Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Last year's Christmas card. I think I went a bit overboard.

Breakfast with the Grinch. Micah loved the Grinch.

These made the cut this year for the Christmas card (if you didn't get one - it's because I ran out! ;)

These did not make the cut, but are pretty funny.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

NOW It feels REAL

Woot! We just got an email from Erin - our dossier has returned to CHI and we are...


We are now officially a waiting family. Very exciting. It's starting to feel real now. I'm feeling the urge to go purchase Baby Girl D some new clothes. EEEK!

Just before Christmas 2006, we had gone to CHI for an information meeting and made our decision (that night) to adopt from Ethiopia. We were able to celebrate Christmas that year knowing we were moving towards parenthood. It is very exciting to celebrate Christmas this year knowing we're moving towards our baby girl.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holly Jolly

We are busy getting into the Christmas spirit around here. Today I hung stockings (which is hard to do because I get all funky with ribbons around the mantle) and Micah and I made cookies. Making cookies with Micah is my new favorite thing to do, because he makes me laugh.

I should explain that we didn't actually make cookies. We rolled break-n-bake style. Fancy, I know. Gourmet, really. So, here is how it went down... I broke out the cute shapes of the sugar cookies and placed them on the cookie sheet in front of Micah. I turned around (for .23 seconds) to grab the sprinkles to start our sprinkle-extravaganza. This is what I found when I turned back around...

After I almost peed myself from laughing so hard, I tried to explain to Micah that the cookies were not ready. We don't eat raw cookies. (Unless they are chocolate chip raw cookies. We do eat those. But only mommy.)

Then we started the sprinkling. I had purchased the fat sprinkles because Jill had tried the smaller sprinkles with Mari and learned that they do not come up off the floor easily. I suspected we would have some on the floor. The problem is that the large sprinkles don't stick to the break-n-bake cookies. So, we sprinkled the cookie sheet with sprinkles and Micah continued to try and pick up the raw snowmen and shove them into his mouth.

I figured it out in the end. I got the sprinkles to stick (with magic) and we had some yummy cookies.

Okay, so it would appear from Micah's face in that picture that the cookies are not, in fact, yummy. But they are. Trust me. I ate three. Or five. Maybe six.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I know most everyone has seen The Video - I need Africa more than Africa needs me. I saw it last week and it got me thinking... about Africa. About it's beauty, it's people, and what it means to me. The first time I really thought about Africa was while I was in college and my sister went to live in Zimbabwe for a year. She worked with women's groups and lived with a Shona family for a while and also in the capital city of Harare. She would send these amazing letters that conjured up my only images of Africa - from the Color Purple. I imagined my pale, blond sister running among the fields just as Cielie had imagined her sister doing the same. (I know - it's cliche, but that's all I had at the time...)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dossier Marathon

For those of you not on FB, cue the Rocky theme song please....

Last week: Went in to CHI to have Erin check our dossier... it had a few problems and we needed to have a few things done over.

Monday: Got together new paperwork and headed to the notary.

Tuesday morning: I was getting our dossier paperwork together for Kevin to take in to the Secretary of State to be certified when I realized that our notary had written the date as NOVEMBER, not DECEMBER. Oh well... I figured, what is one more week? (Dossiers only leave CHI for DC on Thursdays.) Then I thought, "NO, we can do it - this week!" I then call doctor's office and am told they will have them ready by that afternoon. Great, Kevin will pick them up.

Tuesday evening: Kevin comes home with no doctor's letters. I think he is joking when he tells me they won't be ready until Thursday. He's not joking. Okay fine, next week then.

Wednesday (approximately 12:04 p.m.): I get a message from a fellow adoptive mom on facebook that CHI is not sending dossiers out next week because they will be closed for two weeks for Christmas. Crap. SO, if not this week, then we wait until January 8th for our dossier to go to DC. Crap. Email SW. Get a crazy idea - MAYBE I CAN DO IT ALL TOMORROW. YES WE CAN! Spent the entire rest of the day looking for a babsyitter and planning out my day for Thursday.

