August 31, 2009

Silly Rabbit, Citizenship Is For Kids!

Today we went to the US Customs and Immigration Office to file our petition to adopt. I wanted to do this in person just to make sure our forms actually got where they were supposed to go. While we were there, we got fingerprinted. This is something that you have to do to get clearance from Homeland Security, or the FBI or some other agency to bring a child back into this country. Everything went off without a hitch. When we got to the fingerprinting office we each had to fill out a form with our personal information on it, as well as our height, hair color, etc. My favorite part of this form was the part where you have to check what your eye color is. Here are the choices: blue, brown, grey, green, hazel, pink or maroon. Pink or maroon!?! What in the world? Are lots of rabbits suddenly applying for US citizenship?

August 29, 2009

Curiosity Is Killing This Cat

Well, my curiosity has finally gotten the best of me. Who in the heck is reading this blog???? After the last post, there were almost 250 hits! Now, I know my mom loves me, but I know she didn't check my blog 250 times! So who's reading? If you've ever left a comment, thanks! If not, just stop in and say hi! I'd love to meet you! Let me know I'm not alone out here in the blogosphere. I have turned on anonymous commenting temporarily so you don't have to have a google account to leave a comment. Or better yet- click over on the left side column and become a follower. Thanks y'all!

And because no post would be complete without cute kid pics, here's one from a couple of nights ago. If you look closely, you can see a rainbow in the upper right corner. Happy weekend, everyone!

August 26, 2009

Are You Praying?



I have seen this photograph many times, but I just heard the story behind it today. Kevin Carter won the Pulitzer Prize for this photograph in 1994. This child was crawling to an aid camp in Sudan. He was less than 1km away. No one knows what happened to this child, as the photographer left immediately after taking the photograph. 3 months later, the photographer committed suicide because of depression. For me this begs the question: How many times have I turned away from someone in need? The answer is- all too often. We can all say, "I would never walk away from that starving child." But we do it everyday- by ignoring what is happening in our world.

The need is great, around the world and in our own communities. Are you praying that God will show you how you can help? Are you answering His call?

August 24, 2009

Homestudy...check!

Yippee!!! Our home study is finished and now it's time to start working on our dossier! So all told, our homestudy (by the time the last report is finalized) will have only taken 6 weeks- not to shabby! It could be because we had an awesome case worker who is currently in the process of adopting from Ethiopia, and knows how we mothers in waiting hate to, well, wait. It could also be because I have been totally OCD about all of the document gathering and processing. Either way, I am just glad that it's done!

In more good news, we had one of the best days of the whole summer yesterday. Our best friends, John and Jessica, bought a new boat last week and took us out on the lake. They've been our friends for years and we just love them! The only drawback was that it was a little chilly. I never thought that we'd have to pack sweatshirts and blankets to go to the lake in the middle of August in the Ohio Valley. However, we didn't let it ruin our fun! Sadie hadn't been on a boat since she was 2 and Noah had never been on one, and they both LOVED it. Actually, loved is an understatement. Sadie was positively on cloud nine the entire 4 hours on the lake. She's our shy one- the one that has trouble trying new things. But she was so brave and wanted to try tubing. I went with her and the whole time she was laughing hysterically and saying, "This is the best fun I ever had!" Noah was perfectly content to just run around the boat. He loved having his hair flap in the breeze. But most of all, he loved when Uncle John let him drive the boat!


I never for one minute take for granted what awesome friends God has blessed us with! We are truly surrounded by amazing people!


Here's a few more snaps from our wonderful day!







August 21, 2009

Backyard Fun

Every afternoon it's the same thing. At 2:30, Noah and I go and wait on the porch for Sadie to get off the bus. She comes bounding off, drops off her backpack and about that time, every other little kid in our neighborhood makes their way to our backyard. Yesterday, they had a waterhose fight. Well, mostly Noah sprayed everyone, but they all had a great time. Today, though, for some reason it was only little girls that came over. The things they come up with to do when there are no boys around, are so completely different. This afternoon a neighborhood wedding took place on our swingset. They dressed Sadie up in her last year's flower girl dress. (I got it on ebay for the bargain price of $18 so it is totally worth it to me to let her play dress-up in!) We didn't happen to have any little boy tuxes laying around, so they dressed Noah up in the next best thing- Sadie's outgrown Christmas vest. And there, by the power vested in the little girl next door, she pronounced Sadie to be Noah's "lovely" wedded wife.



