Thursday, December 8, 2011

More work to do...

This last month was so busy with Christmas play practice.  It went great, by the way.  We did "Best Christmas Pageant Ever".  I played Imogene Herdman and Paul was Ralph Herdman.  It was a lot of fun!  Thanksgiving came and went.  We ate too much turkey (even the dog ate too much).  Now to plan for Christmas and to eventually get the tree up.

This was after Thanksgiving dinner...

AGCI called us today.  Good news:  We get to do more paperwork! YAY! (Boo!)  We have to update our criminal checks, fingerprints, and homestudy.  Doesn't it sound like fun?  What's going on in Rwanda, you ask?  Well they are still placing children and children are still coming in to the Home of Hope.  You know how when your sink leaks and you keep messing with the faucet to make it stop?  And how when you think the dripping has stopped but you see one drip forming?   You keep watching that one drop and it keeps getting bigger and bigger til it finally drops.  So, you know your sink is still leaking but it feels like forever between drops.  That is apparently how fast they are placing children. (At least, that is the way it feels to me)  Anyway, the 6 month regret letters that everyone received with their approval (your file is closed if you aren't matched in 6 months), doesn't seem to be a threat anymore.  I'm really not worried about it too much but it was something the government put in writing so they can enforce it at any time.

So, more waiting and more paperwork.  Good times, good times.  Please keep praying for us.  The wait is very hard!

The plan is too put the Christmas tree up tonight.  I'll try to post some pictures of it soon.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

We partied hard!!

Last night was my shoe cutting party benefiting Sole Hope  (  We had a lot of fun!  What's a shoe cutting party, you ask?  Well, you can read my first post about it here or I'll summarize it for you. 

What we did was take patterns for two different sizes of shoe and cut out those patterns.  Those patterns along with $10 will be sent via Sole Hope to Uganda and Zambia where widows and widowers will receive a fair wage to make the shoes.  Sole Hope will then distribute the shoes to needy children.  I encourage you to go check out their website and their online store, if you want to know more or help out.

Last night we ate lots of food, watched the video about what we are doing and why, and then we got down to business.  Here is a few pictures of our fun!!

Tracing the patterns onto the material....

More tracing....

Cutting, cutting, and more cutting....

It was supposed to be a girl's night but when we saw how much cutting there was left, we roped my hubby into cutting....

We traced and cut for about 4 hours last night and left the last little bit for this morning.  We got the whole family involved in organizing the bags....

And the finished product....

Feet that might have looked like this....

....will have shoes!!

PLEASE consider having your own shoe cutting party!!

Have a good weekend!!!  :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

One project done...

I have so many projects around the house that I want to get done.  I finally got one of them done today.  You may not be able to see much of a difference but I can and I'm very proud of myself.  What project is it?  Well, I finally tackled the cord mess behind our TV.  We had a working XBox, a broken XBox, a Playstation we don't use anymore, and tons of cords not connected to anything.  After almost 10 years, cords can get a little messy.  I got it more organized and got all the cords back in the right place.  All by myself!!

Behind the TV: Before

Behind the TV: After
The side of the TV: Before
The side of the TV: After
Then when all was said and done, I let my Roomba clean up the mess.  :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Whatcha readin'?

Here is my first attempt to liven up this blog.  I love to read.  I always have severals books going at once.  So, I figured on this cold, rainy Wednesday, a day perfect for reading, I'd let you in on what I'm reading.  Call it a "Whatcha Readin' Wednesday".  Of course this won't happen every Wednesday, I'm not that fast a reader.

None of these books actually go together either so you will get a glimpse at how random and weird I am.

First, my actual book.  I have a Nook (and I love it) but the book I'm reading is an actual book not an eletronic one.  Found this at a used book store for cheaper than I could get it on my Nook.
I have found that I love history and I love biographies!  John Adams is very interesting and even though I'm just halfway through this, I love talking about it.  So, warning, don't get me started or I might just talk your ear off.

Some nights I have a hard time getting my brain to stop working, so I keep a good audiobook on my ipod.  I like to be read to sleep at night, I guess.  Also, I'm not a huge music person so a good audiobook in the car makes me happy.  This is what I am listening to right now.
Its the 4th and last in a series of sci-fi, military fiction.  If the print is too small for you to see, the authors are David Weber and John Ringo.  This is probably the 3rd time I have listened to this series.