Thursday: (today)
7:00 a.m.: Tell Kevin he must go to Walgreens to have passport sized photos taken. (oops - forgot about these until now)
9:45 a.m.: Drop Micah off at BFs house. Go to Walgreens where they have JUST finished Kevin's photos - machine is jamming.
9:55 a.m.: Get my passport photos done at FedEx and make color copy of my passport.
10:10 a.m.: Arrive at doctor's office and wait 15 minutes because letters are STILL NOT FINISHED.
10:45 a.m.: We all meet at notary's office for notarization.
11:30 a.m.: Arrive at Secretary of State's office and am told that paperwork won't be finished for a few hours. Beg & plead with them to be finished by 1:30 so I can have it to CHI by 2 p.m. Maybe.
12:00 p.m.: Have lunch with my awesome husband - FUN.
12:45 p.m.: YES! Sec. of State calls and they are finished!
1:15 p.m.: Documents in hand - start journey to CHI.
1:45 p.m.: Arrive at CHI and go through dossier with Erin (SW). YES! It's all good. Make 3 copies, hand over our payment and...
WOOHOOO!!! I am FINISHED with the dossier!!
2:45 p.m.: Pick Micah up from BFs house with only 15 minutes to spare - he is passed out in the middle of the front room floor with his friend Chuck dancing around him, singing, "Micah's sleeping." Take him home, put him in bed for a 2 hour nap. Awesome!

Tonight: Celebrate with glasses of Duvel (milk for Mic) and a family toast at dinner. Yay baby girl!!

Soooo, Erin expects us to be on the wait list by the time they come back from holiday - January 2nd. I'm still thinking we will have at least a 12 month wait for our referral.

Hey Micah - By the time you're three years old, we might know who your baby sister is! What do you think about that?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Shopping with a Purpose

My sister and brother (and their significant others) and our family have decided to shop purposefully this Christmas season. We drew names and each gift has to either come from a shop that "gives back" or the gift has to be "green" in some way (used, handmade, organic, etc.). So, I've been searching for shops that have these kinds of gifts to share with the family. I thought I'd share them here too since I know people are looking for ways to do this themselves. (I would include photos, but blogger is being stubborn tonight.)

Product (Red) - a portion of the proceeds from each Product (Red) purchase goes to help fight AIDS in Africa. My favorite thing on here (besides Starbuck's (Red) drinks) are the converse that you design yourself. I've designed myself a pair already (or maybe two or three pairs. Maybe.)

Ethiopian Orphan Relief
- From their website: "100% of the profits from sales of our products benefit Ethiopian Orphan Relief, Inc.'s programs to help orphaned children remaining in Ethiopia." I really like their jewelry - most, or maybe all, is handmade in Ethiopia.

Ahope Store
- AHOPE for Children is a non-profit organization whose mission is to serve the children of Ethiopia, with a primary emphasis on caring for orphans infected with HIV. This site also has great jewelry and the Ahope tshirts are very cute!

Omnipeace - Very cool Africa tshirts. Omnipeace donates 25% of their profits to the Millennium Promise to end extreme poverty by 2025.

Light Gives Heat - Their mission (from their website) is, "Empowering Africans through the encouragement of economic sustainability and creative endeavors. Motivating people in the West to “be the change they want to see in the world.” This is the site that sells Amy Bottomly's favorite tee.

Ten Thousand Villages
- From their website: "Since 1946 Ten Thousand Villages has supported the work of literally tens of thousands of artisans in over 37 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, making us one the largest fair trade organizations in North America." They have a lot of different products to choose from - from all over the world!

Gifts of Life
- Another fair trade site that works in Africa - "Our dream to help one woman, man, child,, at a time make a better life though the FAIR TRADE sales of their handmade African baskets and other handmade crafts," (from their site).

World of Good - This one is very cool because it has A LOt of different things to choose from - even clothes (to fit into the "green" category). Ebay runs it and it will tell you what "good" your purchase is doing, such as Eco-Positive, People-Positive, Animal Friendly, or Supports a Cause.

