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.