Sunday, March 30, 2008

Our time together in Florida

Can you believe it? We made it to and from Florida safely!!! We had a wonderful time and we are glad that we had the opportunity to be together for the entire week. We thought it was important to take this vacation for us to get away and be together to discuss where we have been, how we are doing and where we are going. We also spent a lot of time doing nothing (a must on vacation) and also doing the things that we love. We spent some time with my family and we also spent some time at a couple of spring training games. We had a lot of fun at the beach and taking walks at night. I was excited that I was able to play games a few nights with my family. We took our Wii and we were able to play it one night. I think they really enjoyed it! I also really love palm trees (I really wish they would grow in Indiana). We had really nice weather while we were there. It only rained one day. It started out a little chilly at the beginning of the week, but by the end it was in the mid 80s.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

You have questions, We have answers

I thought it might be interesting to ask if you have any questions for us regarding our adoption. In one of my next posts, I will try to answer the questions that we receive. I don't want anyone to feel awkward, so feel free to leave an anonymous question in the comment section. I will try and to do this at random times throughout this process.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Monday - a BIG day!

Yesterday, Chris and I met for supper at Panera in Noblesville and then proceeded to our first session for our HOMESTUDY! Yep, that's right folks! This is the last part that we need for our dossier!!!! We are pumped (or atleast I am) to fed ex the package to Washington DC and then to Ethiopia. We are getting closer!!!

The homestudy session went well. We met at the agency and the room we were in was comfortable. We sat on the couch and our social worker was across from us in a chair. She told us at the beginning that this process seems a little awkward at first. Who wouldn't think that? Here is a stranger that we met right before we sat down and she is asking us questions about our marriage. Just for insight purposes, the questions were all across the board. For example, she asked us about our marriage. She also asked us about being a transracial family and if we foresee any issues with our family or friends. She asked us to think about how we might respond to someone in the grocery store that might ask about our child. It is not uncommon for strangers to ask how much did he or she cost. What do you share or not share? How do you respond?

Chris broke the ice when he was answering the question about what we view as our strengths as a couple. She then asked about our weaknesses. He was telling her that we really balance each other out and then told her a few of mine. He goes on to say I guess thats it, I don't have any. Does that surprise you? She laughed. I went on to tell her that we really work well together around the house. I consider Chris the handy man and he helps me clean up the kitchen. I was telling her that I do the laundry and I cook the food. Her next comment was timed just right - she said, "and Chris...he eats it."

Our social worker is actually going through the adoption process as well. Amazingly, her and her husband are also adopting from Ethiopia! They received their referral a week ago. Their son is 2.5 years old and they will go to Ethiopia sometime in May. She is a proud mom and can really identify with us. We are thankful that she is our social worker. She also invited us to join the Ethiopian Adoption group in Indy. The next event is a picnic in the summer. We are already planning to get involved! God is so good!

We also had a wonderful weekend! We left on Friday to go to Ohio to see my family. When we arrived we ended up staying up late just talking around the table. We got up on Saturday and we went to Red Rambler which is a local coffee shop. We also went to the Sauder Outlet store (a must when we go out there) and the Sauder Inn. The big event of the day was the musical "The Wiz" which is a spin off of the Wizard of Oz. We had two of our cousins in the musical. They did a great job and we had a lot of fun spending time with our family! On Sunday, we went to a Charlie Hall concert at our church. We enjoyed it!

Tonight our electricity was out for over 3 hours. This ruined my plans for supper so we had to go to Greentown and pick up a pizza. Shucks! When we came back we played jenga (Chris's idea) and uno. If you know me, I LOVE games. Chris on the other hand could never play another one and be happy. He was a great sport. I always ask to play just one more game. He reminds me that moderation is better if I want him to play again in the future. Good point!