Gobena Coffee - Who doesn't love coffee? (Okay, maybe some people, but I don't know them :) Gobena is run by this beautiful family and 100% of the profits are being reinvested in the lives of orphan children through charity programs. It is also Fair-Trade & Organic. (Green & gives back!)

And finally, who could forget Tom's Shoes? Cute Tom's. Do you have a pair? They are comfy and cute and they give back! And, the best part - right now they are focusing on Ethiopia. Close to our hearts!

As always, I'm open to more ideas! Happy Shopping!


Please say prayers for my friend and her family. Their baby girl in Ethiopia was sick and passed away this morning.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm Just Here for the Pictures...

I don't have a post in me, but I do have some pictures...

Micah is so very cool.

I have no explanation for this - it's just part of our daily life around here

Thanksgiving Dinner:

Enjoying Thanksgiving Dinner...

He really loved the cranberries..

and dessert...

And, we're out.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

And, just because I can't help myself... here is little Mic last year on Thanksgiving Day...


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gratitude - TAG!

I had planned on writing this week about the things that I am grateful for. I love the Thanksgiving holiday because it gives me a chance to really think about gratitude. In our family we had to go around the table before Thanksgiving dinner and say what we were thankful for. SO, I've decided to make this fun and make it one of those 'tag' things.

The rules - you have to name 10 things that you are grateful for. They can be fun, silly, serious - whatever. Then you tag 5 other people. That's it!

I'm grateful for...

1. The blogging community. When we began our adoption, I had no idea the connections I would make through this blog; the amazing people I would come to know and learn from. You are each a blessing to me, truly. You have cheered us on, offered words of wisdom and support and allowed us the privilege of sharing in your joys too. It's amazing and I am so grateful for all of you.

2.Edward. Yes, I'm grateful for Edward. Not only because he is so much fun to look at, but also because I've had so much fun being ridiculous these past few weeks. I went to my first ever midnight show on Thursday - 7 moms packed into a minivan with the soundtrack blaring - it was so much fun (have I used that phrase yet?). Then on Saturday we went again - this time I think we had 17 people - almost two rows of the theater. And, I got to meet Nicole (who I blame for this obsession)!

3. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a part of an online community working together to sponsor an orphanage in Ethiopia.

We are very excited about this and it fills my heart to be a part of it.

4. Warm socks. I love warm socks in the winter. I bought some new socks the other day and have them on right now. I've been thinking all day about how wonderful they are and how much I love them. I would show you a picture, but it seems is all sold out of my new favorite socks.

5. Adoption. I am so grateful for Micah in our lives, and for the opportunity to adopt again from Ethiopia. Adoption is a blessing in so many ways and I am thankful that our lives followed a path that led us to adoption and Ethiopia.

6. My friends. I know, this is a given. But, seriously, I have some great friends. I have friends that I've known for over 20 years (one I still talk to every day). I have friends who I email with everyday - a small group that I learn from and get support from - everyday (love you BTs). And, I have all of my amazing blog-friends. My life is full of friends - I could not ask for more!

7.My husband. Not only is he supportive, caring, loving, and really cute, but he also bakes (fresh bread for the family!), cooks (and really knows what he is doing), and does just about everything around the house. He also lets me sleep in sometimes. I am very lucky.

8. My dogs. They are crazy and hairy, but I love them. I love that Micah now "barks" back when they bark. (I do not love that he sometimes makes out with them, but at least they like each other.) I love dogs and I am grateful that I have three adorable snuggly doggies to sleep with every night (which was seriously my childhood dream).

9. Our home. It is small and we'll probably move on someday, but I really love our first home together. And, we know how lucky we are to have a place to call home. I am grateful for it.

10. Micah's Ethiopian Mom. We never got to meet her, but his Ethiopian Mom is always in my heart and my prayers. I never expected to think of her so often, but I do. I am grateful for the gift she has given to our family, while at the same time sad that circumstances led her to have to make that decision. She is my hero and I am forever thankful to her.

