Thursday, August 31, 2006

This one's about Abby

Books have *always* been one of Abby's favorite things. We have read to her at least once everyday since she came home from China.
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At first, she just liked to listen to the story. Then she started pointing to some of the pictures and making comments and asking questions. She loves to turn the pages and hold the book just like mommy or daddy.

Then she started "reading" the books to herself or to us. Mostly it was jibberish, "Shebeeceebeescheebee," (or something to that effect) with a few intelligble words thrown in.

Now, she looks at the pictures and makes up her own story. I hear a lot of our own conversations in these stories. She is very dramatic (I don't know where she gets it) and uses different voices. Sometimes it's cute but sometimes I hear my own words in harsh sounding tones. And it reminds me to say, "Lord, let my words be sweet."

I'm so glad that her love of books has started early and I pray that it will continue to blossom as she learns how to read the words herself.

Happy Birthday, Mark Tennant

Isn't it weird how certain dates can stick in your head? Even after not talking to someone for over 15 years? And other people, who you talk to regularly, yes, even good friends, you can't remember their birthday month, let alone the day. Interesting how the mind works.

So, Mark, if you're out there and happen to Google your name and this post comes up, hope you have a good one!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Adoption Take 2

So I thought I would just update everyone on where we are in the adoption.

We completed our adoption of Abby in November 2004. The trip to China was emotionally, physically, and financially draining. But that's a story for another post... or not. Right after we came back, I was in no condition to even think of doing this again, even though my 4 yr-old nephew asked us (as soon as we got in the car to come home from the airport) when we were going to get a boy. He's used to his mama's timing on babies. Mine happen every ten years of marriage (so far). Anyway... I knew it would be a while before we decided to adopt again.

At the first of this year (2006), our church family participated in a fast and one thing I fasted was TV. So what did I do in the evenings instead of watching TV? I found the wonderful world of blogs on the internet. I had read in my Adoptive Families magazine about adoption blogs and decided to read a few. Wow! There was a whole lot of other families out there adopting from China (and other places) in all the different stages of the process. The Lord started working on my heart about adopting again. I talked to Billy about it and we started asking God for His timing and peace.

Through reading the blogs, I learned that the referral process in China was taking much longer than when we first adopted Abby. Abby's referral came about 5 months after our dossier was sent to China. In February and March, when I was reading the blogs, the referrals were taking 9 to 10 months. My prayers and talks with Billy were starting to take on a more urgent tone.

We came to a "we better get started" decision in April and sent the application to our agency in May. A lot of people asked us if we had to do all the same paperwork as we did before. YES! Everything. Even reference letters from friends, homestudy, fingerprints, police letters, birth and marriage certificates, etc. I (I say "I" because all Billy had to do was sign his name a couple hundred times) completed the necessary paperwork and by the end of June, the dossier was at our agency. We just needed one more piece of paper - the I-171H.

The I-171H is the US government's "ok" on our homestudy and our intent to adopt internationally. We had been fingerprinted at the Cleveland office of USCIS on June 19 but the homestudy wasn't sent to them til July 12. And since every person that is involved with international adoption takes 10-20 days to look over the paperwork, we didn't get our approval til August 4. I quickly faxed it to the agency. They got all the necessary endorsements on it (county, state, Chinese consulate) and sent everything to China. Now we are waiting for our official Log In Date (LID) so we know we're "in line."

I've been keeping up with a couple of China adoption blogs - one is in the sidebar. The "Salsa Lady," as I affectionately refer to her, just received her referral after waiting 13 and a half months since her LID. Wow! That's a long time. Some of the rumors are that the referrals could go out to as long as 18-36 months. The past few months, the China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) has been sending out referrals once a month with only about 2 weeks worth of LIDs in the referral batch. That's not very encouraging to those of us just starting out.

However, I am totally trusting in the Lord's timing cause I know that HE KNOWS BEST! He knows when and where our next Plum Blossom will be added to our family. There's no need to get frustrated with the system cause there's nothing I can do to make it go any faster. We have trusted Him to lead us this far and we will continue to do so. I'm just glad we're "in line" now. Just praying my calves don't wear out from standing so long :).

Friday, August 25, 2006

Poor little bunny :(

The scene at my house the other day.
He's a good hunter, that Mr. B.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pictorial Overview of Abby's Summer

Here are some random pictures we've taken this summer of Abby. We enjoyed making brownies, eating popsicles (her tongue turned blue), going to the beach, sparklers, youth car wash, painting and discovering how mommy feels about marker on your face. :) You can click on the image to see it larger.
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My fine furry friends

click on image to enlarge

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Visited States

***UPDATED to add: my sister reminded me that I've been to Hilton Head, SC so that one should be red, too.

Found this on another blog. Looks like fun.

This is a map of the states I've visited. I've probably driven (or traveled) through some of the other white ones, but these are the ones I remembered actually staying in overnight. For anyone who doesn't know me, I traveled two summers in a singing/signing group and the first summer was a west coast tour and the second summer was an east coast tour.

Still would LOVE to go to Hawaii and Alaska!

create your own visited states map

Monday, August 21, 2006

She keeps me humble!

Abby and I went to the library last Thursday. I knew it had been a while since we've been there. I found out how long it has been when the librarian told me we had an overdue fine - since last October and August. Wow! The fine was only $1.70 so not too bad. We'll be making sure to get these back on time.

We checked out a couple of books and DVDs. She had never seen "Beauty and the Beast" before so we got that. She's into dancing princesses lately. She's watched it a *couple* times since Thursday. :)

Today, she found a dress in her closet that my mom bought at a garage sale. It's a burgundy velvet dress with pretty ribbon flowers, lace, etc. She wanted to put it on. Then she wanted to dance. "sing, Mommy!" (so she can have music to dance to)

I sang a few lines of the title song to the movie and when I was done she said, "I'm Beauty." I said, "Yes, you are!"

and then she said...

"You're the Beast." :)

I laughed out loud!!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Meet Me At The Fair

Yesterday was "free day" at the county fair. So, we loaded up 10 cousins and a couple of friends and headed over to check out all the fun.

We like to go through all the barns first to look at and pet the animals. Horses, goats, cows, turkeys, more horses, pigs, sheep... you get the idea. We opted out of going through the poultry barn because, well, chickens all couped up kinda stinks. :)

We then had lunch (yes, we washed hands first) while waiting for the rides to open.

They had several rides for the little ones, and Abby loved it. I wasn't sure how she would do, as last year, she didn't even like the carousel.

This is one of Abby's cousins right before they went up in the air in their helicopter. I'll admit that I was a little scared for her but she did great. Notice all that's holding them in is a little string. I feel sorry for the moms with hyper-active kids.

Abby got to ride a real pony for a few minutes, too. She loved it. She still talks about riding a camel at the Albequerque Zoo in June.

(that pony looks asleep! :) poor pony.)

After an ice cream cone, it was time to go. She fell asleep on the 10 minute ride home and didn't even wake up when I took her inside and gave her a "wipey bath" before putting her in bed. When she woke up, she said, "I want to go back to the fair."

Next year.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

first one

Well, I've been reading lots o blogs over the past few months and now my geeky husband wants me to start my own. So here it is... enjoy.

I'll probably put up pictures of Abby and let you know updates on our next adoption. and maybe a couple of funny stories. We'll see how clever I'll be.