Friday, December 28, 2007

I've decided to put the blog on private

I've decided to put the blog on private until our adoption is complete. This will start tomorrow. I don't want to take any chances or have anything jeopordize this adoption. If you are interested in receiving an invite, please post a comment to this with your email address. Thanks!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Today, B turns 14 months old

Today, B turns 14 months old. Every day we continue to miss him getting older and older. Nothing could have prepared us for this wait. Although it has only been 6 weeks since we left Russia, the wait has been so hard. It doesn't help that I walk into his nursery at least once a day. We are constantly talking about all the different things we plan to do with him and places we want to bring him. We still won't hear anything till mid-January when they open back up from the holiday closures. We keep trying to look at the positive side of having a court date in January, it will start our year off in the most amazing way. We miss our little baby and can't wait to see his face and hold him again. We hope he hasn't changed to much since we last saw him.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was very nice and relaxing. Every year we go to my parents house on Christmas morning to watch my younger siblings open their gifts. This year was bittersweet because it was the last year we planned to go to my parents. Next year, Christmas will be at our house with our little one and everyone will have to come visit us. It will be so much fun!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Today I decided that although Bryson

Today I decided that although Bryson will not be here for Christmas, does not mean he should miss out on this holiday. We will have a little Christmas for him once he gets here. His grandparents and great grandparents have already bought him Christmas gifts. So I decided to just wrap some of the toys that we have bought for him. He might not quite understand what is going on that day, but years from now I hope he will look back and appreciate that we had our belated first Christmas with him.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My inner color

Your Inner Color is Blue
Your Personality: Your natural warmth and intuition nurtures those around you. You are accepting and always follow your heart.

You in Love: Relationships are your top priority, and this includes love. You are most happy when you are serious with someone.

Your Career: You need to help others in your job to feel satistifed. You would be a great nurse, psychologist, or counselor.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

No court date for December

I spoke with our agency yesterday and Russia is requesting some more documents, so we will not be receiving a court date and traveling this month. We knew we probably wouldn't be traveling this month, but that didn't stop us from hoping. We would have liked him home before the end of 2007, but does anything ever go our way during this process?!? If we get the documents requested in ASAP, it is possible that the judge will issue a court date before they close for the holidays. That would be nice because then there would be no surprises and we could prepare for it better. So I have spent most of the day making phone calls to get what they requested. Let's hope everything gets there quickly. Our little boy is getting older by the minute!

Monday, December 10, 2007

I've been tagged

I was tagged by Tanya:
  1. Wrapping paper of gift bags? Christmas time is the only time I use wrapping paper. Even then I still use gift bags. They are just easier.
  2. Real tree or artificial? I grew up using artificial trees, so we have continued to use the same. They are just easier.
  3. When do you put up your tree? We usually put it up the weekend after Thanksgiving or the first weekend in December. This year we have opted out of putting any decorations up because we don't know where we will be at Christmas.
  4. When do you take the tree down? The weekend after Christmas.
  5. Favorite gift received as a child? A huge two story dollhouse that my parents built for me. It was very detailed with furniture and everything.
  6. Do you have a nativity scene? Shamefully, no.
  7. Hardest person to buy for? That would be my mom. She is always telling me there is nothing she needs, but yet, she is always out shopping.
  8. Easiest person to buy for? Shane! Although my husband is an adult, he gives his mother and I his Christmas list (and birthday list) months before.
  9. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I can't think of any.
  10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail! I can't wait till the little one is home so we can include a family picture in the cards each year.
  11. Favorite Christmas movie? I can't think of one, but I normally like any of them.
  12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually a few months before.
  13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No. That's not to say I haven't considered it, but I have never re-gifted anything.
  14. Favorite things to eat at Christmas? Pumpkin pie.
  15. Clear lights or colored lights on the tree? We have both. I think.
  16. Favorite Christmas song? I don't have one.
  17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? On Christmas morning, we normally go to my parents, but that will change once B is home. We will stay home and everyone will have to come to us!
  18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Can I google them?!?
  19. Angel on the tree top or a star? Right now we have a star because I can' t find the perfect angel.
  20. Open the presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Eve we exchange gifts with my extended family. Then on Christmas morning, we open gifts to each other and from Santa. Growing up, on Christmas Eve my parents allowed us each to pick a gift from under the tree to open early.
  21. Most annoying thing about this time of year? How packed the stores are. I have no patience for it.
  22. What is the "corniest" family tradition you do, or miss doing? I can't think of any corny ones.
  23. Ugliest Christmas decoration ever invented? ???
  24. Which looks the best, theme trees or homey trees? Both. I have no preference, though ours is a homey one.
  25. What does Christmas mean to you? It's my favorite holiday. I love to decorate, buy gifts, give gifts and spend time with family. I think Christmas will bring on a whole new meaning once B is home.

