Saturday, May 31, 2008


This was the subject line of the most important e-mail that I've ever received. Yes! It's an adoption referral, received at 3:30am on Wednesday, May 21st! She's an itty bitty preemie in Taiwan, born at 28 weeks gestation weighing just 1180 grams at birth. Yes, that equals 2.6 pounds at birth. She's at St. Lucy's and she's four months old now, weighing in at 6.8 pounds a couple of weeks ago, and looks like she's doing really well... gaining weight, and developing like we hope and pray she will.

We're not posting photos or videos online right now because we're still waiting for approval from St. Lucy's. If you know me in real life, ask to see a photo and I'll have one on me, of course. (Duh!) But, I can't resist sharing with you here her non-identifying little double chin. I think it's just about the cutest thing there ever was, and I'm falling in love with that photo more and more every day. We joke, "Look... her chin looks like ours!" :) Kevin framed this photograph in a frame that says "believe." It's on my nightstand, and is the first thing that I see in the morning and the last thing I see what I go to bed at night. We truly believe that we're going to be the right adoptive parents for his child, and we pray that St. Lucy's will think so too. How long will St. Lucy's approval take? Well, we don't know. Days, weeks, maybe a month, or maybe even more? It varies. We're just so happy to get to this step that we (oh, well... we means I) haven't started obsessing about how long we've been waiting for approval.

Here's the back story behind the referral. On the Friday before we learned that the referral was coming. I had the weekend off, and I didn't want to go anywhere. I just wanted to stay by the phone and check the e-mail every 20 minutes. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday came and went, no referral. Tuesday night after work I couldn't sleep. I stayed up really really really late putzing around, and at 3:30am finally told Kevin that I was going to check my e-mail one last time, and then I'm going to bed.

Well, I checked my e-mail... and there it was. Our "Hallelujah!!!!" I gasped. I said, "Kevin... we have an e-mail from the agency... and it says Hallelujah!!!! What do you think that means?" Kevin's such a smart-ass sometimes. He replied, "I think (adoption agency representative name) wants us to go to church." I was starting to cry. I was so nervous, so scared. "I.... I can't open it." Kevin says, "Look, it's easy!" and takes the mouse from me and opens the message. We saw a PDF file and then lots of picture files. We decided to "read the card" (aka read the paperwork) before "opening the present" (looking at the photos).

We started reading about our preemie, and how many weeks gestation she was. We didn't have memorized the length of human pregnancies... and we so freaked out when we used Google to learn that it's supposed to be 40 weeks. Then we read her weight in grams and had to google to figure out how many pounds that was. I was stunned with how little she was at birth. In my head I was prepared for an older and MUCH BIGGER baby... and was just really surprised. We looked at the pictures, and oohed and ahhed at how great she's doing.

And I know you're asking, "So why did you wait so long to tell everyone?" Well, we like a good surprise! We had plans to be at my grandparents' home for the holiday weekend, and thought that would be a good time and place to tell my family. We didn't tell anyone... until we told my grandparents' Friday night. Saturday my mom and dad came over, and we were ready for the BIG REVEAL. I purchased a board book about Christmastime called "My Granny's Purse," and had been saving it for this occasion. We printed the baby's photos out and inserted them inside a cardboard envelope in the book. I didn't wrap the book because I didn't want to make it seem like too big of a deal and give away the surprise. Saturday morning I told my mom that I had a book for her, and handed her the purse. She seemed to like it and started reading the book, going through all of the little windows you can open and pieces you can play with. Then... she got to the part where the envelope was and saw the photos. Her face scrunched up like she'd eaten a sour pickle, turned red, and the tears came. It was beautiful. It was just the effect that I'd hoped for!!! Kevin got Dad to come over and look too. It was pretty neat. We had fun all weekend doing "the reveal" for other family members, having them find the photos while reading the purse book.

Of course, Kevin's needed equal drama for his big reveal to his mother. We bought him a plane ticket to Florida, and he flew in Friday afternoon unannounced and rented a car. Kevin drove to his grandma's, told Grandma and then they went to his mom and dad's in the rental car. Kevin went and hid at the side of their house while Grandma went inside and got Kevin's parents to come outside to look at this car that she was thinking of buying (aka... Kevin's rental car). Kevin had the pictures of the baby framed in the trunk. Kevin's mom and dad took a look at the car... all the while Kevin was on his cell phone with his mom on her cell phone. Kevin's mom thought he was up here in Indiana. Kevin snuck through their house and waited. Grandma opened the trunk to show Kevin's mom and dad what someone had left in the truck of this car. Kevin's mom started looking at the framed photos of this baby, and remarked "What a cute baby." With the view of the house blocked by the trunk lid, Kevin stuck out the front door and came up behind his mother and surprised her with, "That's your grandbaby!" Obviously she was very startled and surprised and overjoyed and there was a bunch of screaming and crying outside of the house last night. They called me a few minutes later so I could share in on the excitement!

So, sorry there's no baby pictures to ooh and ahh over, and sorry that I had to wait 10 days to post about it... but it's been lots of fun surprising people! Everyone keeps asking... how long until you get to bring her home? Who knows... I'm telling people 4-10 months. I'd be thrilled if the adoption is finalized in Taiwan before the end of the year, but I'm not betting on it. Everything thus far has gone so much slower than anticipated, that I'm trying very hard not to place any more expectations on a timeline. It happens when it happens, and there's not a whole lot I can do about it except to complete my paperwork thoroughly and timely when prompted and do a lot of praying.

