Monday, November 5, 2012 outnumber the downs

A week ago we had the best Saturday.  Everything was nice and peaceful.  Paul got to spend time on the Xbox with a game he really likes and I knitted while listening to a great audiobook.  We had fun just being home and relaxing.  Later, we watched some TV and made some hot tea.  To end the day, we made more hot tea, raided our board games for dice, played Yahtzee, and listened to music from itunes.

I remember thinking, "This is great!  I need to enjoy these days more often."

Then I have the days where I wake up and just have this blah feeling.  I can't put my finger on it but I just have this feeling that nothing ever goes right and nothing ever will.  Ugh!  I hate those days.

Why can't I hang on to the good days longer?

Dear Lord, Please make my ups outnumber the downs!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween comes early this year!

I am a horrible blogger.  I don't keep it updated as often I should.  Then again, I don't keep my house, dishes, or laundry as updated/cleaned as often as I should either.  Hmm, must be a theme in my life.

Quick Update:  Everyone is now healthy!  No new news on the adoption/baby front.  Still just trying to see where God takes us.

Now to the fun stuff!!  Halloween came early this year.  We were able to attend the Halloween Party at Disney World!  If you are going to attend a party at Disney, you must have a Disney theme, right?  We thought so.  We went with friends so three of us dressed up like characters from Mary Poppins.  We had Mary Poppins, Bert, & Mrs. Banks.  I was Mrs. Banks!  Once we knew who we were going to be the search for the perfect costume began. 

What to do first?  Ebay for a dress pattern and call mom to inform her we are making a dress.  She was so very excited!  (I hope you can hear the sarcasm there.)

Next, a fun trip to JoAnn's for fabric and materials.  I felt so crafty.
On to the pinning, pinning, and more pinning

After all that pinning, there was much discussion over the instructions and eventually we got this...
And this...

And when you put them together, you actually get a dress...
Now we all know Mrs. Banks was not this plain.  She need something extra.  Like a belt...
And a sash...

But not just any sash, it must be a "Votes for Women" sash!  This part took some thinking.  How do I get "Votes for Women" on there and it be big enough to read and it won't fall off when I'm zooming around on Space Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain?  Answer: Paint!  I think I might be most proud of this sash.  I think it turned out very well.
You could see-thru the fabric, so we printed of the words until we felt like they were the right size.  Then placed the paper under the sash and traced over the letters.  Some matte fabric paint, small brush, and patience, I filled in the letters.
Add a hat with another matching yellow sash around it, and you have my version of Mrs. Banks!
The Halloween party was so much fun!  We got lots of compliments!  Of course, some people didn't get it and I was afraid of that but we all looked great together!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Just to sum it up....

I know the story about our mission trip has really been stretched.  It is because I am a horrible blogger and forget to post.  This post is just to finish everything up.

The day after Paul's big event was Sunday, and we only had two days left of our trip.  On Sunday we went to one of our missionary's churches, where we had a wonderful service and got to meet several of the people who attend the church.  Some of us stood up and talked about our time in Costa Rica and then several church members stood up and gave testimonies of how good God has been to them.   One of the church members stood up and told a story about how an adoption they were trying to complete several years ago got shut down.  They were not able to, or did not, make another attempt, but they talked about how good God was to come in a fill the emptiness.  It was very encouraging. 

Later, the men helped the missionaries move their furniture.  They are moving to a new house soon.  Even though everyone told Paul not to help move, he did anyway.  I would look up and he would have something new in his hands.  He kept saying, "I didn't come here to sit around."

That was pretty much the last of our work in Costa Rica.  On Sunday and Monday, we had a lot of free time since the trip was coming to an end.  We worked hard on this trip, but we had free time too and that just added to the fun of it all.  We made it home really late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, however you want to look at it.

