Happy Halloween!

The Operatic Pirate

The Thoughtful Pirate

The Shy Pirate

The Yawning Pirate

The You-Just-Took-Away-My-Candy-So-I'm-Crying Pirate

Who knew pirates had such a range of emotions? :)


Severing Ties that Bind

Well folks! Sit back. Grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine, because this is going to be a long post.

A few things to know:
1. We are in the process of adopting a second child.
2. We decided to use a different agency than we used for S because our original agency raised their fees beyond our budget.
3. We decided to use a small, Christian Adoption Agency in Jacksonville, FL after the recommendation of a friend of a friend. (more on this part later...)
4. We have had issues with this agency since the beginning of our interaction with them. See this post for more information. I'm going to start from where this post leaves off.

Click below, I didn't want this situation taking any more space than necessary in my life!


Busy Week! Need a Nap!

Sorry for the lack of updates. It has been a busy week.

This week I've:

Graded 60 papers for Online Teaching Job #1.
Pressure washed the walkway and the driveway.
Cleaned the gutters.
Paid bills.
Started home study documents.
Completed my new hire paperwork (15 pages) for Online Teaching Job #2.
Picked up a lost cow toy at a doctor's office.
Went to the International Food Festival at EPCOT and spent a rare and glorious weekday with M.
Put together S's new bedroom furniture (still working on this).
Dealt with a cranky Hand, Foot and Mouth infected S. (Again!)
Purchased 800 pounds of furniture by myself at IKEA. (Won't be doing that again).
Upset Adoption Agency #1.
Excited about Adoption Agency #2. Still keeping #1 though...long story....post of it's own.
Worked on our adoption book.
Did not clean my house and it shows.
Repotted yellow mums.
Purchased art for the house.
Redecorated the master bedroom.
Ironed everything I could find.
Been mostly a single parent as this is M's busy time at work. Won't see him much until Thanksgiving.
Wished we could bring Lukas home now. (Yes, that is his name).
Laughed a lot.
Ate too much. (Still down 30 lbs though).

So you can see, I've simply been too busy to update this blog. I will do better soon. Maybe... I'll try!


We Are Paper Pregnant

Doesn't this shirt say it all?

We sent our application in September to the new agency we're using for the adoption. I wanted to post right when we sent it, but I expected to hear something a few days later. (Like they loved us and were so excited to have us as a waiting couple.)

But nothing. Not a peep!

One week went by. Still no word.

Did I mention I was emailing them every few days? I did get word that they received our application and that we would receive a letter in the mail. I raced out each day to greet the mailman. No letter. This daily disappointment ironically felt a bit like taking a pregnancy test and getting a negative result day after day month after month.

Another week went by. Then two. Still nothing.

At this point. I'm frustrated and a bit upset (understatement).

We got the letter the 2nd of October. We'd been accepted and were officially "paper pregnant"!! The letter said that our homestudy documents would arrive shortly as well as some examples of adoptive parent profiles. We were elated and I went to work on our adoption profile so I could focus on the homestudy documents when they arrived.

Nothing. No papers. No profiles. NOTHING!

We were supposed to be using this agency to do our homestudy, but my thought was - if they were taking this long to even respond to us, that the homestudy would take forever. And we're ready for our son now and have already lost FOUR weeks of time....Ahhhhhh....

In frustration, I reached out to the company that conducted our last homestudy. I explained the situation and they said that they could start immediately and get it done quickly. They even offered to FedEx homestudy documents that afternoon! Talk about service! :)

I made a call to our agency in an attempt to find out if there would be an additional cost to review an outside homestudy. I got someone on the phone. The adoptive parent coordinator. (I'd left two messages for her and sent 4 emails and never got a response).

She was gracious and apologetic. I guess one of their staff members left and now they are down to two people handling too many cases. I tried to be sympathetic. I really did.

By the end of the conversation, I was much less upset and she promised to FedEx the homestudy documents and those adoption profiles. That was Tuesday afternoon.

I called our former homestudy agency back and told them that it sounded like our adoption agency could handle the homestudy, but if I didn't get the promised homestudy documents in the next week - I'd call them back and hire them.

As of today (Sat.), nothing.

More when I know more....


A Clever Parenting Moment

I hate washing dishes. As in H-A-T-E. In fact, I will do just about anything to get out of doing them. While at IKEA (land of the $2.64 lunch!) I found this new step stool and was struck by a moment of pure genius.

S loves to play in the water. She loves bubbles.
I wondered if I could teach my two year old to wash dishes. Hmmm....

I thought we'd give it a try. I put the step stool in front of the sink, and S went to town. I taught her how to use the scrub brush to clean the pots (my new Rachel Ray cookware) and then we practiced rinsing off all the bubbles (or making the bubbles go bye-bye) and then I dried the dishes.

S had a blast.
I have clean dishes!
I wonder what else she can do!! :) I'm kidding....kind of....