I now tag Christen and Amy (I know you are in Russia, but I figured this would give you something to do when your bored).

My shower

Yesterday my family and friends threw me a very nice baby shower and I had a wonderful time. Bryson got a lot of great things. He is one lucky little boy and is already spoiled! This will be the first grandchild on both sides, so needless to say, both of our mothers were excited for this day as well. I want to thank everyone for all the wonderful gifts and for spending this day with me. It really meant a lot. After the shower, I brought everything home and Shane helped me go through everything again so he could see what we got. Then he said that seeing all these gifts made him miss our little one even more.

My very yummy cake with strawberries in the middle

The cutest diaper cake made by my mom
My cousin's little ones helping me open gifts
My mom & I

My MIL & I

Thursday, December 6, 2007

How cute

My baby shower is Sunday and we just got our first gift in the mail for it. Naturally I couldn't wait till Sunday to open it because as soon as I saw the box, I knew exactly what it was and I wasted no time putting it together. Awhile back, I saw the cutest chair on Adrienne's blog so I asked her where she got it from. She told me it came from Pottery Barn Kids and that her son Owen loved that that chair so, I immediately added it to our registry.

Thanks Katie & Scott, Chris & Lisa!

Now all we need is our little one home so he can sit in his new chair. Come on court dates!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Nursery

The lighting is terrible in his room, which means most of the pictures don't come out too well. Here are a few pictures of his nursery:

Monday, December 3, 2007

Letter from Bryson

Dear family & friends,

You must care deeply for me to be reading this note. I can't wait to meet you, but there are some special things you should know about me. I will soon began to learn what it means to have a mommy and daddy and how to be part of a family. For this reason, please allow my parents to do all my caretaking, including holding, comforting, feeding me and laying me down to sleep. You are welcome to play with me and smile and talk to me. My mommy and daddy have been told by experts that this will help me learn as fast as I can how to be a happy and healthy part of my new family.

Hugs & Kisses,

Sunday, December 2, 2007

It's over

We ended up making $396 at the yard sale yesterday. It's not a bad profit, but we were hoping to make much more though every little bit helps. It's amazing how people want to talk you down over everything. We did have a lot of items left over, but we just don't feel like having another one. I have called Salvation Army and they are coming this week to pick everything up. We started preparing for this yard sale at the beginning of this year by cleaning out everything around our house. The boxes of everything had took over many rooms in the house. I can't wait to have our house back in order so we can start truly getting it ready for Bryson.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Did a bomb go off?

It sure looks like it did. Everything for the yard sale has pretty much taken over our house:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Yard Sale

This Saturday we are having our Adoption Benefit Yard Sale. I can honestly say I am not looking forward to it. Yard sales can sometimes be such a headache. If it weren't for the fact that we need money to help fund our outrageously expensive adoption, then I would just pack up everything and bring it to Goodwill. I have recruited my little sister and brother to help us that day. When my sister asked what time she would need to get up that day to start setting up, I told her around 5am if not earlier. You should have seen the look she gave me! She is a teenager and enjoys her sleep. I do want to thank our friends and family that have donated items for Saturday. I hope it is a big success.