I'll admit that at points throughout the trip I was a little discouraged that I wasn't changing the world.  I wanted to make a lasting difference not just bring the kids candy.  Then it dawned on me.  First, I don't have to, and can't, change the world in one trip.  Second, we got a chance to be God's hands and feet and really love on these children for the time that we could.  God, for some unknown reason, thought I should do this.  I can't wait to go back!!

If you have the chance, go on a short-term mission trip!!  Start saving now and go!!  For that matter, come to Costa Rica with us when we go back next year. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Deer Island Adventure

We had some free time and then on Friday we headed to Deer Island.  This wasn't to an orphanage, but to a church where all the kids were invited in to the church for a day of fun.

Getting to Deer Island was interesting.  We drove quite a while to get to a ferry for a 45 minute to an hour trip.

This is just a picture of us on the ferry.

Once across we drove to where we would meet our next boat.  Interesting part was that it was low tide.

We had to walk through this and carry our supplies to the boat.

Loaded the boat and took off to Deer Island!

This was the hottest day yet and the sun just beat down on us but, believe it or not, no one complained and everyone was in good spirits.

After Paul and others carried our supplies to the church, we all walked to the Pastor's house for lunch.

Best fried fish ever!!  Rice, Beans and lemonade.

Fish was fried over this in a cast iron skillet with lard, which makes everything better.

Afterwards we had to let our food digest and these hammocks in the front yard was the best place for that.

There was about 60 kids here this time and so I only had time to get a picture at the beginning during the bible story...

and one as they were leaving.

We had face painting, fabric swatches were we traced their hand and put their name on them, bookmarks, and the guys played with the children outside.  We rotated the children in groups to the different stations.  At the end we gave away candy and some soccer balls.

At the end of the day we took a four hour drive back home.  Chalk up another good day.  This was the day before "The Event" so Paul and I ended up missing the next stop at a church in San Ramon.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day at La Fortuna Orphanage

After San Ramon, we drove to La Fortuna to prepare to go to the next orphanage.  This orphanage was easier on me than the last.  It was so brightly colored and you could really see and feel that the kids were getting care and attention.  We did the same activities here that we did at the other orphanage.  Here are some pics...

This is the front porch where we sat while the kids listened to the story.  Look at all the colors and the decorations that were even hanging from the ceiling of the roof.

Nail Painting

Letting them draw on fabric swatches so one of our group can make a wall hanging of the pictures

P.S. The boy with the heart on the left tried to teach Paul manners when they were making God's Eyes together.  We only had one pair of scissors so Paul would speak up and say, "Scissors" and that little boy would then say, "Por Favor".  He taught us all to say please that day because we said for the rest of the trip. :)

Helping the children with their God's Eyes

Before we left, we gave all the children and caregivers pillowcase that one of our group made for them.  Each one was unique.

They really liked them.  This little boy came and got Paul by the hand and took him to his bedroom.  He showed off his new case and his stuffed animals.

We also left each child with a stuffed animal and a bag of candy.

This was another really good day!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Our first stop in San Ramon

I thought I should write about the non-medical part of our trip.  It will probably take up a couple of posts.

On Monday we flew in to San Juan, Costa Rica and then we had our first Costa Rican meal.  Denny's!!  It was late and right by the airport. ha ha  We then drove about an hour to San Ramon and got checked in to our hotel. 

Tuesday we went to the orphanage there in San Ramon.  This was a hard day for me.  I had never been to an orphanage and I didn't know how it would affect me.  I was a little bit afraid to go, if I am completely honest.  When we got there they had a big door, like what I had pictured the big, blue door in front of Home of Hope to be.  The property was surrounded by chain link fence for security purposes.  We walked down a concrete slope to something like a concrete basketball court.  We saw a few children here and there and they were very curious about us.  Once they realized we were there to do something for them, they were very happy and open to us. There were about 9 children in this orphanage.  Some of the girls ran up to get hugs and the boys showed off on the two bicycles they had.  We started out with a story for all the kids.  A lady from our missionary's church came with us and told them a story which ended in telling the kids about Jesus.  Then we broke out into the different activities we had for the kids. 

