Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Violet Ribbon Project/Experiment/Gift

Please visit our new blog!!!
I'm super excited to start this project!!

Check it out & please participate :) :) :)


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Baby Name!!!! :)

The pic is the hint :)

We're getting a baby girl!!! For sure. Our social worker let us know today :)

If you read my post from a day or two ago, you know that this information came at the right time for us. We were starting to feel very discouraged and sad. Everything is just so indefinite and up in the air.. nothing is certain. But to know for sure boy or girl! And to be able to give her a name.. it makes her real. Really real. We're going to have a baby! And she will be our daughter :) Awww.. I like those words.. a lot!!

Speaking of words...
Her name will be Violet.

Sweet and lovely and precious. Our little Violet :)

So thankful right now. God is so good indeed.. Thank you, Lord, for building our family.. even as I type this.. life is amazing, isn't it?

Dossier ON THE MOVE...

Received an amazing email today from our social worker!

Our dossier is enroute to Ethiopia from DC!!

Pretty exciting, huh?? :) :) So they will soon know that we exist!
And we will hopefully have our referral by March!!

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Nursery in progress :)

Well I only thought that blogging was on hold!

Then I realized that I really want to share our baby's nursery as it is progressing along :) That's pretty harmless information, right?.. haha.
Although Stuart might disagree. He has been over my "should we do this or that?", "what do you think?", "do you like this.. are you sure?", "is this unisex enough?".. and on and on.
I'm actually enjoying the search for what I want and what I like but I think its getting on his nerves a little.
Shopping has never been his thing and looking at squirrels, monsters, and abc's isn't really opening up a new hobby for him!
For me, that's another story! :)

And speaking of "story" that's our quote unquote theme for the nursery.
We didn't really want to do a theme like a lot of nurseries but soon realized that we did need an actual idea for the decor, otherwise it will be a hodge-podge of various, random, albeit cute, crap.

SO we started with birds and cupcakes as the idea, then went to monsters.. yes! monsters!.. but cute ones, kinda Hanna Barbera silly/cute/friendly ones.
We came across a super-cute print and awesome bedding that would be perrrrfect!
Only problem was the cost of the bedding.. $270 for the set.. definitely not the most expensive we've found but still too pricey for us :(

HOWEVER at one online store, we did see another super-cute set of bedding from the exact same line BUT on sale! Woop woop!
It wasn't anything that would even remotely go with the "friendly monster" theme.. but it was still adorable and did I mention ON SALE? ;)

So once I was on that path, my etsy and other internet store searching and browsing continued... and continued..

Finally, we have a set "theme" and more importantly Stuart and I both like it AND equally importantly, it is gender-neutral, which means that we can proceed with it now!..
instead of waiting 5 or 6 more months (hopefully only that long!!) until we receive our referral and know whether its a boy or girl. SO we're very excited about this!

It makes us feel like we're actually doing this! I mean its one thing having an empty crib and shell of a nursery.. but having the personality and character and warmth of a real baby's room.. Awwww :)

So happy.. warm fuzzies.. which I needed, I'll be honest.

I know no less than 6 pregnant people right now and I'm so incredibly happy for them but seeing their bellies grow and hearing about their doctor visits and watching their lives visibly change in front of my eyes.. well, its hard to not feel a little self-pity for what we're missing.
Boo hoo, right?
I know its part of the process but this waiting is just so... removed. Its like something is happening but not really.. not like it is for them anyway.

Until we get that actual photo with a real face and we can give them a real name, its still like its a story or fantasy.. kind of ironic, I guess that we chose "storybook" for our nursery then.
Ha.. never put the two together, maybe my subconscious thinks we're nuts and still making stuff up! Oh well, won't it be surprised in a few months :)

SO that's the deal-io!

Now I'm going to attempt to post pics of the stuff! Haven't received it yet but as soon as we have it in and up, we'll post pics of that too!
So here goes....

Ack! I can't figure out how to post random pics from websites! I've done my own from our computer or camera or flickr pics before but this is difficult.. Hmmpft!
Any help??

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dossier, Direction, and Dreams

Ok so I guess there's no need to mention my lack of blogging and all around absence of updates..
Why speak of the obvious, right? ;)

I honestly made a conscious decision to stop blogging during this time..