This Friday we are leaving for Florida!!! We are going to go and visit my grandpa, aunt and uncle. For those of you who know us and about our Florida trips...we just can't get enough. We ALWAYS have bad luck when we go so we are hoping the FIFTH time is a charm! Let's see...we have had the airbags of my parent's car on our laps the entire way home from Florida, our alternator went out when we were going to Florida from my friend Julie's wedding in Virginia, we never made it when we had to make an emergency pit stop in Tennessee for Chris to go into emergency surgery to take out his appendix, and the last one was this Christmas when I was in the hospital with complications from the IVF procedure. We are going to try one new thing...hopefully, this is a good thing. We are going to be driving our car and not my parents. Please pray for us while we travel. God knows that we need all that we can get this time around!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Just a quick update

Why is it that I seem to have less time to update you on what is going on in our lives? Oh yeah, I forgot that we are in the midst of our adoption, working, studying for my financial management test that I am going to be taking tomorrow, working out...Anyways, I wanted to let you know that on Monday we attended an educational session at our home study's agency. It was on attachement. I really thought we would learn a lot of things that we didn't already know, but we have already immersed ourselves in reading everything that we can that we really didn't learn as much as I expected. Oh well! We were able to meet another couple from Fort Wayne that will be adopting from Ethiopia! The world seems to be getting smaller and smaller. We are finding out about more and more couples that either know someone who is or has adopted from Ethiopia! We are really going to value those friendships because their story will be somewhat like ours in some way or shape.

This weekend we are going to Ohio to visit our family. My cousins are in a musical and we are going to go there and watch them on Saturday. We are excited to see the family and we always look forward to supporting them when we can.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

People are reaching out to help us!

This is the first chance I have had to blog since work on Friday. What a day! In my last blog, I talked a little bit about my friend from work. His name is Deress. He instant messaged me in the morning to tell me that he talked with his parents and we have a place to stay when we go to Ethiopia to pick up our child! This is WONDERFUL news! I am not sure how many of you have been to other countries where you cannot speak the language, but it is not always easy to get around. Well, Deress already told me that we would be staying in the house that he grew up in and would be staying in his sister's room. She currently lives in Chicago. His parents are retired and are currently here in the states. In April, they will be coming to Indiana and we plan to meet them! I am so excited!!! I really wanted to meet them when we go to Ethiopia and I had no intentions of staying with them, but what better way to get to know their culture! Deress also mentioned that they would like to show us around while we are there. Since all the dates are tentative for us, we hope to be traveling in either October or November to pick up our child.

This is the only picture that I have on my computer of Deress. We went to a Cathedral High School game with him to watch my boss's son play football. We had a lot of fun cheering his team on even though they didn't beat Carmel.

On Friday, we met up with Greg, Cari, Syd and Katie and went to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. What a neat place! We weren't able to see everything, so I guess we better go back. We also went out to eat at Rock Bottom. Talk about the best salad was delicious! We spent the night in Indy and headed back home early Saturday morning.

We decided to run errands on Saturday and we purchased our first baby item! We went to the "Here We Grow Again" children's consignment shop and we bought the bedding for the crib. It was half the cost and brand new. What a bargain! We also bought some little shoes. They were adorable and we figured that we would need them sometime. We came home and had all intensions to start painting the ceiling in one of the bedrooms and finishing our touch-ups. Forget that, we took a 3 hour nap and then had supper with Chris's mom. I did manage to watch one of my classes. Only two more to watch before my test on Thursday.

Today we went to church and then we had my birthday lunch with my parents. It was nice to be with them. We ended up painting and doing the touch-ups today. It is nice to finish that project. I plan to finish watching at least one of my classes and we might start our Hague training tonight. We are atteding a class tomorrow night at the agency that is completing our home study.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Why God places people in our lives...

Last night, Chris and I finally found time to watch the DVD we picked up from the library, God Grew Tired of Us. We really enjoyed this video and it makes you so thankful for life. If you have the opportunity, we would reccommend it. It is about the Lost Boys of Sudan. Sudan is one of the countries that is on the Ethiopian border.