The party busted up when she announced that he could kiss his bride because, let's face it, that is just WAY too embarrassing to do in front of all of your friends! So amidst giggles and squeals, they went back to playing in the sandbox and the wedding was officially over.




I love this little girl...





...and this little boy!


And just because this one is too funny not to share, here is Noah during the water hose fight. Once his pants got wet, they wouldn't stay up. But it didn't slow him down a bit! Also- immediately after taking this picture, he soaked me, but alas...that's the price I pay for always being in the poor kids face with my camera!

August 17, 2009

A Wedding and A Busride

My mom got married this past weekend! She was such a beautiful bride. Seriously. Beautiful. With a capital "B". I got to be her matron of honor, which was just an amazing honor. I have to take a minute to brag on her because she just glowed with happiness and love. We adore her new husband, David. He is absolutely perfect for her in every way. And he has a wonderful family who has welcomed us with such love. I am now the lone daughter in a sea of 4 brothers- but I have some killer sisters-in-law to make up for it! Here are some pictures from the glorious day taken by Priscilla, photographer extraordinaire: (and just for the record- no we're not all giants, my mother is just tiny!)














On a whole other subject, Sadie is loving school. Today she rode the bus home for the first time. She practically begged me to let her ride the bus. I had tons of reservations about this. I had flashbacks of my bus riding days- watching the kid down the street light up a cigarette in the back seat, learning about sex for the first time on old bus #9135, of the bus driver running over a pig that was crossing the street (only in Kentucky, folks!) and how stinking hot the bus can get in the middle of August! But against my better judgement, I let her ride the bus anyway. There are only elementary kids riding her bus, so I hoped, at least, that she could hold off learning about sex and smoking with no older kids on the bus! She did great! She is also making lots of new friends. She says one boy in her class loves her and colors her pictures because he loves her! Ahhh, to be 5 again and have love come in the form of coloring pages!

It feels like, to me, that our adoption is dead in the water. Up until a few weeks ago I was gathering papers and making phone calls, etc. I felt like I was making progress. Now I am just waiting. There is nothing for me to do right now but wait on our case worker. Everything is out of my hands and I am just praying for patience. Once this phase is over, I'll switch to praying that the government can for once be swift and efficient and move our paperwork quickly!

In the mean time, though, I've started writing a novel, which is something I've always wanted to do. A dear friend of mine had a genius idea for a book and ask if I'd coauthor. So that project is underway- I can't share the details, but I can say that it will be a bestseller and one day you'll all be able to buy it at your local bookstore! And then you can say that you knew me when I was a just a little, small town blogger! Hey- it can't hurt to dream, can it?

August 14, 2009

Big Boy Undies

Noah and Sadie have this CD full of silly songs. One of the songs is a little jingle about all the things you can wear on your shirt- stripes, polkadots, animal prints, etc. Noah's favorite part of the song is when they say "I like to wear stains on my shirt". Fast forward to today... with Sadie in school all day, I thought today might be a good day to start working on potty training. So today was Noah's first time in underwear. He quickly learned that he could change the words of his favorite "stains on my shirt" song to "stains on my underwear!" That kid is all boy. So after he sang his newly worded silly song all day, I thought I'd pull out the video camera and capture it for all eternity. When he's a little older I'll use this video clip of him as blackmail! So without further ado, here's Noah with his original tune, "Stains on my underwear!" (Don't forget to pause the music player to the left.)

August 13, 2009

First Day of School


My Sadie is officially a school girl. Today was her first day of kindergarten. She held up much better than her emotional wreck of a mother. That girl marched right into her room, shook her teacher's hand at the door and otherwise acted like she owned the place. I, on the other hand, made it as far as the car before the waterworks started. I couldn't sleep all night last night because I had that first-day-of-school stomachache. I popped out of bed this morning, fixed my first school lunch and cried the entire time I was drawing pink hearts on her sandwich bag. I thought for my morning quiet time, I'd deviate from my usual routine and googled "first day of school devotional". One from Max Lucado popped up and I got excited- I usually love Max. But today he equated sending his daughter off to school for the first time with God sending his son to die. Some pep talk, huh?!?