One of the many, many, many requirements and requests by the Ethiopian government in our dossier packet was to be extremely mindful of anything and everything that we post on blogs.
Apparently its not entirely unlikely for officials to check up on families.. not that I'm posting all sorts of inappropriate and rude things! lol. But things can be easily misinterpreted, especially when sarcasm is involved. And not that I'm a complete hooch, always posting photos of myself in revealing clothing but they told us to really be aware that clothing is very different there and they want to see that we are modest and respectful individuals. Like I said, interpretation is all in the eye of the beholder..

In the rules and requirements of blogging, the section also states that you must not mention fund raising of any sort (no JustLoveCoffee, no yard sales, no gifts, nothing) because they expect you to be able to afford the adoption costs on your own. They don't want people that will struggle financially to parent.. understandably..

It also states that you must not mention details or post any pics of your referral once you receive it.. really? What's the fun in that? :-P It will be difficult enough to contain my excitement but not being able to post anything except.. "we are very excited to be matched with our new baby (girl) (boy) and (she) (he) is beautiful." It doesn't quite sum it up, does it?

Lastly, you must be aware of all that you post because things can sound quite critical very easily.. they require that you not mention anything negative about the country of Ethiopia.
We cannot mention the poverty, the crime, the lack of resources, AIDS, the fact that they have 5 million orphans and that the previously mentioned reasons are precisely the reason why there are 5 million orphans.. and yet we should remember to only focus on the positive.
But you know, I totally get that, really.
Positive is good.

And from what we have read and learned, Ethiopia is an incredible country with a vibrant, spiritual culture and beautiful people with unfaltering joy and happiness that is both inspiring and humbling.
These are some of the many things that we are extremely eager to witness and participate in when we visit twice next year.

However we cannot simply deny the existence of those other facts.. The fact of the matter is that we would not be going there if there was not a need.
That need is not something that the country should be ashamed of or in denial about but that we should all be trying to find ways of helping to make a difference.

We are fully expecting our trips to change us, wholly and forever..
To be witness to the extreme poverty, lack of resources, AIDS, orphans, and yet the sheer joy and spirit of people that relish the beauty of life and love and family and community..
But at the same time, being fully aware of how blessed we are and how much we have here.. Knowing how much money and resources we spend and waste.. Knowing how blessed we are as individuals and as a country and yet how depressed and disappointed and medicated and angry and empty and searching and isolated and confused and lacking we all feel..
First of all, how is this even possible? Even in typing this, I am baffled by the fact that we are clearly missing something huuuuuuge here! For us to have seemingly everything and them to have what we see as nothing and yet the happiness factor is completely backward. They are missing something enormous but we are missing something enormous too.. If we could somehow learn from both... if that makes sense..

But once we witness the lack of physical blessings and yet the immense blessings of the heart there, how can we possibly remain unchanged?

Right now, God is doing something big in our lives and in our hearts.. I don't know why or even how this is all going to play out.. But I do know that Stuart and I are not simply bringing our child from Ethiopia to make them American. That I do know...
That would be entirely too easy and lazy and selfish.
Its precisely what WE would have picked for our lives! But not what God picked for our lives. And that makes all the difference, doesn't it?

Our prayer is that we will have an impact in Ethiopia once we leave and that we will be Christ's heart to them. We fully expect to experience them being Christ's heart to us as well.. And it will be amazing, I know it. This is life changing, crazy stuff.. I'm equally terrified, excited, and humbled..

I don't know if we'll find the answers we're seeking but I feel deeply in my heart that we are on our life's journey, in our purpose, in more ways than we even realize..

God has bigger dreams for each of our lives than we can possibly even imagine on our own. We are simple and present and immediate but God is eternal and infinite. How then can we question when He says, "Go"?

So anywho, loooooong story short. I'm paranoid about blogging something that could be misconstrued because its totally not worth it to us.

So right now, here's the latest in minimal detail :)....
Our dossier is complete and on its way to Washington DC for National Authentication. Hopefully that will only take a week (or less!!) and then it will be mailed to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia! And once there, they will begin the process of authenticating and translating the documents and checking us out..
We are praying and believing that we will receive our referral in less than 5 months and that we'll be home with our little one by the end of next year! Please God!! :)

I will keep you posted on anything big but will probably not go into a lot of detail, please forgive me for that.
Bigger and better posts once we're legally parents!! :) Woop woop!