Now I think everyone, except for my mom, reads while in the bathroom.  :)  This is what is in mine right now.
Martha Stewart!  I flip through this magazine and look at all the crafty decor I either can't figure out how to make work in my house or that I can't afford to put in my house.

And just to make sure I'm well rounded, I'm working on these bible studies.
The beth Moore study, To Live Is Christ, I did a few months ago with my mom's church.  I didn't do my homework (shame on me), so now I'm going back and trying to finish it.  Its all about Paul and very good.

Living Your  Life as a Beautiful Offering is based on the sermon on the mount and is the current study I'm doing with a group of ladies at my church.  We are just at the beginning of this one but it has been very good so far.

This is what my dog does while I'm reading.
While I've got my feet propped up in the recliner, he uses my legs as his bed. :)


Just a couple more, stick with me...

This is the magazine that looks up at me while I'm propped up in the recliner, most of the time eating.
It sits under my coffee table.  Look at her just laughing at me and mocking me.

One more...oh how I love my backyard in the fall...

Have a good Wednesday everyone!!

P.S. If you are curious, I don't buy alot of magazines.  I got the magazines I posted for free by filling out some online surveys I found through

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Silence...I don't like silence.

These last two week have been eerily quiet.  So many referrals and then none.  *sigh*  I like roller coasters and everything, just not mental ones.  So just like in Finding Nemo, when Dory tells Marlin to just keep swimming, we just keep waiting.

I keep trying to think of ways to liven up my blog.  Maybe, tell some funny stories about my everyday life.  Maybe, post some pictures.  Maybe, talk about some redecorating projects around the house (this would also help keep me focused on them).  I don't know.  I don't have kids, so no funny stories there.  My dog just loves to sleep.  I have come to the conclusion...I'm boring.  

What would you guys like to know about?  What could someone who is just waiting and has no kids write about that could be entertaining?  Hmm...

A REMINDER:  Shoe Cutting Party @ my house first part of November.  For all the details, check out my last blog post.

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Project and a Party!!

What's been happening with us?  We are waiting.  Still.  There have been several referrals, and we are very happy about that.  The order has been all over the place, so its kinda like waiting on your lottery number to be called.  So, we wait, we pray, and we are hopeful. 

While we are waiting, I have a new project.  I have discovered  This organization helps bring shoes to the children in Uganda and Zambia.  Not only do they do this, but they also help widows and widowers that would otherwise have no income by teaching them to make these shoes.  Now what does this have to do with me or you?  I want to help and I need you to help me!  How?  I am having a party!!  I'm not exactly sure what date will be yet, but it should be within the first 2 weeks of November.

During this party we will be cutting out shoe patterns.  These pieces will be sent to Sole Hope, who will then send them on to Uganda and Zambia, to the widows and widowers who will make the shoes.  Sole Hope will then purchase the shoes, giving the widows and widowers income, and distribute them to the children who need them.  I hope you can come to the party!!

Here's what we will need.  Firstly, we will need donated denim.  Old jeans will be perfect.  This will be half of the fabric needed.  We will also need cotton fabric.  My letter says that we should be able to explain to fabric stores what we are doing, and most of the time they are happy to donate.  We just need a few yards.  This will be the outside of the shoe, so keep that in mind if you buy fabric.

Each pattern that is cut requires $10.  This money will go to purchase the shoes back from widows and widowers.  If you come to the party, please bring $10 for every pair of shoes you plan to cut.  I am hoping that if you can't make it to the party, you would be willing to sponsor a pair of shoes (or three).  I also have window stickers that can be purchased for $2.

Now, I know I've stressed the "work" phase of the party so far, but rest assured, there will be a "party" phase too. :)  We'll have music playing and snacks and finger food to sample between cutting out the patterns. Please contact me if you have questions, want to donate, or want to come to the party.  Like I said earlier, the party will be in the first couple of weeks of November so that we will have time to gather supplies and hopefully get some sponsors of shoes.  Please share this with anyone you think would be interested in helping!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Just a side note...