Paul and I helped some boys make God's Eyes. 

Some of the ladies painted the girls fingernails and then let the girls paint their nails.  Others helped some children make bookmarks with their fingerprints on them.  A couple of our girls did face painting too.  It was sort of like a vacation bible school.

After this we played with the kids for a while.  Paul started giving back rides, which wasn't the smart move on his part.  You know, since he is old and falling apart.

The little girl did NOT want to get down.  When Paul tried to put her down she would wrap her legs around his neck and hold on for dear life.
We brought ice cream and let each child pick out their own stuffed animal.

I knew there was a baby inside and I really tried to avoid going inside.  I didn't know if I could handle it but how do you pass up showing just a little love to this baby.  There were moments when I was looking down into the crib making silly noises that my vision was so blurred by tears I couldn't see her.  Then a friend of mine came in a caught me holding her.  I told her not to take the picture but she did it anyway.

It physically hurt me to put her down and walk away.  I remember every bit of me wanting to turn around but I had to keep telling myself to keep walking.

This turned out to be a longer post than what I thought it would so I'll end here at the end of our time at the first orphanage.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The "Event" that lasted an eternity

After everything that has happened in the first half of this year, I wanted to start out the second half with a bang.  Well, I got a bang but it wasn't exactly how I had pictured it.  We went to Costa Rica for a short-term mission trip.  It was my first ever mission trip and I was so excited!  We were going to work with lots of kids, in orphanages and in villages around Costa Rica.  It was a great trip and God was VERY good to us.  I want to blog all about it but first I'm going to skip to almost the end of the week.  I'll go back to the other days later, but right now I'm going to talk about Saturday.  I think this is the day about which people are most curious.
We had spent a full week in Costa Rica working with kids and were preparing for our last bible club.We got up that morning and ate breakfast, made some God's Eyes to give to the kids, and then Paul walked to the bakery.  After all of that, we had just a little downtime (meaning 30 minutes) before we left for lunch.  While in the room, Paul said, "I feel "off".  There was nothing I could do for that so we just laid on the bed to rest.  We walked about 7 blocks to the restaurant where we would be having lunch.  We placed our order and then I was talking with another lady on the trip about walking back a couple of blocks to the grocery store to pick up some items that we wanted to take home.  I leaned over and asked Paul for some money.  I thought he was ignoring me because I asked again.  Then it happened.  We have forever dubbed it as "The Event".  I couldn't figure out why Paul wasn't answering me.  He even moved his hand toward me with his finger up like he was telling me to wait a minute.  Then his hand slapped down and we all knew something was wrong.  I started yelling his name. Our pastor, who was there, remained calm and said he had seen this before.  He got behind Paul and held him up during the whole seizure and didn't let him hit the floor.  After it was over and Paul was passing out (I'm not sure if he ever lost total consciousness), our pastor laid him on the floor, with the help of others in the restaurant.  During all of this I kept trying to get to Paul, but others in our group were trying to keep me out of the way.  I was crying and telling people that we shouldn't have come on the trip, and telling them that he can't go to the hospital because I just knew it would be dirty.  When the seizure started, the remainder of our group that were not sitting at our table grabbed hands, lifted their other hands in the air, and immediately started to pray.  The Costa Ricans in the restaurant called the ambulance.  There was probably 7 people on the phone.  Another stranger was holding Paul's feet on a chair so they would stay elevated.  One young boy came up and said he could speak English.  His family followed the ambulance to the hospital and that young boy stood there and help me speak with the doctors and translated Paul's passport for the registration forms.  That boy and his dad, I later heard, sat outside and waited with a lady from our group for hours.  After it was done, they wouldn't take any money or anything for their help.  We got their e-mail and information but I heard later by the next morning, no one could find it.