Until then, I'm on facebook if you want to have more contact, which I would love! :) Summer Moore, Nashville TN.

I love you all and will continue to read your blogs as you continue on your own paths!


Monday, July 19, 2010

We're officially on The Grid..

We finally have our I-600A in the mail!!

For the past month, we've been waiting for a random document from a little, bitty town in Texas. It FINALLY came in the mail Saturday and this morning we Express Mailed our packet to USCIS.
Now we just wait to hear back from them with (hopefully!!) our approval (aka 171-H) and our "invitation" to be fingerprinted for the FBI. Niiice!
When Stuart heard that part he said- Well, I guess we are officially on the grid now :) ...I guess we are!

There are so many documents that we are still working on, trying to pull together all of the random jazz for our Dossier to Ethiopia..

Passports should be en route to us.
Went to the police station this morning to get our background checks and get that
Waiting for my doctor's letter.. already have Stuart's.
Waiting for both of our employers' letters.
Waiting for our non-relative reference letters.
Already have our "Authenticated" birth and marriage certificates back from the Secretary of State of Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Have one bank statement.. supposed to wait til the last minute for the other one.
Have most of the photos we'll send of our house and us.. still need to take one of the nursery and the outside of the house since it looks so cute and happy with our summer flowers and stuff.
Still have a bazillion things to get notarized but that can wait til we have everything.. might as well only go once, right?

There are so many other documents that I'm certainly forgetting to mention at this moment but we do have progress and we're not there yet..
but we're closer than we've ever been before!
Thank you, God!!! :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Passports, Paperwork, and Penny-Pinching

The amount of loose paper in our house is at a ridiculously high level.. At this very moment, the desk, dining room table, coffee table, and guest bed are completely covered with stacks and piles of forms for our I-600A, our Ethiopia Dossier, US Passport applications, and just a ton of other random stuff from our adoption agency.
It seriously is getting a little crazy in here.. and if things don't start coming together soon, or at least looking like they're coming together, I may possibly have a minor freak-out.
The clutter is wee-bit claustrophobic, especially in our (cute but..) tiny house!
Although this could all be some really good practice for having a toddler someday?? :)

In other news, on Sunday we had an incredible evening with our local 'families of African adoption group'. It was absolutely amazing!!!!!
Stuart and I couldn't have imagined it being better.
The wonderful people there were super-nice and open about their lives and experiences. It was a blessing to get to know some of them.
And it was a big group.. I would guess 60+ people. Tons of kids, tons of parents, future parents, hopeful parents, and even some just interested in possibly becoming parents someday..
Hopefully we didn't scare anyone with our bazillion-questions! ;) We are looking forward to the next event!

And now to the "penny-pinching"/cheap-skate part of my post title...
so clearly this whole adoption thing is not for the faint of heart... or wallet ;) Thus, our quest to live on as little as possible for the next 12 months. We'll see how it goes!
First on the agenda: Cancel Cable TV ASAP!!
Stuart says he'll be fine but I am aware that this will be an adjustment... Let's just say that as I'm typing this, he's downstairs soaking in Spike TV and History Channel like they're oxygen.
Anywho.. trying to crunch the ol' budget down in many other ways too.
If anyone has any interesting or obvious money-saving tips, do tell!!
I'm discovering the greatness of coupons! ;) It is a whole world, isn't it?? The coupon-junkie weirdos! I love it. I aspire to be one of them!! haha.

So that's it.. Just all of that jazz. Oh and I'm also attempting to journal. It couldn't hurt in a time of so much emotional craziness and also it might be something nice for a child to read someday.. how exactly our adventure to meet them unfolded day to day. I don't know, when I put it that way, it sounds pretty boring and annoying ;)
I'll give it a shot though. But sheesh, between facebook status updates, blogging, journaling, saving money, and somehow finding time to work full-time, something is bound to suffer... (this is my way of saying- don't expect another blog for awhile ;) Sorry but I'm nothing if not honest!

Love to you all!!!!! I'm grateful for your continued interest in our lives and I keep up with yours as well.. even though I totally flake on commenting most of the time!