Friday, May 30, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

Hi There!

Looking forward to a great weekend. John has a Half-Ironman this weekend in Macon. Go Johnny Paycheck :) Here's a pic of my girl Chris and I at dinner last Friday night. We had a great time with a group of co-workers. We have been together since the beginning (of banking) and have decided to never take our friendship for granted!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Do Over!

Well, my biggest fear(about paperwork)came true last week...

We get to do our Home Study ALL OVER AGAIN! Oh boy, I have read of others struggling or should I say drudging through the piles and mounds but I truly felt we were ahead of the game given we had a completed homestudy less than a year old. should actually only be 6 months old-dagumit! In 30 days it will meet that age. So, I will have to admit, I did have 2 maybe even 3 days of self-talk and motivational ideas to try and get me started. Thank goodness it was a long weekend, right?!!?

Well, count me in- I sent out 3 items today to our social worker. Working on the next baby step and hoping to set deadlines that are attainable. Here we go...grow...AGAIN :)

John and I celebrated(however small)last night by going out to eat. We dined at Touch of India and then visited Whole Foods for some Gelatto! That'll get me going :) We did work up quite an appetite doing lots of yard work on Memorial Day(pic below).

Also, Friday night I went out with some work friends to celebrate a promotion. Saturday, we had a block/cul-de-sac party. First one ever! So much fun to get to know our neighbors. We have a VERY diverse community here and I treasure it so much given our addition on the way and how important it will be to us!

Needless to say- way to much good food this past weekend!!! That's alright. I am headed back to Boot Camp tomorrow. I will post some more pics later in the week. So, that's it for now! Back to paperwork pregnancy...whatever you call it:)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

Ready for vacation anyone?!?! Okay- Well, maybe not a real vacation but how 'bout a 3DAY WEEKEND? Works for me :) I hope you all enjoy the end of this school year, and the true beginning of SUMMER! Cannot wait til this time next year.