Okay, now I'm tagging Jill, Jenni, C, Dawn, Amy, Nicole, Lori, Tiny's Mom, Courtney, Tara, and Erica C.

(I know that is 11 - but I'm just getting this thing started. You only have to tag 5 people.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christmas Shopping

This year we are going to attempt to purchase most of our Christmas gifts from organizations that give back - meaning some, or all, of their proceeds go to a cause or charity.

Here are some of the sites I've found for this...

Ethiopian Orphan Relief Store

Ahope Store


Those are a few - I'm looking for more! Especially some with items for children. Where are your favorite 'give-back' shopping sites? (Amy Bottomly - I know you have a bunch! :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Happy Adoption Saturday!

Micah's re-adoption was today! Fun times! We were blessed to have lots of friends and family join us - and we were so excited that our social worker, Erin, and our CHI Program Director, Sharon, also came to join us!

Lots of pictures...

Micah & his Papa

In court

With our judge

We also wanted a picture with George. Watching him come home to his family (our BFFs that live down the street) inspired us to adopt Micah. George's adoption was finalized two years ago in the same building.

Celebrating with Mimi, Grandma K and Papa

Happy baby. Happy Dad.

Happy family.

And, this is very cool - here is a picture of us with Sharon & Erin on our referral day...

And here we all are now...


Friday, November 14, 2008

In Case You Missed it on Facebook

What? You're not on Facebook? Or, you are but we're not friends? Here's what you're missing this week...

That is Micah filling up his bucket (see post below) during Family Dance Hour with Dad and Belle & Sebastian. He is so awesome - check out these moves.

(And please ignore all the crap on the floor - that is what Micah does all day - throws crap on the floor. But he is still awesome.)

Also - you should probably go donate $10 to Water for Christmas today. It's very cool. Go read about it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

An Answer

So, normally I do not post about Micah's medical issues. There have been a few things that I have not shared because it is his personal business. This, however, I am sharing in the hopes that it might help other parents who are struggling.

We have always known Micah was a 'spirited' child. He loves things to be LOUD and he is in constant motion. The comment we get most about our son (and this goes back to his infancy) is, "Wow, he's so busy." Yes, he is busy. We have always just figured it was normal since I didn't notice anything too out of the ordinary. I did think about sensory issues, as I have studied them in the past and have a friend whose son (George) had severe Sensory Processing Disorder but I pushed those thoughts to the side and just figured Micah was going through normal toddler stuff.

Then one night we decided to try a practice class at the Little Gym. It was a disaster. We left in tears - well, Micah & I at least. Kevin and I had a strong suspicion that something wasn't right (Kevin more than me - I was still in denial). We were worried about our son. Kevin had a gut feeling for a while that something was wrong, and although it was hard to hear it, I finally listened and we decided to do something about it. We thought about the things he was having problems with, his habits, and the way he reacts to certain situations. We talked about the fact that he almost never sits down to finish a task (puzzle, coloring, etc.) and that he gets very easily frustrated and then gives up on a lot of activities. We realized that, within our group of friends, Micah gets compared to George the most (and not because they were both adopted). We decided to have Micah evaluated by an occupational therapist.

I took Micah to the appointment yesterday and it was hard, but we feel so much better today. It was hard to watch Micah being asked to perform tasks and seeing him either unable to do them, or simply giving up because he became frustrated. I'll be honest - I was close to tears a lot during that appointment. But, my emotions also contained relief. Relief because in the end, our suspicions were confirmed and now we know what to do.

Micah is mild-moderately "Sensory-Seeking" which explains his high activity level. Our OT said to think of it as if he had a "sensory bucket" inside of him that has to be filled. His is bigger than most children's and we have to work to fill it up in order for him to be able to feel calm and able to focus. That makes so much sense to me. He also has a spatial issue in that his mind does not compute where his body is in relation to the things around him. We always joked that he was clumsy; now it is relief to find out why.