Does anyone have any advice for having a yard sale? Others have suggested selling drinks and possibly snacks. Has anyone does this? Was it worth it?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you for all the support. It is great to know that I am not the only who felt that way the first time they met their little one and that it is completely normal. I just am upset with myself now because I missed that day to truly spend time with him. Now I look at his pictures and I keep asking myself what was I thinking!?! He is the sweetest thing ever and my love for him grows each day. He was meant to be our son. It is wonderful that he bonded so well with Shane since he has probably seen few if any males in his lifetime. I know my time will come. Everyone warned us that the wait between trips would be so much harder than the wait to receive a referral. Boy...they were not joking! We miss him like crazy and it's only been a week since we last saw him. We do have some things to keep us busy in the next few weeks. On December 1st, we are having a yard sale to help raise some funds to bring him home. Then on December 9th, my family is planning on throwing me a baby shower. Maybe next week, I can clean up his room to take some pictures and post them on here. Right now his nursery is a mess. We have been using it to store all the packing items for the trips.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A few pictures

Between the cold, the excitement and the exhaustion, we forgot to take pictures of just us. Here are the only ones we have. The last one is with our "blended apple juice."

1st Trip continued

Like I said in the last post, Tuesday's visit went much better. Bryson even seemed to be a different person during this visit. He has really attached to Shane and I admit that made me a little jealous, but I know my time will come. It was actually great to see him attach to Shane since there are no men at this orphanage, so he is not familiar with them. After our visit, we went back to the hotel to meet up with T & H. We then went to dinner and went to the market to get some drinks and snacks. Wednesday morning, we signed the agreement to adopt (or whatever it is called) and gave him his name: Bryson Aleksandr. At 3p, we headed off to the orphanage for our last visit. This visit was the best. We spent 2 hours with him and we had so much fun. He is really not that interested in toys, but we will change that. He is teething and enjoyed chewing on the toy cell phone we brought him. He enjoyed us building things with the blocks so he could knock them over. His favorite color appears to be yellow. He would only grab for the yellow blocks and stacking cups. He is only able to take a few steps while holding our hands. He would hold Shane's hands so tight while he walked that the top of his tiny fingers would turn white. We were able to bring him to his room that night. It was so hard to leave him there. It took me a few days to realize that he was meant to be my son and I fell in love with him all over again. I am a little biased, but he is the most adorable little boy ever. He has the most beautiful big brown eyes and extremely long eyelashes. I can't begin to tell you how many times we looked at his pictures in the hotel room and on the planes. I must say, he is quite the little picture taker. Most times he would look right at the camera when I was taking his picture.

Thursday morning we were to meet in the lobby of the hotel and we headed to the airport. We landed back in Moscow around 9:30a. We originally had a 10a appointment for our 8 doctor medical, but we we met up with one of our coordinators, she said the clinic was closed that day. She was able to get us a 4p appointment at another clinic. By the time we dropped T & H off at the international airport, drove to the Marriott and checked in, it was already noon. We had lunch and laid down for about an hour, then it was off to the doctors. The only thing I can say about the 8 doctor medical: interesting. It took almost 3 hours and we didn't get back till around 8p. We had planned to sight see that day, but because of the later doctor appointment, we didn't get to.

We did get to see snow for the first time. I can't begin to tell you how cold it was in Novo. We have never really been out of the country, so this trip was a little bit of a culture shock. Russia is very different than the US and you have to just embrace it and go with the flo. Trust me though, that is not always easy to do.

We are not really sure how long it will be in between trips. She said she will do her best to try and get us in before Christmas, but we really don't know. We will keep praying and crossing our fingers. That would be the best Christmas gift ever. If I thought waiting for a referral was hard, waiting to see him again will be even harder.

