Saturday, December 25, 2010

Six Months!

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”) [Matthew 1:23, NIV]

Merry Christmas to You and Happy 6 Months to Us!!!

Today marks 6 months of waiting for a referral.  And let me tell you, the closer it gets, the harder the waiting gets.  And since I KNOW it will be harder to wait for a court date once we have our referral, I'm trying to chill and not get too worked up about the current wait. Sometimes it's easier said than done.  However, God continues to remind me that His timing is perfect.  He has been vey kind to remind me this Christmas season that He is, indeed, Immanuel, which means "God with us."  He is Immanuel to me, and He is Immanuel to our baby.  And that brings me a tremendous amount of comfort, encouragement and peace. 

The last month has been filled with lots of holiday festivities.  We spent Thanksgiving with my family in TN.  And since we're now in MS spending Christmas with Rob's family, we had Christmas with my family at Thanksgiving, or as Rob is now fond of calling it, "Thanks-mas-ing".  So, "Thanksmasing" kicked off our holiday season with a bang.  The weekend after, I had the Ladies' Christmas Tea, our Life Group Christmas party and Missions Day at church.  The next week we attended the Deacons' Christmas Banquet and I volunteered with my co-workers at Cowboy Santa "shopping" for Christmas gifts for families in their toy warehouse.  As I look back over our calendar, I see that we've had several meals with friends, which we really love.  I have also stayed busy baking and sewing.  Several gifts for family involved my two favorite hobbies, so I've been a happy girl :) 

One thing we did NOT do this year was decorate the house.  We didn't even put up the tree.  When we looked at the calendar, there really wasn't a good time to do it, and since we aren't even home for Christmas, we decided not to stress out about getting the house decorated for Christmas.  And, while this is NOT a new tradition, and I'm SURE we'll decorate next year, it has been such a good change of pace to not feel like there are so many things I "have" to do that I'm exhausted, stressed out and not enjoying any of it.  It's SO NOT what Christmas is about.  I think - at least in part - changing up what we always do has helped me realize that Christmas really should be all about Jesus.  I mean, really, what's the point of celebrating Christmas if it's not about Him?  What's the point of all the busyness, stress and exhaustion if it keeps us from focusing on Him?  These are the questions I've wrestled with this month.  And I can vouch that less busyness has really helped me appreciate the season so much more.

OK, so on to the fun stuff :)  More people who, along with us, are eagerly waiting for our little one to be home....

My sister, Jen, and brother-in-law, Daniel:

This is Daniel's version of a "6," not a gang sign ;)

We love them very much.  As God would have it (I don't really believe in luck), they are also in the process of adopting a baby.  They are doing a domestic adoption through Miriam's Promise, and will likely adopt a black baby.  I get kind of choked up when I think about our children growing up in our family, knowing that they are loved regardless of the color of their skin.  I feel very blessed that God has given us this gift.

So, since this is my blog, I get to shamelessly plug both Jen's and Daniel's businesses, which I love to do!

First off, is Jen's business, The Photographix.  Jen and her business partner, Ann, primarily do wedding, engagement, family and kid photography.  Living in the Nashville area, they have had the opportunity to  photograph lots of celebrities including Sheryl Crow, Sara Evans, Ronnie Dunn, Jessica Simpson and Joe Don Rooney (Rascal Flatts).  Our Christmas gift this year was a photo session.   Here are just a couple of the pictures...

Our family's very sad attempt at "the worm"

Yeah, we're rock stars :)

If you were to check out her website, you would see that the rest of her photography rocks just as much.  So, friends in the Nashville area, call her and set up a photo shoot for your kids or family; and for my friends in the DFW area, she will be happy to do some photo shoots when she's here next summer (*fingers crossed*) to welcome home our new little one.

Now for Daniel....  Daniel and his dad own and operate a company called The Bath Works.  They restore antique bath tubs.  I know, very specific, but very cool, right?  You may have seen Cameron Diaz in one of their tubs in The Holiday...

I hope there will come a day when we can own one of their "baths."  I do love them very much. 

Well, that wraps up the 6 month post.  Stay tuned for the 7 month post where I will very likely tell you about the progress we've made on the nursery :)

Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas, Baby

We're praying for you, Baby, and hoping that by next Christmas we're singing the LAST verse of this song...