Here's the good part - and I've seen this in action - Occupational Therapy can help. He starts next week and we will begin to learn how to help our son fill his 'bucket'. I know it seems I should be more worried now, but it is a relief to know what is wrong and that we can overcome it. And, just this morning we had a Family Dance Hour to the new Twilight soundtrack to help fill him up - and for the FIRST TIME EVER (EVER!) Micah sat and put his duplo blocks together. He did this for about 20 minutes (!!!!) and did not get frustrated and throw the blocks across the room - not even once. I almost cried. It was amazing. I feel good.

I will continue to post about his development in OT and please feel free to ask any type of question - or give me any advice.

As always after a long text-filled post - here are pictures!

Micah & Dad making pumpkin bread together. Yum.

Doesn't he look cute in his sweatshirt from Sam? Cute buckeye fan.

Micah being Micah. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cutest Thing Ever

I just LOVE when this happens...

I guess he had a little too much fun in the nursery at church yesterday. :)

I'm planning to write more soon - I know I've been slacking lately. Blame it on the election and Facebook. I've been neglecting my blog for Facebook.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Better than I could have said it...

For the last few days I've been trying to write a letter to Micah and his sister about the historical day we were a part of this past week. I found that Josh Bottomly has done a beautiful job doing the same for his son. You should read it. You can here.

Better than I could have said it...

For the last few days I've been trying to write a letter to Micah and his sister about the historical day we were a part of this past week. I found that Josh Bottomly has done an amazing job doing the same for his son. You should read it. You can here.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Best Halloween Evah!

I love Halloween. I love our neighborhood during Halloween. It's the best. Last night we had friends over who live in boring neighborhoods and all the kids went trick-or-treating together with the Dads. Moms sat back and had beers and hot toddies while passing out candy. What could be better? It is pure suburbia, and though I sometimes wish we lived in the city, on nights like Halloween I love it.

We ended up ditching the dragon outfit and went for the bat. The dragon was a bit to large for Micah's skinny body, and the bat fit perfectly. He waddled around in it and was about the cutest thing I've ever seen. Of course, he waddles quickly, so I only got a couple of good pictures...

And a few of Micah's friends...

Spiderman was totally infatuated with our singing John McCain doll. He did let John McCain know where he stands on the election, as he kept yelling "OBAMA" at the poor doll.

I think Micah was about to try and steal R's Elmo bucket. I think R was ready for a fight.

And, for a Then & Now - here is Micah last year on Halloween...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We've got a...

Golden Ticket!!

I'm still in shock. Our 171-H came today! That's 9 business days from when we were fingerprinted! Last time it took 8 days, so I'm not sure why I'm surprised, but I had heard it was taking longer in our state these days. Apparently not.

So, now I need to get to work on the dossier. I have been working on it, but I thought I had a bit more time.

Here is what still needs to be done...

* Get medical letters from doctor's office. Appointments are done - just waiting for the letters.
* Get Kevin's out of state birth certificate certified by the out of state Secretary of state. (Should take a couple of days at the most.)
* Get our reference letters back. (Time to light a fire under our friends' booties)
* Employment letter for Kevin.
* Photos of us and our home.
* Finish our financial statement.

That's not so bad! I'm hoping to have everything by the end of next week (since I need a deadline) and then I'll have it approved by CHI and then off for certification, then more certification, then even more certification... you know the deal.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Then... and Now - Friends

Micah has been home for over a year, so I thought it would be fun to start comparing last year to this year - to see how much he has changed and grown. This post is about friends...

Miles & Chuck. These were taken the day after we got home from Ethiopia when we took Micah to meet his new friends down the street. Chuck is my best friend's youngest - he is about 9 months older than Micah. Mic was almost 6 months here.

and Now...

George (Chuckie's older brother), Micah and Chuck - taken the same day as the first pictures.

and Now...
It's blurry - you can't get these 3 to sit still anymore!!

I have more on the 'friends' theme to share, but I'm already in tears looking at how tiny Micah was, so the rest will have to wait - I want to smooch his fat little baby face! :)

(Chuck & George are 'blog names' - unless Micah's friends have blogs, I will be changing all the names.)