I thought today was going to be a typical day at work and for the most part, I was correct. During lunch, I was able to run a few errands and I also picked up some "buckeyes" (the peanut butter and chocolate piece of heaven) that my sister-in-law made for me to sell at work. While I was picking them up at her parents house, her mother made me a few dish rags to sell. People are so generous. From there, I went to the store, Our Friend's Closet, which sells used women clothing and dropped off some of the donations some coworkers gave me. Again, I am so grateful. As I was wrapping up the day, I decided to instant message (IM) my friend at work that is from Ethiopia. He actually lived in Addis Ababa for seventeen years.

The conversation started by me asking him if he thinks we should get a yellow fever shot before we go. We agreed that even though the CDC says it is highly reccommended, but not required for Addis Ababa, we should still get it because it is better to be safe than sorry. The conversation went several different ways for awhile including planning to get together for lunch and also meeting in Indy to go to the Ethiopian restaurant.

Sometimes we don't know why our paths cross with others, but I can tell you that I know why my path has crossed with my friend from work We have known each other for at least seven years and it is neat how God's plan is unfolding right before our eyes. I always valued my friendship with this individual, but I had no idea that he would be giving us an insight to our child's culture. We are so thankful for our friend and his willingness to share his culture with us.

This is a picture that my friend from work sent to me. His friends recently went to Ethiopia and took pictures from their visit to the country.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

We continue to move forward...

I can't believe it has been a week since I have updated this blog. Where does time go? Seriously, it doesn't seem like I have not had a free second for the past week. Let me do a quick recap...Wednesday we had adoption night. This means that we spend atleast 2-3 hours going through paperwork and filling out forms. We try to stay on top of what we need to do so we are not holding up the process. Since we just received the information regarding our home study, we organized our game plan on how we plan to accomplish the tasks.

That brings us to Thursday. For my birthday, Chris took me on a date to the Toby Mac/Jeremy Camp concert at Conseco in Indianapolis. We met up with my cousins, Greg and Cari, and had a great time. We are in the same stages in life and so we always have a great time talking about being "expectant" parents. Greg and Cari are expecting their baby girl in June. We are excited to share in their experience and are excited that our children will be close in age. On Friday, Chris stayed in Indy and hung out with Greg and Syd while I worked until 9:00. Don't worry - it was for API which is annual physical inventory and I was able to earn some extra cash for our adoption! I also woke up at the crazy hour of 2:30 a.m. and was at work by 3. I worked until 11 and then went to the child's consignment shop with my mom. We had a great time and I purchased our first baby item - a baby carrier! We will be able to use this while we are in Ethiopia.

Our nephew plays hockey (he is the goalie and I am always a nervous wreck when he plays) and this past weekend was semi-state. Chris went to his morning game on Saturday and I met up with the entire Ponsler family that afternoon. We cheered him on; however, they lost. It was fun being together and hanging out with this side of our family. We also went to his game on Sunday.

On Sunday, I went to Ashley's house! We decided to try and make bibs. It was kind of funny because Ashley was doing laps around me. I only finished one bib and cut out four. On the other hand, Ashley cut out 26 and made at least four. We had a great time catching up and even though I am slower than molasses, the bibs turned out cute and I plan to finish the project eventually. I just need some more time in the day. We also had our annual birthday bash with a DQ cake - thanks Andrew, it was delicious!

For my birthday, Chris took me out to Harvey Hinklemeiers (a 50's diner). I always get the same thing there - breadsticks and a tenderloin. It is super healthy. Luckily, we worked out afterwards! We also stopped by Meijer to pick up the necessities - milk - we were out for 4 days, bread - it was old and starting to mold and we had no fresh fruit in the house.

We had another adoption day tonight! We finished up our paperwork for the home study and we made a list of items that we need to complete tomorrow. We plan to finish our portion of the dossier by mid-March. This weekend we want to start our Hague training. We are also planning to attend an educational session on Monday for our home study. I think it pertains to attachement. I am really interested in this topic so I hope that will be the discussion.