There's a little girl trembling on a cold December morn
Crying for momma's arms
At an orphanage just outside a little China town
Where the forgotten are

But half a world away I hang the stockings by the fire
And dream about the day when I can finally call you mine

It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

As I hang the tinsel on the tree and watch the twinkling lights
I'm warmed by the fire's glow
Outside the children tumble in a wonderland of white,
Make angels in the snow

But half a world away you try your best to fight the tears
And hope that heaven's angels come to carry you here

It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

Christmas is a time to celebrate the holy child
And we celebrate his perfect gift of love
He came to earth to give his life
And prepare a place for us
So we could have a home with him above

It's Christmas time again and now you're home
Your family is here so you will never be alone
So tonight before you go to sleep, I'll hold you in my arms
And I'll tell you from my heart, and I'll you from my heart
I wish you Merry Christmas

Monday, December 6, 2010

While We Wait: Another Crazy Dream

I had another dream about our baby the other night...

She was Chinese.

Enough said.

Friday, December 3, 2010

While We Wait: A New Christmas Tradition

Last year our church began a new tradition: a Ladies' Christmas Tea.  I wasn't able to attend last year's Tea due to a previous engagement, but since I'd heard about how awesome it was, I was really looking forward to attending this year's Tea.  On top of that, I had the great honor of being asked to be a hostess this year.  Being a hostess meant that I got to pull out all of my china and decorate a table!  This is SO right up my alley.  I started planning my centerpiece and buying the few things I needed almost immediately. 

Needless to say, we had a great time.  Above is the picture of the ladies from my table - all really sweet ladies and good friends.  The food was fantastic, as was the speaker.  We had such a sweet time of fellowship, that this will definitely be a new tradition for me - whether or not I'm ever asked to be a hostess again ;)

Enjoy a few more pictures I took of the table...


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Five Months!


That's right, Friends, it's Thanksgiving Day and we have LOTS to be thankful for.  We should be at least half-way through our time on the Wait List!  The average wait time seems to be hovering around 8-9 months, so as long as the averages don't increase, we're over half-way to getting our referral!  Of course, there is another 3-5 month wait between the time we get our referral, and when we travel for court (and meet our babe - eek!), but we'll worry about that when the time gets here :)

I have to be honest, the last month has not flown by as quickly as the previous four did.  I think it was largely because we weren't as busy, although I did spend a lot of time baking and sewing.  But, baking and sewing aren't really that much of a distraction.  Baking and sewing leave plenty of time for the mind to wander and think WAY too much and allowed the "blahs" to set in.  Now that the holidays are here, the "blahs" are pretty much gone, and I have lots of hope that by next Thanksgiving we'll have a little one to celebrate with.

Now, for my Five Month post, I introduce to you my sister A...

Sister A is 9 years younger than I am, so I often feel like her second mother to be honest.  Sister A is really cool.  She's about to graduate with a Graphic Design degree and totally rocks out the graphic design.  She got a really cool internship with an amazing company and is doing really well.  I can't wait to see what the future holds for her. 

One of the things that I love about Sister A is her creativity.  By doing graphic design, she's finally channeled that creativity into a productive outlet.  BUT, when she was younger that wasn't always the case.  When I was in college she would send me videos of herself dancing to songs like "Baby Got Back".  It wouldn't be appropriate for me to post those videos on the Internet, but trust me, they're priceless. 

The other thing she used to do (for attention) was dress up in these CRAZY outfits.  To preserve SOME measure of her dignity, I won't show the entire outfits, but I WILL show you some snippets...

OK, here she has on 5 or 6 necklaces, in addition to money and school pictures taped to her chest with electrical tape.  (Yep, that's my senior picture there on the right.  Go ahead, laugh it up.)

In this picture, she has on a swimsuit (with a sport's bra underneath), a baby blanket tied around her neck like a cape and she's holding a plunger (EW!).  What you can't see is that she has on white gym socks and goggles. 

She was HILARIOUS!  She'll never live down how crazy she used to be, but I think she secretly likes it.  She's going to be a great aunt to our kid(s).  And, like I said earlier, I can't wait to see what the future holds for her!

Friday, November 19, 2010


I just wanted to take a minute to say a VERY BIG THANK YOU to everyone who responded to my last post with encouragement - whether it was a comment on the blog, an email, a comment on facebook, or in person.  Your care humbles and encourages me.  I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by such a great community of friends and Believers.

As an update, the "Blahs" have receded a bit. It's not nearly as bad these days.  This week, however, I have had baby fever - you ladies know what I mean - the desire to hold a baby and take care of it.  It's made having empty arms a bit difficult, but I'm not "blah" or depressed about it.  It's a yearning that comes and goes - and one day in the not too distant future, it will be completely fulfilled.  I wait for that day with eager anticipation :)

Stay tuned for the 5 month post on Thanksgiving Day!