The hospital was not big, and no one was allowed inside to visit.  You had to sit outside on a bench and wait, where a security guard stood at the door and regulated who went in.  Not armed or anything like that just a security guard.  The door the ambulance pulled up to reminded me of an old garage door.  One that slides side to side instead of up and down.  Once in there, there seemed to be people everywhere.  There were several stretchers lined down the hallway.  By the time we got to the hospital, Paul was starting to talk some but still had no memory of anything.  He didn't know where we were, who was with us (even when I told him he didn't know anyone), or what had happened.  Nothing, he knew nothing.  Except me.  He remembered me, thank goodness.  I somehow got across to the first doctor what had happened and that he had a heart attack 6 weeks ago.  They did an EKG with a machine that had little silver domes and blue suction cups at the top and big clips for his ankles.  They then moved him down the hall to a room with 8 beds in it.  Nurses kept trying to come in a give him aspirin, and I kept telling them "No!".  This happened about 2 or 3 times and then the doctor came in and tried to ask me why I wouldn't let them do anything.  I tried to tell him that his heart doctor had said no aspirin after his daily dose of medicine.  We couldn't really understand each other so I started crying.  He put his had on my shoulder and lead me out of the room.  This is the point in my life where I learned to thank God for Steve Jobs.  The doctor pulled out his iPhone and he had a translation app.  I could type in what I wanted to say and then the app translated it to Spanish for the doctor.  Wonderful!!  In the end, we gave him the aspirin.

At this point, I was still all alone because they wouldn't let our pastor or anyone else inside the hospital, but it wasn't too long after that, one of the missionaries we were working with (I haven't gotten her permission to name her here, so I'll call her "L") showed up.  I'm not sure how she got in the door, but once the doctor knew she could speak Spanish he let her stay.  The doctor told L that he was afraid he would say something and scare me (again).  The catch was that two people were not allowed to visit a patient, and one of the nurses let L know that in no uncertain terms.  L, however, is not one to be pushed around, and so she stood her ground.  For the confidence she showed to the nurse and to the doctor, I am forever grateful!!  L sat with me a long time and sitting at the hospital is no fun at all.

There wasn't too much excitement.  Paul asked the same questions over and over again, and after a while, he could remember more and things started coming back.  It was interesting to see what he remembered and in what order.  The oldest memories came back first and then, by the time we went home, he could remember pretty much everything, but our trip was still a bit sketchy.  The next morning you would never know it had happened.

They ran another EKG on Paul and did some blood work.  All the tests came back normal.  We had to wait until 8pm and they ran another EKG and more blood work.  L and I had been told that if another patient came into the room we both would have to leave.  This really worried me early on, because Paul couldn't remember much and I didn't want to leave him when he couldn't remember where I was or what had happened.  Thankfully, no one else came in until about 7:30pm and he could remember why I was leaving.  He even told me later that he took a nap after I left.  L and I went outside and met up with R (her husband, they are the missionary couple we were working with).  L and I talked and waited and she was so very encouraging to me.  You just can't imagine.

We came home from the trip late Tuesday night, early Wednesday morning and Paul went to the doctor here on Thursday.  They are going to run a CT scan and an EEG soon.  He can't drive until then so the sooner we get the results, the better.

Later I was told that the other mission group staying at our hotel (they were with I Am Second) ran into some of our group on the street during "The Event" and were told what was happening.  As our friends ran on the the hotel to meet up with our missionaries, they turned around and the I Am Second team had knelt there on the street to pray for Paul.

This blog post is already so long and there is no way I can fit everything into it but this trip/this one day has made me realize the importance of prayer and that God really will give me the strength to get through anything.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

May, May, Go Away!!!

What's been going on with us?  I'm not sure you really want to know. 

A little bit of fun first.  We started playing around with smoothies.  We got us some chairs too so we can enjoy them on the back porch. 
The second time we tried to do this we were chased off by a huge Japanese hornet.