If you haven't seen the Disney movie "Meet the Robinsons", you should see it now.  Oh, and I love this song from it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Created for Care Retreat

I'm so excited that registration for the Created to Care retreat opened last night.  Thinking back to last year I had to talk myself into going.  I really didn't know anyone but I am so glad I went.  I met some wonderful people and learned some amazing things.  It was wonderful to be in a place with 200 other ladies that know excatly what you are talking about and how you feel.  This year it will be 400 ladies and I can't wait to see what happens!  If you didn't get in this year, make a point to plan for it next year.  You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Last night, as I was going to sleep, I prayed.  I said, "Lord, I'm going to have to throw out a fleece.  Well, I don't want to test you but I need something.  A sign or something so we know what to do."

I had been praying that God would change our desires.  That He would strengthen our desire for Rwanda or take it away and show us something else.  Last night, though, I needed something more and I told Him that.

Today, we got an e-mail saying that about 20 new children were transferred to the orphanage and referrals were being made.  I checked the yahoo board I read and there it was...a referral!!  Not ours, of course, but still a referral!!  Exciting!!  It was just what I needed to keep me going!

Praise the Lord!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


and regret.

We got our letter today.  It was dated 8/09/11 and it said we are approved and we have 6 months to be matched or our case is going to be closed.  Is this good news?  I'm not sure.  Our clock is ticking now.  We have waited forever for this and now I don't feel the excitement I thought it would bring.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Where there's fire, there's smoke...or is there?

With all that is going on with this adoption, the ups and downs and rumors it may end without a child, I have been thinking alot about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

You are probably thinking, "Wow, that is random."  Let me explain.  We probably all know the story but let me sum it up anyway.

King Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had made an image of gold, ninety feet high and nine feet wide.  He had decided that everyone was going to bow down and worship this idol.  If they refused, they would be thrown immediately into a fiery furnace.  So, they gather everyone together and they even hired a band.  When the music started to play, that was everyone's cue to bow down and worship this idol.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, did not bow down.  So,  some astrologers, people who wanted to get in good with the king, came to King Nebuchadnezzar and pointed out the three men that didn't bow down.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were brought forward and the king asked them, "Is it true you are not worshipping the image I made?  If you don't, I'm going to throw you into the fiery furnace!"

Now let me quote Daniel 3:16-18
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

WOW!  They just told the king that they are willing to endure the furnace because God can save them and even if He doesn't they were still going to serve God and not worship this false idol.  So...the king threw them in the fiery furnace, bound with ropes.  This fire was so hot it killed the soldier that got just close enough to throw them in.  King Nebuchadnezzar watched and he saw four men in the furnace and they were unbound and unharmed.

This is the part I love....the last part of Daniel 3:26-27.
"So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors, and royal advisors crowed around them.  They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them."

They didn't even smell like smoke!  Did you see that?  I never saw it till I did the Beth Moore study of Daniel and now I can't stop thinking about it.  When King Nebuchadnezzar saw this, he praised God and decreed no one will ever talk bad about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego's God or they would be cut into little pieces.  King Nebuchadnezzar was a little dramatic.  :)

What on earth does this have to do with adoption?  Well, here is what I think.  The ups and the downs of this have been a trial for me.  I am a worrier and I have the tendency to get bitter and angry.  It is a daily battle to keep these emotions in check.  So, when I feel these emotions start to bubble up, I just tell myself, "I don't want to smell like smoke."  God's going to take me through this trial and I don't know if I will end up with the daughter from Rwanda that I have been dreaming about but I can control whether or not "I smell like smoke" at the end.  If people know the troubles we have gone through and can look at me and say, "You look peaceful, I wouldn't even think anything had happened."  That is just the same as saying, "You went through that fire?  You don't even smell like smoke."

Maybe then they will praise God!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Good Things

It looks as if everything just fell apart and there was no good anywhere but that is not true.  When we first found out that our adoption is on "life support", the underlying tension in our household grew tremendously.  There were multiple causes to the tension.  This long wait (that we never thought we would have), the fact that Paul felt stuck in his job and didn't really want to do it anymore (that had been growing for a while), and the fact that we couldn't just get away from it all.

Finally, God opened a door and Paul applied for a new position at work.  He got the new job and I can't tell you what that meant for us.  It was a breath of fresh air for Paul.  His steps have been lighter ever since.  Today, I ask myself, did God give him this job because He knew what was coming?  Was this just a little bit of grace so that the thought of our adoption being over and starting again wouldn't crush us?  I am grateful for it either way.