Monday, November 1, 2010

While We Wait: The "Blahs" Have Set In

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm going to be honest about where I am right now.  Blah.  So. Stinkin'. Blah.  Not sad or depressed.  Just blah.

Since I've been honest up until this point, I feel the need for honesty now.  No need to paint a rosy picture when it's not true.  The last 4+ months on the Wait List really have flown by.  We have stayed very busy, which I think has kept me distracted.  I've had NO issues with patience, because it felt like being home with our baby was just around the corner.  Now, not so much. 

The average wait time for a referral has stayed relatively low up until now (8 months for an infant 0-12 months), and I had gotten very optimistic that we'd have our baby home by next summer.  The last update we received from Gladney shows wait times slowing down a bit, in addition to a consolidation of 2 court dates into one.  I had really gotten my hopes up about being home by next summer, but now I'm trying to set my expectation for the fall.  I hope we don't have to wait till after the Rainy Season to pass court, but if there are any delays, I'm afraid that's what we're looking at.  I figure it's better to deal with that now, while I have plenty of time to adjust to it, than to get upset later. 

Despite all that, there are several things I know to be true, and which ultimately give me hope...
  1. God has been in control of every single aspect of this adoption since before we even knew that it was His plan for us, and I firmly believe He will continue to bring about His plan for us and our child on His timetable; which leads me to...
  2. His timing is perfect.  It has been up until now, and I totally trust it will continue to be perfect;
  3. The more time we wait, the more time we have to a) just be Robert & Rebecca for a little while longer; b) save money; c) decorate the nursery; and d) prepare for being parents; and finally...
  4. Wait times and court processes fluctuate.  They've changed a few times since we began this process in January.  They are likely to change again.  Let's hope it's for the better :)
Because blogs have been such a huge source of encouragement to me throughout this process - particularly those people who were honest about the not-so-rosy aspects of adoption, I wanted to be honest about where I am today.  I hope one day it will provide encouragement to someone else in this situation.  You're not alone :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Four Months!

Well, that's another month in the books, friends!  We have been crazy busy.  In the last month we've taken a trip to Boston, watched LOTS of Texas Rangers baseball (both at the ballpark and on t.v.), had fun with friends at our respective Guys and Girls Nights Out and coordinated / participated in our Faith in Action service project.  On the work front, I also finished up our United Way fundraising campaign, worked on / participated in an  over-the-top team building day and voluteered on Global Volunteer Day at a senior center fall festival.  We also had a visit from my baby sister, which was tons of fun.

And speaking of family, meet my parents, Lolli and Poppi:

They are quite excited to celebrate with us another month on the Wait List.  Mom told me the other day that she is starting to dream about grandbabies.  How sweet is that?  Here's the answer: So Sweet!  I can't wait for them to be grandparents.  They're gonna rock.  I hate that we live so far away (we're in TX, they're in TN), but we're all going to have to make concerted efforts to see each other more than once or twice a year.  I grew up seeing my grandparents pretty often, and that's super important to me.  Maybe one day we'll move closer to home.  We have no plans to do that now, but who know what the future holds?  All I know is that the average wait for a referral is 8 months, so we're about half way there!!  How great is that?!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

While We Wait: A New Hobby, Part II

I mentioned in a previous post that I had been working on some aprons for a Cake Decorating Team Building event at work.  Well, I'm happy to report that 1) the aprons turned out great; 2) the Team Building event was loads of fun; and 3) our team WON Best Apron Design!  So, without further ado, I present to you our team, "The Frosters," and the winners of the Best Apron Design....

The aprons were just your standard issue, white aprons to begin with.  I cut off the straps that went around the neck and waist.  I then cut about 6 inches off the bottom of the apons, so they would be shorter and more flirty.  I made new straps for the neck, and much longer straps for the waist that came around and tied on the side.  I made ruffles and sewed them around the bottom and sides; added a pocket to the front; and added the initial to the front, which was a dyeable iron-on.  In all, I spent over 15 hours working on this project, but it was so worth it, not only because we won, but because I had never tried to do anything nearly as complicated as this, and it turned out to be not very difficult.  

Oh yeah, in our pockets, we had little cards with our team name on it.  Just your basic scrapbook paper and stickers:

Overall, we had a great day and it was so fun to see how different the cakes turned out.  Here are our cakes:

This was our "Rule" cake (i.e., it had to follow certian rules)

And this was our "freestyle" cake.  Totally nasty.

Here are the other teams' cakes...