Here are our two babies- one Lamb and one Lion. Can ya guess which one is the LION? Looks like a wolf in sheep's clothing if ya ask me :) Much Love.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Family Resemblance

~~~On my lunch break at work and had to post this excerpt I just read. It was a resource from Toni. This is very true and wonderfully enlightening and I can definitely relate to the experience. Thanks so much! Enjoy.~~~

Family Resemblance in Transracial Adoption
by Jana Wolff

At our wedding, friends assured my husband and me that we would create good- looking kids. And we believed them. It's that cloning fantasy: that our future children would be miniature versions of ourselves, inheriting only our favorite features. Not only did I picture a child with my green eyes and his olive skin and thick, black hair; I also assumed she'd have a winning personality and intellect to boot. My dreams left out the combined product of our worst features: big nose, freckles, a long second toe, and a proclivity toward constipation.

So many of our dreams (and fears) got shattered along the way: all that talk about how pretty our kids would be... and it turns out we couldn't even have any. Once we started seriously considering adoption, I wondered if I could feel like a mother to a child who didn't resemble me or my husband.

Much as we all like to think of ourselves as consumed with thoughts more lofty than the issue of appearances, looks play into the emotional process before and after an adoption takes place. Adoption is like a blind date in some ways...a permanent one. Early in the process, both birth parent and child are faceless to potential adoptive parents. Adoptive parents worry that their child will be either ugly, or a dud, or both. They care about looks not because they are hopelessly superficial, but because would-be parents desperately want to fall in love with the stranger who will become their child.

Whether or not you like your own looks, they are familiar, and there is something safe about that. It's almost as if looking alike will ensure a degree of family cohesiveness. Look-alike families are assumed to belong together, but families like ours-who don't match-are seen as curious groupings of individuals. A White woman holding the hand of a little Black boy prompts guessing: His social worker? His baby-sitter? His Black father's White girlfriend? His mother? (No, couldn't be that.)
Parents who choose transracial adoption are willing to become part of an unmatched set, but this does not imply that they have disengaged from the issues of appearance. Once adoptive parents have made the tough decision that they could parent a child of a race different from their own, they've got a more brutal decision to make-this one so distasteful, it's often avoided - a shameless discussion about skin pigmentation: how dark is too dark? Many who cross the color line are willing to do so on a continuum of palatability that often reveals an unspoken yet unconscionable preference for yellow over brown, for brown over black, for light over dark.

So even within a transracial adoption, it seems as if we try to minimize the differences between ourselves and our children. There are many more Asian than African babies adopted by Caucasian parents, as if the yellow-white combination is less transracial than the black-white one. Some of us involved in transracial adoption think of ourselves as somehow superior in the discrimination department, but we demonstrate our colorism by preferring brown children (whether Latino, African American, or mixed race) with European features that look familiar to us, over Black children, who share none of our physical attributes. Bizarre as it sounds, White parents of non-White kids remain wishful about family resemblances.
That opposites attract seems to apply more to personality than appearance. Lots of couples share physical attributes; some even look alike. Blondes gravitate to blondes and brunettes gravitate to brunettes. Does the wish for transracial matching follow a similar dynamic-where like seeks like-or is it outright racism?
I felt like a bigot when I first laid eyes on my son. "He's so dark," I thought, and felt ashamed for thinking it. My racist gut reaction was fueled by gut fear. I was pretty sure I had taken on more than I could handle. Adoption of a White kid would have been enough of a stretch, but we had to go for a baby that not only came out of someone else's body but out of someone else's culture. What were we thinking? What kind of pseudo-Peace Corps types were we pretending to be? All I could think of was that we were too White to be the parents of someone this Black.

Since that unfathomable start, our lives, as members of a transracial family, have grown to feel exactly right. Though no one will mistake the boy sitting next to me as my offspring, he certain feels like my son. A brown child has become familial, so brown children are now familiar. Pink kids look bland to me in comparison to some of the beautiful mixtures we see in children of color, both adopted and not. Is it possible that mixed-race children, like our son, are more beautiful than the population at large? Or does it just seem that way? There may be some kind of reverse preference that occurs in transracial families, but it is not very different from the earlier preference described for brunettes by brunettes. If we perceive our family as a beautiful blend, we see the beauty in others' blends. Or, put more simply, we are attracted to ourselves.

In the first stages of being a family created by transracial adoption, we were aware of how different from our son we looked. As time has gone on and the emotional cement of family has become hardened, we feel unified as a mixed family (even though the world does not always see us as belonging together). Looking nothing like my child is cause for questions and looks, but holds no charge as a threat. We are family. Having said that, it is also true that we take great delight as we encounter the ways we resemble one another. When people say that my son and I have the same smile, my smile gets even bigger.

Even though I was a closet pro-cloner when I first got married, custom designing the image of my offspring, I ended up with a child who is much more beautiful than the one that his father and I would have made. When I think back to my pre-adoption fears - "Could I love a kid who doesn't look like me or us?" and "What if he or she is ugly?" - I know the answers now. I know for certain that you can love a child who doesn't match and that that child will be nothing short of beautiful to you. I also know that you will sometimes forget that you don't look alike.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Adoption Friends

Yesterday was full of adoption! Some good news and some very bad news. We are praying for both of these families. I work with them and have witnessed their journey. In fact, I mentioned adoption to them as they were struggling with infertility. They researched and ended up sharing that they were adopting too! This all happened at different times during the last 6 months. However, yesterday I was happy and extremely upset for both of them.