You can add our itty bitty girl to your prayer list as she needs to grow grow grow and learn all she can. Pray that she attaches to her caregivers and feels loved and secure. Pray for her caretakers as they help this preemie and many other babies through challenges. Pray for her birthfamily and their loss as they cope with not being able take care of their child. The baby is truly loved by them as evident by the meaning of her name... worthy of celebration.

And... I'm starting to cry again. She's so worthy of celebration, and we're been having a lot of fun celebrating her. We love you so much already, little one.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend Photos

finding beauty in the weeds - Kevin's photos

While waiting for the new pontoon boat to be delivered this weekend, Kevin took some really great photos of dandelions.

laughed so hard my gut hurt

Tonight I get a message from my adoption bloggin' friend Rebecca. She tells me to check her post from today. I can't remember a time in recent history when I've laughed so hard that my gut hurt! (click for link)

For the record, I love eBay. I live 45 minutes away from a mall, and I can shop for anything I can dream up at 12:59am from the comfort of my own home. Pipe bombs and anthrax HAVE NOT been at the top of my eBay favorites list. I'm really looking at into custom made children's clothing right now. Imagine that! (Kevin, I'm just looking... I'm not buying... I swear.)

I'm busy trying to get life back together after being gone for a long weekend. I have wonderful photos from the lake this weekend that I hope to post soon.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's hard being patient.

Romans 12:12 "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer."

It's hard being patient. It's hard not to stare at the phone, wishing it to ring. It's hard not to concentrate my eyes on the computer screen, wishing the in-box to "ding!" announcing new e-mail.

With a three day weekend just around the corner and plans to spend it at the lake with family, I'm looking forward to going away. So far it looks like the weather will be cooperating! I'll be bringing my sunscreen, as Grandpa and Grandma bought a new pontoon boat that arrives Thursday. They'll be lots of things to do and people to talk to. I volunteered Kevin to sand and paint my Grandpa's flag pole. Kevin's very respectful of the flag and quite handy, so he's the right person for this job. I hope to sneak in some snuggle time with my cousin's new baby boy too, of course!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

More fun than eBay

I've discovered a blog called "One Child at a Time" that auctions pretty things off to raise money for a baby in China that needs a life saving surgery. The little girl is with the Starfish Foster home that cares for orphaned children with severe special needs. When I found a pink and brown taggie blanket for Hannah, I'm like, "WOO HOO!" Anyway, I won my auction! They have some beautiful custom white and pink toile crib bedding that's going to go really cheap if more don't start bidding. Cute, cute, cute clothes too. Yeah yeah, last thing I need is more baby clothes! I'm trying my best to refrain, and I've been good lately.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Simply Taiwan

I've been following Andrea's blog "Following an Unknown Path" for several months. She's an American living and working in Taiwan for the last five years, and we're about the same age. Andrea has started a series titled "Simply Taiwan" where she's doing a series of simple posts about everyday life in Taiwan. The first two posts are about squatty potties and shopping carts. She's also welcoming suggestions about what you'd like to see about life in Taiwan. Pretty cool eh? She has a nice blog header too... wonder who did that? (wink wink) Hopefully we'll be able to meet up when we'd travel to Taiwan, and I'd be ever so grateful for a little tour of Tainan.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Care package from Janalee: I have the best bloggy friends!

Today we had a special delivery. It wasn't brought by a stork or an adoption agency, but is was pretty special and brought happy tears to my eyes. (Read that Janalee, HAPPY TEARS! You didn't make me sad!) I opened it up to find all sorts of special things from Taiwan adoptive mom Janalee. She's been following our journey and our frustrations, and she sent a whole lot of little happy things in a box. There's a card with a touching note with a little "h" on the front. (I wanna little "H.") There's a Willow Tree figure and lotions for me, and books, sunglasses, and the softest most precious little doll for Miss Hannah. I love this doll. I'm a tactile person... always had a soft blankie as a kid, and the texture of this doll's dress is so comforting. I love it. Love it, love it. Did I forget to mention how sweet this doll is? Anyway... thank you, Janalee. This made my day. The support of adoptive mothers who have been there, done that, is reassuring.

And just for kicks... here are the outtakes from my photography session with the babydog.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What would have happened in my life if I hadn't waited?

Yep, I've been quiet. I haven't had anything to say. I'm used to being the boss. I'm the one who usually tells others about how long they'll have to wait. As much as I really don't like it, sometimes you just have to shut up and wait.

If I wasn't doing this (waiting for an adoption referral for our child in Taiwan), I have no clue what I'm supposed to be doing with my life. Not a clue! People ask me, "What about other programs?" I look at other adoption programs and shake my head no. This one's it. This is for us. It just isn't moving at the speed of my expectations. If God wants me to be doing something else with my life, I need a bigger sign... because I'm not seeing it.

Thought for the day: Kevin and I met face-to-face at a movie theater. For the Hoosiers in the audience, it was at the United Artists Galaxy 14 on 96th Street in Indianapolis on a very windy day in March 1998. I showed up about 15 minutes early. Had my hair all done, clothes and makeup just right... I was ready to meet this guy that I had talked to on the phone. I waited, and I waited, and I waited. I was so mad, so sad. I thought I had been stood up. I almost left the theater so many times, but I waited. And... he finally came... 45 minutes late! We missed our movie time for Jackie Chan's "Mr. Nice Guy" and went to McDonald's across the street until it was time for the next showing.

What would have happened in my life if I hadn't waited?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Guide to the BIG SALES on National Scrapbooking Day!

My digiscrappin' friend Melissa sent me this link to the BIG SALES for tomorrow's National Scrapbooking Day. Oh my! The credit card is gonna be sizzling with online sales tomorrow! Shabby Miss Jenn has several $1 kits that I have my eye on. If you digiscrap or you are wanting to start, go shop tomorrow!