Don't Mess With Texas and a Butterfly

Texas Rangers Baseball inspired cakes

The Queens of Cake cakes

I'm blessed to work with such a great group of people.  We've all worked together for so long, it's like we're family, which has it's ups and downs, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Love My Hair

OK, so maybe I don't really love my hair all of the time, but I DO love this...

Monday, October 18, 2010

While We Wait: A Crazy Dream

Last night I had a crazy (and pretty funny) dream....

I dreamt that Sara called with our referral.  Without Rob, I talked to Sara all about the childREN who had been referred to us.  First, there was a "4 month old" girl, but she had a sibling who was being referred to us too.  Sara showed me a VIDEO (no, this doesn't happen in real life) of the kids, and I was confused because the 4 month old, was CLEARLY 4 YEARS old because she was talking and walking and NOT a baby!  I said to Sara, "She CAN'T be 4 months old, she's 4 YEARS old!"  But Sara stuck to the Gladney line and said, "We have to go by what the birth family says.  If they say she's 4 months old, we have to go with that." 

The other thing that was funny was that the kids had the same disease Michael Jackson had, and they were losing the pigmentation of their skin.  I don't think I said it out loud, but I thought to myself, "I don't want to adopt WHITE babies from Ethiopia!  I want babies with beautiful brown skin!"  OK, really, how funny is that?!

So, as you might expect, because the referral didn't match ANY of our requests, we did not accept it.  I vaguely recall that the end of my dream was Sara calling the very next day with a referral, but I don't remember any of the details. 

Since this is my first adoption related dream, I thought I'd record it for posterity.  Also, it was so funny, I thought you all might get a kick out of it!

Happy Monday!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

While We Wait: A New Hobby

For the last several years I've been trying out some very small sewing projects - mostly curtains and pillows.  Some projects were successful, others not so much, but my sewing skills are beginning to improve.

A few months ago my friend mentioned that she made baby blankets from time to time.  Once she showed me one of her masterpieces and explained how she did it, I was inspired and thought, I can do that too!  Since a couple of the families in our Life Group at church have recently had babies, I had the perfect opportunity to put my inspiration to work.

Here are the 2 baby blankets I've made:

This one was for baby Gracie. 
This side is flannel and the reverse is super soft (not sure what the fabric is called!)

I love ribbon, so adding the taggies makes my day!

This one was for baby Cy.  Also made of flannel and super soft fabric.

Baby Cy's mama is a firefighter (how cool is that?!),
so the dalmatians are a nod to his firefighter themed bedroom.

These projects have really gotten my creative juices flowing and have totally energized me!  I LOVE shopping for the fabric and ribbon, and then putting it all together for a new little baby. 

And yes, there are more sewing projects on the way.  We have a team building event coming up at work in a couple of weeks and we've all been given white aprons to decorate.  I've volunteered to decorate our team's aprons, which will involve LOTS of sewing.  I hope I haven't gotten in over my head, but I'm REALLY looking forward to it!  I'm planning on working on the aprons Saturday and will post pictures after the event.  After all, part of what we're being judged on are our aprons, and I wouldn't want the other teams to have any advantage!

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

While We Wait: A Trip to Boston

While - in a sense - it does seem like our lives are quite consumed with making preparations to welcome a new member into our family, learning about Ethiopia and waiting with anticipation for the day we'll get to meet our child, there's a lot we're doing While We Wait that doesn't really have much to do with our adoption.  One of those things is our recent trip to Boston.

A few months ago Rob informed me that he would be going to Boston in September for a two-day conference.  My immediate reaction was, "then I'll meet you there after it's over and we'll spend the weekend there."  Looking back, I don't know what it was that made me say that.  I've never flown to meet Rob anywhere after a business trip; we've never talked about going to Boston; it was completely random.  But I instantly knew this was something I wanted to do and that we would have a really good time.  Rob, on the other hand, was not so convinced.  I think he said something like, "what would we do there?"  to which I responded, "I have no idea, but aren't there a lot of historical buildings there?  Do some research and get back to me."  Well, he did the research and decided it would be really fun, so we started planning a long weekend in Boston.

I flew in Thursday evening.  For some reason, I thought Rob was renting a car, but as we were waiting for my suitcase at the airport, he flashed what looked to me like some sort of mass transportation pass.  When I asked him about it, he explained to me that it was my bus/subway pass for the weekend.  So, once we got my luggage, off we went on our first adventure.  We caught a bus that took us to a subway station; we caught a train that took us to another subway stop; we caught another train that took us a few blocks away from our hotel; and then we walked the rest of the way to the hotel.  I'm sure there are a lot of people out there for whom this is routine, but I was completely out of my element.  But I LOVED it!  Finally, I asked Rob how he was such a pro at knowing all the stops and routes, to which he replied, "I've been studying this for about a month."  I had NO IDEA!  He's really the best :)

Friday morning we got up bright and early for our whale watching tour!  This was such an awesome adventure. 