I spent the first couple of weeks of May trying to keep my head in the sand and pretend that Mother's Day didn't exist.

The week after Mother's Day my mom was on vacation and we spent the first 3 days working on my living room.  We repainted it.


It took forever to get the wallpaper down.  We ended up getting a steam machine and it helped alot. Then the paint wasn't covering and we ended up having to put on two coats.  It was alot more work than I imagined.

We have started fertility treatments.  This month is the first time.  I had to take about 10 days worth of some hormone pills (birth control) because of a small cyst on my ovary from where I ovulated last time.  Birth Control does not work well with me.  It makes me irritable and psychotic.  hehe  Needless to say, I don't know how my mom and Paul made it through the breakdowns I had during the painting project.  The IUIs are a long shot but we figured it doesn't hurt to try while we are trying to decide what to do next.

Then this Friday, two days ago, Paul has chest pain and goes to the ER.  They decided he needed to have a hearth cath to check for blockages.  He ended having a heart attack in the ER so they rushed him to the hospital and did an emergency heart cath.  He had one blockage and now he has a stint and alot of new medicine.

A weekend at the hospital will really take it out of you.  I was OK til yesterday and then I guess I broke.  I went down to get dinner and the cafeteria had closed.  I had to buy a cold ham and cheese sandwich.  Thankfully, a friend saw a tweet of mine about the awful food and they brought me food and something for a lingering headache I had.  Fast food and medicine never meant so much!! 

Then the CNA say they couldn't find me anything to sleep on last night so I was left with a recliner that didn't go all the way back AND it set me straight up at the slightest movement (or whenever it felt like it). 

We came home today and napped.  Then we got up and had to give the dog a bath because he was scratching so much.  Now we know why, fleas.  We washed him 3 times and then we sat in the bathroom floor with the vacuum cleaner while I went over his fur like one of those monkeys and Paul would suck up any fleas we saw. 

I AM TIRED!!  I AM STRESSED!!  I think I have reached my breaking point and I don't know what else I can handle.  Everything this weekend has just been overwhelming and I find myself crying at the little stuff.  I cried when they cut one of his favorite shirts off of him in the ER.  When I had only a ham sandwich to eat.  When the recliner sat me up for the tenth time.  When I had to give the dog a bath.  And again when I had to find the vacuum cleaner.

So, I am not sorry to see May leave. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


What has been happening since our adoption was closed?  I thought I was handling it all pretty well.  Thought, being the key word there.  I was calm and didn't have any breakdowns.  Why should I?  I told myself that deep down I knew this was coming and I had been prepared.  I try to believe I can handle all this stuff but then a blow up always happens and I wonder why am I so upset.

Let me elaborate....

We had been dragging our feet on updating our home study.  We felt like Rwanda wasn't going to work out for us and we didn't want to pay for updating it and then have the adoption close.  We finally finished our part and mailed in our paperwork a few weeks ago.  I wasn't terribly concerned about the agency getting to work on it right away.  I did, however, want them to acknowledge that they received my paperwork.  I, purposefully, left out any payment because: 1. I didn't know how much to pay and 2. I knew they would want payment and that would ensure me a call when my paperwork arrived.  I was wrong.  I know the world doesn't revolve around me but I don't think a simple "we got your paperwork" call is too much to ask.

Next, I have been looking and researching new programs for us to start.  I called on agency and the lady I needed to talk to was busy.  I left my name and number for her to call me back and said, "yes, please e-mail me your info packet".  No call back from here either.

Thirdly, I e-mailed a lawyer.  My sister had gotten his card and he handles a lot of domestic adoptions.  No response here either.

This probably seems like small stuff but in the last few weeks the thoughts in my head have been crazy.  Sorting through the fact that we are done in Rwanda and we have to start over, where is my home study paperwork and why on earth didn't they call me, was I supposed to call the agency back after I read the info packet and are they waiting on me, should I call the lawyer and can you just call lawyers or do I have to have an appointment and will this appointment cost me money.  Round and round in my head.  Is anyone else like this or am I just crazy?

