! I can't be without my "Glenda". Yes, I have named her! "Glenda the Garmin"! No kidding. We have a special relationship; me & my Garmin!

I had my second interview for a job at a physician's office last Wednesday. I am hopeful that I might get the call that will offer me the job this week. They said that I should hear back from them this week. At first I wasn't sure that this was the job for me, but I now find myself hopeful that I will get offered the position.

We are quickly approaching the 18th month anniversary of our log in date with China. Woohoo. Not so much really. Nothing new to say about it really other than at this point there is still no end to the wait in sight. So, we wait some more. We have a couple of potential domestic situations that may or may not come to be, so again~we just wait.

I also want to mention that today the world celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. As we reflect on what is to come in the days ahead, I can't help but think that he would be very happy to see the country embracing President Elect Obama. No, not everyone in the world voted for him & not even everyone supports him even now, however, for the most part whether you voted for him or not I think the majority of Americans are & will continue to support our new President.

Hope the new year is treating you all well so far.

Friday, January 2, 2009

And Now For 2009...

Well, first let's put a rap on 2008.

It was a good year. Okay, who am I kidding? It was a tough year in a lot of ways. Not going to rehash it all out yet again, as most of you that read my blog know of the specifics in regards to most of the tough parts that I refer to. However, overall I feel blessed & happy. Content? Well, no. But, hopefully that will come. Again~most of you know of the cause of my lack of contentedness. So, again~not up for rehashing it out yet again. It will come, right? Also, in 2008 our family was saddened with the news of someone we love dearly being devastated with a very serious diagnosis. She is a very private woman & I respect her & that so, I haven't & won't share anymore than that here~however, she is one heck of a fighter & is hanging in there every step of the way! Thomas took a big promotion & we of course made the big move. It was time & although we are not thrilled to be even farther yet from the family & friends that we love so much, we do very much like living here.

Our Christmas Holiday couldn't have been any better! We did in fact get back to Missouri spending our time between several families homes. Surprising my Mom went perfectly. She had not a clue! It was great as was my time spent with her & our whole family.

Oh & to recap from a previous post when I promised more detail about my Garmin. Still LOVE that thing! Matter of fact we are purchasing a second one for the other car. One will transfer between the two cars, but Thomas & I both like it so much & both use it enough that it warrants us each having one when we are each out in separate cars. The next vehicle we buy will have a navigation system on board. However, that is hopefully a few years away yet, so for now we will be off to purchase an additional Garmin. Who would have thought? Certainly not me!

Looking ahead to 2009~Well, of course we hope that parenthood may finally find us. We have only hoped for that for what?....oh, the last ten years. (I said I wasn't going to rehash that out yet again, didn't I?) Let's just say that there are some things on the horizon that we hope may come to be & let's just leave it at that. Thomas will finally take possession of his store in late March & Grand open in late April! YAY! Congratulations Babe! I am so proud of you! On April 25th, Thomas & I will celebrate 17 years of marriage. I am so proud of us, if I may so so myself! I hope to either take on some college courses or re-enter the work force of course all depending on how our journey to parenthood is coming along as we plan for me to stay at home with the kiddos when that time comes. 2009 will no doubt bring a whole new list of adventures for us as we venture bravely into the city of Chicago every chance we get~Navy Pier, Sears Tower, on over to the Great Lakes, the observatories, the museums, the zoos, the aquariums, the shows, the planetariums, the art exhibits & so on. We are anxious to do & see it all. C'mon spring!

We could of course get in to the whole discussion of New Year's Resolutions. Whether or not you make one & what it might be? If you did, by all means share it with us if you can. Me? Nope. No resolution really. I did read a great idea about a New Year's Word over at http://www.jessicaturnersblog.blogspot.com/ . Check out her post from Wednesday, 12/31 titled, "One Little Word 2009". I thought this was pretty cool & I have been thinking on it. However, I found to sum up a year with one word or to wrap up my hopes, aspirations & dreams for a whole year in one word~wow, it was a struggle for me! Cool idea though if you can do it, none the less. But, back to the resolution thing. For me, I went off of my low carb lifestyle nine months ago when we traveled out of state to bring our Emma Kate home. (Ugh. It always goes back to that, doesn't it?) Well, I never got back on the wagon. At the time I had lost 80 pounds. I have been fortunate in nine months not to have gained too much of that back. I did however back slide a little obviously as I have pretty much been eating whatever. When I stopped I still had about 40 pounds that I wanted to lose. So, now I am even farther behind. That's okay though. I am still way ahead & am pretty proud of myself for my accomplishment thus far. Now though it is time to get back with it. Not because it is the new year & it is most definitely not a New Year's Resolution. It is just time. The Emma thing is long over & the move happened three months ago. Waiting for life to return to "normal" is just not an excuse, so as of Monday I have been back to my low carb eating habits & thus far all is well. I will periodically keep you posted on my progress. I have lost considerably just in the last three-four days, but know it is likely all water weight. I don't count anything until it is gone & has stayed gone for a few days, but I will keep you posted from time to time on my progress. For those of you that faithfully make a resolution, may I just say best wishes as you go forward. May you keep it & feel a great sense of pride & accomplishment for doing so!

Oh & I have to say CONGRATULATIONS to Sara & Brian who just a couple of days ago laid eyes on one of the prettiest little baby girls that you have ever seen; their Mia Lin! Hop on over to their blog & take a look at their baby girl! She is just perfect...& the hair-oh my word! Get the bows packed & ready to go! http://www.lanechinaadoption.blogspot.com/ What a year it will be for them!

So, onward folks. (Tinking our glasses together...) Here is to 2009 & all that it may have in store for us! Remember, "Life is an occasion. Rise to it."