Rob bought binoculars especially for the trip!

A view of the city from the boat

It took us an hour and a half to get out to where the whales were.  We stood on the top deck of the boat for about the first half hour and saw some cool scenery, but then went down into the cabin until we got out to where the whales were.

Iconic Northeast scene.  Beautiful!

Awesome sea side town where I would love to vacation

THE greatest thing by far was getting to see so many active, playful humpback whales.  There were a couple of mothers and their calves that were having the greatest time swimming and jumping in the water.  We really thought the whales would be further out, and that we might not be able to see them very well without binoculars or the camera's telephoto lens, but they were RIGHT by the boat!  At one point, our camera wouldn't take a picture because it couldn't focus on the whale because it was TOO CLOSE!  It was the coolest thing.  With that being said, it was really hard to get good pictures of the whales.  We took about 200 pictures, got one REALLY good one, several OK ones, and then about 100 of water.  Here's my fave:

Baby Humpback Whale

Baby taking a dive 

Baby diving again

After our whale watching tour we walked over to the North End, which is essentially Little Italy.  We found Regina Pizzeria, which has been there since 1926.  There are other locations now (we saw one at the mall the next day), but this was the original location.  We had FANTASTIC pizza there.  So good.

The menu

Really yummy meatball pizza

Equally as yummy traditional pizza

Super cute husband

After lunch we walked around the North End for a while and it was there that I discovered I LOVE old buildings!  I mean, I LOVE them!  I get kind of emotional about them, even.  Who knew?!  So, I took LOTS of pictures of old buildings.  I mean LOTS.  I won't bore you with all of them, but I will show you a few of my faves...

Look at the color!

Check out the patina - and the detail!

Loved the buildings on this little hill

Loved the colors

We also ended up walking by the Old North church.  From the website.. on the evening of April 18, 1775, when the church sexton, Robert Newman, climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord by sea and not by land. This fateful event ignited the American Revolution.
From the street

After that, we went back to the hotel to get cleaned up to see the Blue Man Group!  It was SUCH a great show.  If you ever have a chance to see one of their shows, you should DEFINITELY go!  We were on the third row of a VERY small theater (also very old and with a lot of historical significance), so we were about 10 feet (max) from the stage - in the "pancho" section.  Yes, every chair in that area had a pancho draped over the back for audience members to wear for the show in case anything shot from the stage.  About half-way through, they shot what looked like digested Twinkie into the crowd, but was actually pureed banana.  I got one tiny spot on my shirt.  Rob, however, somehow got it in his hair, on his face, on his shirt, on his pants and on his shoe.  Don't ask me how.  I have no idea.  As we were walking out of the show, one of the Blue men came and stood by us and Rob wanted his picture taken for Facebook...

Rob with a Blue Man

Saturday was a bit more leisurely.  We slept in, found something to eat for brunch and then made our way to the Duck tour.  On our way to the Duck Tour, however, I found LOTS of cool buildings to take pictures of.  These are just a few of my faves.

Gorgeous patina

It really isn't leaning.  Just thought the picture looked cool that way :)

Would you PLEASE stop taking pictures so we can get to the Duck Tour?!

Actually, it's a restaurant.  I have no idea if it has any historical significance.

Beautiful church

Beautiful church against a beautiful blue sky

More beauty

Love these towers


FINALLY, we made it to the Duck Tour.  Duck tours are taken in these vehicles built in WWII that travel on both land and sea.  Here are some photos from our tour...

Waiting to go on the tour

Our tour guide, "Hardly Davidson."  We LOVED him!

The original G Dub

LOVE the colors of this building

The capital, the dome of which is covered in REAL gold

What the vehicle looks like on the water

Really cool bridge that I took a million pictures of

They call these the salt and pepper shakers

Random statue on top of a building

Love the train on the bridge

House I'd like to live in some day

Very pathetic picture I got of Cheers

After our Duck Tour, we walked to eat a late lunch / early dinner, spotted a group of cars, one of which we think was carrying Bill Clinton and just relaxed for the rest of the night.  We did get back out for dessert and had some delicious Boston Cream Pie (of course!).

Overall, we had an awesome time.  We're both looking forward to going back some day, and have already talked about all the things we'd like to do "next time."  Yes, we have a lot of fun While We Wait.