So the breaking point?  It was like a feather dropped on this pile and that was all that was needed.  This is going to sound silly but bear with me.  I read the Hunger Games series.  I really liked them.  I had really been looking forward to seeing the movie.  A nice relaxing afternoon with a friend.  Just what I need right?  We got a really good seat.  Toward the back and in the middle, woot!  Once the movie started the couple behind me starts talking, chomping their popcorn, slurping their drink, and kicking my chair constantly.  With each kick, noise, and comment, I wound tighter and tighter.  I tried shushing them loudly twice but finally after half the movie was over, we couldn't take it anymore and moved.  We heard them talking a couple of times after we were half the theatre away but it did get better.  I was wound so tight when I left there it took me the entire 40 minutes of driving home to loosen up just a little.  I told my husband about it when I got home which got me all wound up again.

I kept telling him, "all I wanted was one afternoon to watch a movie I was really excited about."  I kept wondering, "why is that too much to ask?"  I told you this would sound silly. 

Here's the thing, I have realized this is a deeper issue than the movie.  When I let myself be totally honest I wonder why God would take away this adoption.  Why God wouldn't let me have control over anything?  I find myself kicking and screaming on the floor like a 3 year old in a tantrum (not literally).  Screaming, "what I want is good, why can't I have it?  Just this one thing, let me have it!  Fine, then can I just have this little thing?  Why is this too much to ask?"  When I'm done and He hasn't answered me, I look around and God is standing there waiting.  He is just letting me throw my tantrum, get it out of my system.  He is just waiting to say, "Now, do you want me to show you what I have for you?"

Honestly, I haven't gotten the tantrum out of my system yet but it is calming down.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

So here it is....

So here it is....the blog post I never wanted to post after the facebook status I never wanted to post.

As most of you know by now, our adoption in Rwanda has been closed.  Why?  Hmm, that is an interesting question.  Depending on my mood, I could give many different answers.  Answers like "they are going Hague and can't process us right now" or "well, they sent us a 6 month regret letter and our 6 months are up" seem so hollow and don't seem to really encompass the truth.  We don't even really know the whole truth in this.  Bottom line...its over. 

How do we feel?  That depends on what hour of the day you catch me.  Angry!  Angry at Rwanda because I never feel like we got the truth from them.  Angry that I tried to be sensitive to the fact that things run differently in their country but that I don't feel I got the same consideration from them.  Angry that when all is said and done there will be lots of children that will never see the family that has loved them and waited for them for so long.  Angry because there is nothing I can do about it.

Sad!  We are mourning the loss of the daughter we never got to see.  Sad because we thought we were starting our family but now that family, even though it only lived in our minds, is gone.  Sad that one little girl, our little girl, will never see the room we made just for her.  The room that I hoped would make her feel like a princess.  Sad that I can move on and start another adoption but those children are still there and may never find their forever family.

Relieved!  Our life has been on hold ever since we started this process over 2 years ago.  It is a relief not to be stuck in that black hole anymore.  With no movement and no reliable information, we felt as if we were in a black hole being sucked down into nothingness.  Now, we can move forward to something else.  Relief that we can plan what we want to do this year and not be at Rwanda's mercy.

Overwhelmed!  Two years of our life has been focused on what we thought was the right plan for our family.  Now, we start again.  More research, more praying, more paperwork and more waiting.

God is good to us.  Even if He never gives us children, He is still good to us.  We keep trying to remind ourselves of this.  I know He wants the best for me and apparently Rwanda was not the best for me/us.  We will trust Him.  We will follow Him whereever that may take us. 