The wait and the fact that we can't get away due to saving all our money for the adoption still hasn't changed.  There is really nothing we can do about that.

Another good thing that came out of this moment is that we had some really good friends step up and support us.  I also know that people in our church were really praying for us.  I know we couldn't have gotten through this without them.  Thanks!!

We still haven't made a decision on what we are going to do.  We have asked God to place His desires in our heart and we want to do what He wants us to do.  Paul says that he has the desire to change countries and that even with all his praying that desire hasn't waivered so that is where he thinks God is pointing us.  I felt the desire to change countries at the beginning but now, to be perfectly honest, I'm just numb.  I keep looking for signs to stay with Rwanda, all the while thinking about what we need to do to start our new dossier.  I have even rearranged the house (in my head, of course) so that we would be able to take 2 children instead of one.

We are going to make our mind up in 3 days, the end of the month.  Then we will just jump in with both feet.  Fully committed to waiting or starting all over again.

Please, please, please continue to pray for us!!  We need all the help we can get.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Rest of the Story

And now...the rest of the story.

We have been waiting for 10 months now. Our 10 month anniversary was yesterday, in fact. All this time we have been hearing rumors. Rumors about how fast the Rwandan government is moving, when they will be done, amount of travel time changing, etc. There was one rumor that really caught our attention. The orphanage is running out of children. This should be good news to my ears. Really, I wish there were no more orphans anywhere but, in a country where there are reportedly almost 1 million orphans, how can they run out before they get to #136!! We had heard that one family had received a regret letter. This letter told the family that the orphanage had no children to meet their request and the government would hold their dossier for 6 months and if no child was found, close their case.

I called our agency to find out if this was true. This had me worried. They looked into the problem but it wasn't something on which they could get back to me quickly. This fear has loomed over our head for months now. It's like living everyday life waiting for the doctor to call and say you've miscarried. Stress grew! About a month ago, we got a call. We were told that several families from our agency would receive this regret letter but so far we were not one of the families. Was this because we weren't getting one? Was this because the government hadn't reviewed our dossier yet? No one was sure.

Now we are sure. At least as sure as we can be. You see, nothing has ever been sure throughout this whole wait. As of right now, the Rwandan government will be issuing regret letters to everyone that has not already received approval. That includes us. They will not be allowing families to adjust the age range in hopes of matching to another waiting child. The government does not have the resources and manpower to bring the other orphanages up to standard.

In short (short ha ha), where does this leave us? With a BIG decision to make. Do we stay with Rwanda and wait out the next 7 or 8 months (we haven't received our 6 month regret letter yet) and see if a child becomes available? Do we switch countries and start all over again? If only God had given us a road map!

This looks bleak. I have cried many tears over it but God has done some wonderful things for us. I will make a post just for the good things in a couple of days. Please pray for us. Please pray that we will know what God wants us to do.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Its been a long time...

It has been so long since my last post. Here's the update. WE ARE WAITING! There is actually more of an update but I don't want this post to be too long so I'm going to be posting multiple posts in the next few days. But, right now, let's talk about the waiting.

We have waited 9 months and 4 weeks. That is just since our dossier made it to Rwanda. We started back in February 2010 so that makes it 17 months of waiting. We decided to adopt 20 months ago. We tried for our own children for an additional 3 years. Grand total of desperately wanting a family...approximately 4 years and 8 months!!

When we decided to adopt we knew we would have to make some sacrifices. You know save up money and not spend like we used to. No vacations. That is a tough one for us. We are vacation people. It is really hard for us to drop the stress of everyday life if we can't get away. We haven't had a vacation in almost 2 years. Yeah, we have went away for a Friday/long weekend thing but only 2. Two in two years!! Let me just say the stress is piling up.

We have started fighting more and more over little stuff. A few weeks ago we fought over how to tie up my cucumber plant for over an hour. Once the dust settles we realize that it is just our frustration with this situation and not over the cucumber plant.

I want to start this part by saying I am not complaining that I am a housewife. About 3 years ago, I quit my job to relieve some stress and hopefully that would help us get pregnant. I planned on being pregnant within 6 months of being home. Now 3 years later, still no kids, I will admit it is hard getting out of bed some days. My mind says, "what does it matter if you get out of bed. No one else is here. No one else cares. There is no one to take care of and no need to get ready to take care of anyone because who knows if you ever will." It is not easy waiting and being at home alone most days.