My girlfriend-B at work just returned home from her mother's passing. This was a very unexpected death. Her mother was just here for her 30th birthday celebration. During her time here, B actually received her referral for a little Russian boy! It was so exciting. They even received a pic of the little guy. Instant love, of course. I remember our phone conversation. I should have been working but received the email and my day was shot! I was so elated for B. They have been struggling for so so so many years of infertility. Her mom in the background cheering with excitement as B and I discussed how cute he is.

So yesterday, B called me. It was her first day back in the office after 2 weeks of grieving. I had left a card on her desk about hope and an overall uplifting card. She thanked me for the card in a very unlike B tone. We talked a bit and then I thought I would ask about any news on the adoption front. She rec'd her referral on April 6th, I figured she had some travel dates. This is where my heart literally broke into pieces...

"Nope, we lost the baby". What?!?! Oh B! "Yep, I lost my Mom and Baby all in the same month. Yeah, I came into my office to his picture this morning and spent half the morning crying over that. So, What's next? I know that's a terrible thing to say but how do you get over this? We are over the adoption and have also spent so much money already". What about another region? I asked. "That costs money to change and I can't fathom doing that right now". I said "B- Just walk away, take a break, and wait for a sign". You need time as I know you must be exhausted. So tired-she said. "I just have to accept that fact that we will be childless".

I CANNOT BELIEVE THE PAIN SHE MUST BE SUFFERING. Words of encouragement are good but only time can heal this wound. She has been on my heart and in my prayers ever since. God will hold her in his hands, I know he will. If you have a second to pray for her and her family, that would be so appreciated.

There WILL be another chapter and I will let you know when that occurs. For now, the healing must take place. UGHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Then, later that day, I have a call with one of my partners. He told me that they received word this weekend that they will be the parents of TWINS!!!! Yes, Twin GIRLS! They were discovered through his wife's hairdresser who knew of a young lady that already had one child and could not care for 2 more. The birthmom and her mother came over to their house for a visit and to discuss the situation.

On the way home, the birthmother called them to let them know she has made her decision and she is so happy to have them as the NEW PARENTS!!

WOW- 'how bout that?!?! Too cool. Elation for my buddy S. He said he came to work on Monday with a totally new outlook...Gotta Work Hard, 2 girls through college and 2weddings,,,ain't that the truth!

So, a VERY adoption filled Monday to say the least. This is a clear example of the roller coaster we are all on when it comes to adoption. It also shows us that we are not always in control of the outcome. FAITH IS THE ONLY WAY TO SURVIVE! It will happen, in God's time. Hard for me to get, but I do- just a little impatient, that's all!

I hope you all have a Great Tuesday! I am talking with our agency today to get working on our paperwork. I just love having a "coach" to keep me on target!!!
Take Care.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday & UPDATE :)

Hi Gang,

Man, am I glad to see Friday this week! It has been crazy at work and I have been working diligently on our adoption plans. R U READY?!?!?!

We have some exciting news around our country. We have been accepted to Ethiopia and feel in our hearts that we were meant to be there ALL THIS TIME! YEAH! I am so excited :) I spoke with the director and we had a great discussion around the reality of being a truly bi/trans-racial family. John and I welcome this and are learning more about it everyday to be sure to provide the right environment for our child. The process in Ethiopia is also something I love. See, they work directly with the orphanages until a referral is identified. There is a transition home called "House of Hope" for CHI. The children are happy and healthy and well cared for- this is a big plus for us!

We are in the process of amending our Home Study and will be submitting to CIS shortly. I cannot tell you HOW LONG we have waited to do this. But then again, you know by our painstakingly long timeline. Whew!

We are truly at peace and are comforted to know that God is directing us down this path. I am in love with our child already- strange, I know. We have opted for boy or girl, infant up to 12 months. The infants are usually around 2-3months old on average. We've been studying about our country and the beautiful people. That's just my style- Go Big or Go Home!!! More to come on this journey!!! I feel that I actually want to blog now, can you believe it?!?!- it has been so painful up until this week- I do apologize for the boring blog. Watch out folks!!!

So, Here's a pic of John and the boys at church cooking up a storm! Well, actually it is spagetti for some 150 people. We had a fundraiser for our youth pilgrimage trip and had a wonderful time playing Parish Family Feud! Good times. He asked me where HIS picture was from the fundraiser. Too cute. So here it is...

Have a Fabulous Weekend!!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

Baby Shower Frenzy!?!!?

Well, 1/2 of my girls are expecting. See if you can pick them out :) I'll make it easy for ya- they are all on the same row! I have been to 3 baby showers and have another couples shower this weekend. I think the Lord is testing me. However, I am holding up just fine. A little tired, but emotionally, all good. Enjoy the beautiful Ladies!

Monday, May 5, 2008


Alot of friends and family read this and I want everyone to understand why our hearts are committed to adoption.

You see...Adoption isn't just what people do when they can't have "their own" children, it isn't plan B. Adoption is a true calling. It's knowing that your child is out there somewhere. It's yearning for him or her to come home where they belong. This is true for John and I. Even if we were to have our own children, I would still plan on adopting a child. My heart is full of ache for this little one. There is something about it as these children are orphans.

We have not found our country yet, but there are many more to choose from! We have learned so much in one year about other cultures through our research. I absolutely love this knowledge. We will find the right spot for us and further investigation is required. So, please know that I am not some crazy woman on a mission to get a child. We are simply following our hearts. If it is meant to be, it will happen, and we will all be together. I don't care how long it takes. We are at peace knowing that when the time is right- we will be able to provide a loving home to someone who desperately needs it. It goes both ways :)
Matthew 18:5
"And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me"

Thanks to all of you for your love and support.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

Here is a pic from dinner last night. We ate at Lil' River in Downtown Lawrenceville- the food was to die for or slap yo mama good :) Whatever you say :)

Becka and Alex were up from Florida and we enjoyed a couple of days together. We went to Stone Mountain for the day and got plenty of exercise. Thank goodness because we went BIG at dinner!