But she's excited about going back tomorrow, so maybe I'll suck it up and get over losing my baby to the public school system. I am however, looking forward to having more one-on-one time with my Noah Bear. He is not quite sure how to act without his sister, but maybe we'll figure out this new routine! ( Just in time for baby number 3 to arrive!) Which makes me wonder... will I have to adopt or have a new baby every time one of mine starts school? Will we be the next Duggers? It makes me tired just thinking about it...


Here's just a few pictures from our last-day-of-summer pool party yesterday:






August 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday- Family Portrait

Favorite Questions

One of our favorite things to do is to reminisce about some of the silly things that our kids say. Last night while laying in bed, I couldn't help but get stuck on some of the questions they've asked over the summer. Here is a list of my top ten favorites:

10. Can I sleep in the pool tonight?
9. Do you think I can be an animal doctor AND a nail polisher when I grow up?
8. Can I go to Africa and build a store and sell rain so they have water to drink?
7. Why do the "baskitas" (mosquitoes) want to eat me?
6. Mommy, how come you have 2 noses? (Didn't know that I did!?)
5. After we bring our new baby brother home, can we get a baby sister. I mean, not the same day, but maybe the next day?
4. Why do you always make me take a bath? Who cares if my bottom smells bad?
3. Do you think you'll be able to take care of Noah all by yourself when I go to school.
2. Mommy- are you my best girl or is Sadie my best girl?
1. Where did Sadie's wee-wee go?

My standard response for almost all of these: "Go ask Daddy!"

August 08, 2009

Ahhh...solitude

I have just said goodbye to Kamron and the kids and I am officially a woman of leisure for 3 whole days. Saint Kamron and his sister, Saint Kennethia, are taking the kids to St. Louis to stay with Grandma until Monday! That's right moms...be jealous! I have 3 days to myself!

Here's a list of some things I MIGHT do while they're away:
I might boycott my stove and live off of Lucky Charms for the next 48 hours.
I might start reading the new James Frey book my mom let me borrow.
I might not get out of my pajamas on Monday.
I might try to tackle my mile long project list (not likely, but I might.)
I might take my mom out to celebrate her last weekend as a single woman.
I might go get a haircut.
I might get a little lonely at church by myself tomorrow.
I might force myself to go and swim laps.
I might start working on a baby present for my new nephew.
I might get hooked on the free trial of HBO we're getting right now and forget to do anything else.
I might buy a lottery ticket and dream of all the things I'd do with all that money.
I might sit in a bubble bath until I turn into a prune.
I might enjoy a whole night of sleep without anyone snoring, crying or having nightmares.
I might already miss my family really badly!

On a side note, we met with our case worker and turned in our huge mountain of documents! Sadly, she is leaving for vacation today and can't come and do our home visit until the 24th. She has, however, assured us that after that, she'll only need a week to complete our report and then we can turn in our i600a to the government. (In non-adoption speak, that is the giant packet of information that you turn into the government to declare your intention to adopt internationally.) After that is turned in we just wait for our referral! Every day is one step closer!

I'll leave you with some pictures of the past week in the Terry household:


Sadie picking corn- yes, she's dressed like Tinkerbell- maybe it's for camouflage.


Noah at his first ever trip to Chuck E. Cheese's.






My crafting queen!


Noah got so tired he fell asleep mid-snack.

August 05, 2009

Wordy Wednesday

Just this one time, I have to deviate from my usually wordless Wednesdays because I am entirely too excited to remain silent! My brother and his wife are expecting their first child the week before Christmas and they found out yesterday that IT'S A BOY!!! I am going to be a first time aunt and I am totally thrilled about having a nephew. I tried to upload his ultrasound picture but couldn't get it to work. But I do have a picture of my gorgeous sister-in-law, Priscilla, at 19 weeks in her pregnancy. Congrats Bradley and Prisci! Love you guys!

August 03, 2009

Fear

After a truly blissful weekend full of spending time with family and great friends, I find myself on this Monday afternoon anxious and full of fear. I suppose the most imminent of these fears is the fact that Sadie is beginning kindergarten next week. Just 10 short days left until that fateful day when she will spend more of her waking hours at school than with me. I know that she is beyond ready to start school and will do great there, but I am totally not ready to send her off to the wolves. I know it is a little ridiculous, but I swear I am terrified that she'll turn into a completely different person when she starts school. I have this picture in my head of her getting off the bus on that first day and suddenly seeming way to grown up. It is just hard to let go. Now I am crying- dang it! I am just resigned to the fact that when I drop her off on the first day, someone will probably have to sedate me!