Now, I know we signed up for this wait when we started to adopt. True! We didn't sign up to be left in the dark though. There is very little to no information coming out of Rwanda. Rumors abound and you never know what is true or not. One day we are being told to expect approval by the end of whatever month we are in and then it could be 2 months before anything happens. I don't believe and can't believe that this is the normal adoption process. Other governments go in order and even if it is a long wait, you know where you are in line. They will get to you eventually.

So that is where we are. Waiting for something. We are trying our best to cling to God but there are days when I shake my fist at Him. Home life is stressed to the max! So, that's where I'm ending the first part of this multi-part post. There is much more coming, but I wanted to catch you up with the backstory for what is to come.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just a quick note...

A lot of people have been asking if we have heard anything. Well, yes and no. There has been movement and some children have come home. Our number just hasn't come up yet. I keep trying to predict when it will happen and I keep getting it wrong. So, now I'm just saying, I hope she will be home this year.

Just keep praying for us and I will shout it from the rooftops when I hear anything.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Something's been weighing on me...

I read this article the other day and I can't stop thinking about it. It was written by another adoptive mom. She is writing about what she would like for you to know about adoption and assumptions about adoption. While I agree with some of the things she said, I get an overall aggressive or angry tone from the article. If that is how she feels then I can't change that but it is not how I feel at all. Why has this been weighing on me? I don't want anyone to ever read anything like this and then feel as if they can't talk to us about our infertility, adoption, or our daughter. With that said, I'm going to give my thoughts on a few subjects she brought up.

First of all, when we went down the path of international, inter-racial adoption we opened ourselves up to all kinds of assumptions and opinions from everyone. Whether or not these are good or bad, whether they should express them to us or not, is not under our control. This is just what people do and there are idiots everywhere!! Opinions and assumptions are everywhere!! We will not escape them. Yes, at times they will make us frustrated and angry but people's assumptions and opinions make me frustrated and angry about many other topics than adoption. It's just a part of life.

When people look at our family and see Paul, Clarissa, and me, they will know we adopted. They will know she is our "adopted daughter". There will be no hiding it. Does that make her any less our "daughter"? NO! She will always know that she was adopted. There is no way or reason to keep this from her. Will she know we love her with all of our hearts, no matter if she is adopted or not? I SURE HOPE SO! If you are interested in adopting and you see us, should you ask us about adoption? OF COURSE!! We would be happy to talk about it. Why? BECAUSE GOD HAS DONE SO MUCH FOR US THROUGH THIS ADOPTION. WE WOULD BE CRAZY NOT TO WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT.

Now, when people see us out and assume we adopted and they see no other biological children, they are going to assume that we had fertility problems. As much as we wish that wasn't true, they would be right. Was adoption plan A for us? NO! Was it plan A for God? YES!! When we decided to start our family, we didn't ask God for his opinions or thoughts. We just did what most everyone does and tried to have our own. It didn't work. I was angry at God. I didn't talk to God (other than to yell at Him). But here is the thing...He knew what He wanted us to do all along. He used this hardship to bring us closer together as a couple and to bring us both closer to Him. If we don't talk about our infertility, then I feel like we are hiding glorious things that God did for us. I don't ever want to be a person not willing to share God with others.

One last thing. Adoption is different from the norm. I understand that. Women who have not gone through adoption don't understand. Its OK. I don't understand ALOT of things that I have not experienced first hand. I understand that a group of moms could think the questions that they normally ask a new mom won't apply to me, and leave me out of the conversation. I get it. But ask me. I'll tell you about how you can compare the paperwork to the trying to get pregnant stage. I'll tell you about the waiting and how it made me feel excited, scared, and impatient. About how I wondered if I would ever be a good mom. How I couldn't wait to see her face. Just like you couldn't wait for the ultrasound. I'll tell you my dreams of what we will do as a family. What things I can't wait to teach her and show her. I don't believe any of those feelings are different than someone who is pregnant.

When I read the article, I really felt like I wanted to put something out there for my friends and family. Something that says we are open to talking about anything you want to talk about. Really, its not our story. Its God's story of how He made our marriage stronger and then built our family. I am so excited about what God has done for us that I can't wait for you to ask.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Exciting Times!!