Does this mean we won't slide back in to our selfish ways of feeling sorry for ourselves?  No, we are human after all.  That is why we need your prayers so that through it all we will feel God's peace and love for us.  Thank you so much for your prayers and for the outpouring of support and kinds words.  You will never know how much they mean to us.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Anyone else hear the echo?

It has been quiet on the adoption front.  No new news.  Our expiration date has come and gone.  Our dossier is still open, but with the way this adoption has been going,  that could change at any time.

For the longest time my mind was consumed with this adoption, I couldn't think of anything else.  I almost backed out of going to the January Created for Care retreat.  I didn't think putting myself in a hotel all weekend with tons of mothers who had already brought their children home and going to breakout sessions about parenting would be the best place for me.  The week or two before the retreat my church started a new bible study.  Well, it is an old bible study but new to me.  We started Experiencing God.  I was determined to focus on this study and God more than this adoption.  This was my prayer.  I knew I could no longer let this consume me.  God heard me and showed Himself to me in a way that I'm still really in awe of Him.  I was able to focus on my study and I didn't look at everything through the lens of this adoption.  I was able to look at my relationship with God.  It wasn't pretty.  My relationship had turned into something that was based on me constantly complaining and asking God to fix, speed up, or whatever He could to this adoption.

I went to the Created for Care and during the worship sessions and God showed Himself again and it was no longer about adoption it was about me and God.  I just worshiped and found more peace.  So many people that I only know through the blog world or from last year's retreat came up and asked how it was going and told me they had been thinking of me and praying for me.  You guys don't know how much that meant to me.  It was such an encouragement.

Our expiration date came and went.  I knew I was going to freak out.  I had thought about how the day would go.  When it arrived, I knew what day it was all day but I did not freak out.  I didn't not get depressed.  I went on with my day.  That could only be peace from God because, if you know me, you know I freak out all the time.

I feel like over the last few weeks, I have come to this place of rest.  I like it!  It is peaceful and quiet and it could not have come at a better time.  I'm sure there is a long wait ahead.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hello New Year!

This is the year!  This is the year that I finally become a mom!  Not a waiting mom, not an expecting mom, but a REAL mom with a child!  Surely...hopefully...maybe.  If the paperwork is like making the baby and the wait is like carrying the baby, then I am 6 1/2 months overdue.  I tell Paul sometimes, "I don't know how much longer I can wait."  His response is reasonable, "what else are you going to do?"  The other day I brought up these conversations and told him "I think I'm really just going to explode.  I mean really.  You are going to come home one day and I'm not going to be there because I exploded."

I hate to even make a prediction that we will bring her home this year.  Every time we have said when we thought it might work out, we were so very wrong.  I'm starting to feel like its a lot like Jesus' Second Coming.  No one knows the day or time just the Father and He will come like a thief in the night.  So, you know he isn't going to tell some crackpot in a foil hat the day.  I don't think He told some indians in Mexico, either.  I feel like our adoption is the same way.  He knows what He is doing and the more I try to predict it, I'll just keep being wrong.  But, surely...hopefully...maybe...this year.

I don't know how to explain the longing.  It does threaten to tear me apart all the time.  I have decided though that this since it is a new year and I can't imagine making it to the end of this year without Clarissa, that I am going to channel this longing into something else.

What else?  Well, the nursery has become a storage room again.  I have to get that cleaned out.  There are several rooms in my house that need a new coat of paint.  I can't paint with a baby so I need to get that done before she gets here.  I have all kinds of plans for this new year!!  The hard part is the follow through. 

We had a wonderful Christmas!!  We spent time with family, ate too much, and got some great gifts.  Now I'm looking forward to January where I'll be taking a weekend to go out of town with my mom and sister.  This is a Christmas tradition for us.  We get money for Christmas and then take a weekend-long shopping trip.  It is always so much fun.  A couple of weeks after that I'll be headed to the Created For Care retreat.  I'm also very excited about that. 

I hope everyone of you had a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!  I look forward to sharing some good news this coming year.