But more than this, I am being gripped by a different kind of fear than I've ever felt before. It is so easy to write about how excited I am about this adoption that sometimes my anxiety about it gets swept under the rug. In an effort to be completely honest, I just feel like I can't only write about the good stuff. I can remember crying all night before going into the hospital to have Sadie. Mostly that was the fear of the unknown, impending pain. Then there were tears all the way to the hospital to have Noah. That was fear of changing our already happy little family. I mean, we loved being a family of three. We could function that way. We could take vacations. I could get through Kroger just fine, thank you. How would I manage with 2 kids? But this fear that I have now is completely different. I feel like I am fighting against hundreds of years of deeply rooted racism. I can't imagine how a child must feel to leave a place where everyone looks like you to come to a place where no one in your family looks like you. I am worried about attachment issues. What if this little child hates me? I also worry about how I will feel about the child. I'll admit that I bonded with Sadie instantly after she was born. But with Noah, it took a little while. I faked it for weeks. It's not that I didn't love him. I was overwhelmed with love for him, but we just didn't bond immediately. In the adoption world it seems like their is so much pressure to attach. What if that doesn't happen right away for me?

When we get to the referral part of this adoption we are planning on asking for a boy. We are also asking that he be 2 or younger. I don't know how many times I have heard something along the lines of, "Oh my God! There is nothing cuter than little black babies! I mean they are soooo cute!" Sometimes this is also followed by, "Black babies are so much cuter than little white babies!" I am sure that these are things that all of the other adoptive parents have heard. But I am also well aware of how this country full of white women holds their purses just a little tighter when they pass a black man in the parking lot. When does the feeling change over? Let's just get it out there- these adorable little black boys will grow up to be black men. At what point does our society begin to stop thinking of these darling black boys as cute and start fearing them? I am getting mad just thinking about it. I am not one to judge on race, but we're all guilty of thinking that we're better than someone else for some reason. Sometimes for me, it about education. Or thinking I'm a better parent than someone else. I'll catch myself doing it and it just about drives me crazy that I even had the thought! But I wonder how it will be for my child to experience racism for being black. And not just for being black, but for having white parents. And white siblings. How will I handle it. I wonder if it will be hard for him to find a place to fit it. Will he be accepted into the white community? Will he be accepted into the black community? Will he feel trapped in the middle? We so desperately want to integrate African culture into our family. I want our son to be proud of his heritage. I want us to truly be a beautiful trans-racial family. I just feel like I can read every book, article, and blog out there about raising multi-cultural families (and believe me, I have) but I won't have any idea how to really do it until we've experienced it.

Then there is the issue of hair. I know that this may be the stupidest thing I have put out there into the blogoshpere, but I have a lot of fear about caring for African-American hair. I can barely manage to comb through Sadie's mop, much less figure out how to care for hair that has serious care needs! I love Afros and dreadlocs! But I don't know the protocol. Is this acceptable for kids? Will my child get some crazy label because his crazy, white mother is totally clueless!

Maybe I am worrying about these things too much. It is different when you're pregnant. I feel like I have a different perspective having had biological children and now going through the adoption process. There is no comparison. In this process I feel like I have NO control. When I was pregnant, I could chose what was happening. I could give my baby the proper nutrition. I could nurture and protect those unborn babies AND I pretty much knew when they'd make their grand entrance into the world. Adopting is all about letting go of the control. (If you know me at all, you know that I am so NOT good at this.) You have no idea when your baby will be coming home. I don't even know that my child out there is even getting food to eat. Every time I sit down to a meal now, I almost feel guilty that I am eating. Moms out there- you know that if you sit down at the table, if there was not enough to go around, that you would gladly go without. But with this, I can't even ensure that my child will have a full belly when he goes to bed at night, and this is haunting me. I am glad that there are people out there with the heart to adopt from countries with years long waiting lists, but I am also thankful that that is not what God is asking of me, because I KNOW that I could not handle it!

Well, this blog just took a serious turn toward way too personal. I wish that this process was all roses and clovers, but these are my genuine fears. I so know in my heart that this is the right thing for my family, but that does not change the fact that I am still terrified of the unknown. So for fear that I'll delete the whole dang post, I'll just hurry up and hit "publish" before I change my mind on putting the good, the bad and the ugly out there.
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