WOW!! So much has been happening. TWO people from AGCI have heard from Rwanda! Things have been moving and lots of approvals have been going out. This make me so hopeful that we'll have our approval soon. That doesn't mean our referral but approval is a big step.

There is some talk going around that we may either have to make 2 trips or stick it out for a month in Rwanda. That is going to be a strain but I guess we will do what ever it takes to bring Clarissa home.

Keep praying for us! Not sure what is in store for us but I can't wait to see what is around the bend.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Such a great weekend!!

I'm home from the retreat. Part of me is happy to be home, the other part wanted to stay there much longer.

I went this retreat so afraid of how it would turn out. How would the other moms be? Will I get along with my roommates or will they just think I'm crazy?

This weekend could not have turned out any better!! The ladies I rode down with were roommates were perfect! I met so many wonderful new ladies. On top of all of this, I met up with God again. He was there in all the worship times, He spoke through all the speakers, and He reminded me once again that He loves me so much!!

There is so much to tell you about but I'm still processing it all. I can't wait to sit down with the cd. Thank goodness they gave us recordings of everything so we can return to it and soak it all in again.

Monday, January 31, 2011

What will He make me?

I was working on one of my Bible studies today. This particular one is about John and it is a Beth Moore study. I have just started it and in the homework we are learning about when Jesus called John to be His disciple.

"'Come, follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will make you fishers of men'" Mark 1:17

Beth goes on to say..."I am convinced that one part of that sentence applies to every person Jesus Christ calls: "Come, follow me, and I will make you..."

Jesus calls to me. He says, "Come, follow me, learn about me, rely on me, love me, talk to me, think about me, and I will make you..."

Doesn't that just open up so many possibilities. When I first stopped and thought about it, I said "OK, I want you to make me this... a good mother, someone who knows what to say, a better wife, more compassionate, less afraid to talk about you, make me someone that people would want to look upon, and while we are at it...why don't you make me prettier, smarter, funnier, you know, all that appealing stuff. Yeah, this all sounds good to me.

There it is again. If you read that last paragraph over, you see "me" all over it. I might as well have said me, me, me, me, me, me, and more me. Basically, my earlier statements say... "Make ME better and then I can do everything for you.

What am I thinking?!?!? Why would I want anything to do with me?!? I am so imperfect. I say all the wrong things. I do all the wrong things.

So, after my first reaction, here is my prayer:

"Come, follow me, Jesus said, "and I will make you...."

"I will follow, Lord. Please make me less of me and more of YOU!!"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Who are you again?!?

Hello again! Miss me? :)

Well, you know how it is with the holidays. Nothing gets done. I also stopped reading blogs for a while. I found it easier to wait if I wasn't constantly searching for information. I have slowly been making my way back and it is easier now than before not to get sucked in to reading everything and having to know everything. Those days to happen, though, don't get me wrong. Some days I think if I find the right forum or blog, I'll know everything I need to know.

First, there is movement in the adoption. Every few days I hear of approvals and that is wonderful. Still a good ways away from us but every one approved is one closer. That's about all the news. Since we are so far down the list, any news we hear doesn't really make a huge difference or change to our wait.

Christmas was wonderful!! This year Paul and I exchanged gifts. We haven't done that in a few years. It was great!! We probably went a little overboard but next year all of our money will be going to Clarissa. :-) Even though Clarissa couldn't be here this Christmas, she still got gifts.

Christmas 2010 resize

My mother-in-law got her the Piglet rattle, my mom got her the hair bows, and my sister got her the piggy bank, complete with change (from my nephews most likely).

We rang in the new year with some good friends. Played a few board games and listened to Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block (I don't think they are so "new" any more) on Dick Clark's Rockin New Year's Eve.

Now back to regular life. I'm reading everything I can get my hands on. I'm doing two new bible studies. One on John and one on Paul. I'm trying to get better housecleaning habits so that life will not be so hard once Clarissa makes it home. And I'm just waiting. Without even being here, Clarissa is the center point of our lives. Everyday is lived around the waiting and preparing. I'm seeing God alot in this time. I'm seeing Him calm me more than ever before. I'm OK with the waiting as long as I am certain God is here with me waiting.