We're back

First let me apologize for not updating the blog while we were in Russia, but we never had internet service and the one time we did, we were to exhausted to use it. Where do I begin? This was an exhausting trip to say the least. We left Florida on Saturday and arrived in Moscow Sunday around noon. We then found out that our flight to Novosibirsk was not leaving till 10:30p that night. We decided to check into a hotel near the airport to get a few hours of rest, to shower and to eat. We were also traveling with another family whom we met in the lobby of the hotel later that night. It was great traveling with another family. It helps make the trip much easier and we really enjoyed their company. This is their second adoption, so they were a little experienced which helped. Around 7:30p we were off to the domestic airport in Moscow and on our way to Novosibirsk. We landed in Novo around 5:30a on Monday where we were met by our driver and taken to the hotel. This was not the greatest hotel, but apparently the Sibir was overbooked. We had enough time to shower, change, get some breakfast, then it was off to the MOE. Needless to say, we were so exhausted. We barely got any sleep on the planes the previous two nights. Our baby was in a different orphanage than the other couple, so we got to visit him first. We arrived around 12:30p and talked with the pediatrician for about 20 minutes, then in walks a lady with Bryson in her arms. Shane took him while I finished writing notes, then we were led into the music room. This room was very stuffy and bright, but we sat down on the rug and started playing. The first day was rough for me. I had completely fallen in love and bonded with his referral picture. I had such high expectations that he would walk in the room and I would feel those same emotions, but I didn't which was very upsetting. I didn't feel like I bonded or connected with him. Shane adored him and he favored Shane as well. We played for about 30 minutes when he started getting hungry. They took him and fed him, changed him into something cooler and brought him back to us. By now he was ready for a nap, so we only played with him for about 20 minutes more. On the ride back to the hotel, I was having so many mixed emotions. I was really upset over the whole situation. The whole experience felt emotionally draining. When we got back to the hotel, we were so exhausted and stresses so we laid down. We woke up later that night and called both of our mothers. They were really great in helping me calm down. After the phone conversations, we went back to bed and didn't wake up till 6a on Tuesday.

T & H (the other couple), knocked on door that morning to see how our first visit went. I was explaining to them how I felt and they said that was normal. It made me feel a little better to hear that. We all decided to go get some breakfast. After breakfast, we went to the coffee shop that was across from our hotel to kill some time since they were not leaving till 12:30p and we were not leaving till 3p. I have a funny story about juice at this coffee shop. When we were in there on Monday morning, we ordered apple juice and the girl understood and brought us apple juice. When we were in here Tuesday, we asked for apple juice again (a different girl this time). I guess she didn't really understand us because she put green apples in a blender and made it into juice. Wow was it bitter. Needless to say, we never ordered apple juice here again. After breakfast, Shane and I went back to our room and talked more about Monday's visit. I agreed that I would go there with a positive and optimistic attitude. When we got to the orphanage, they put us in a different room which looked to be a play room and thankfully it was much cooler in this room. We visited with him for about 1 1/2 hours and the visit went much better today. I guess I just needed some sleep and to clear my head. By the end of the visit, we knew he was ours.

Friday, November 9, 2007

We are outta here

We are outta here in the morning. It will be a long two days of traveling. We are hoping to update our blog while we are there. I'm starting to get excited, but not looking forward to all the planes we will be on. This will be our last post because I really have to finish packing. Wish us luck!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The weather

Sorry for the lacking of posting over the past week, but we have been pretty busy. I didn't want to do a countdown this time because I didn't want to jinx this trip. I can't believe we leave in 2 days. We have done all the last minute shopping, but I haven't begun to pack yet. The nerves are starting to set in a little. We are also freaking out about the weather in Novosibirsk while we are there. I know it will be very warm indoors, but outside is a whole different story. We are true Floridians. We have never seen snow. Though Shane doesn't mind the cold (Florida cold that is), I am always cold! Here is the forecasted weather for Novo:
Sun 11/11 (we will be in Moscow) - PM snow showers - high 29/low 28
Mon 11/12 - partly cloudy - high 17/low 7
Tues 11/12 - mostly cloudy - high 18/low 7
Wed 11/13 - snow shower - high 24/low 7
Thurs 11/15 - scattered snow showers - high 24/low 17
Fri 11/16 (we will be in Moscow) - rain/snow - high 32/low 27

Thursday, November 1, 2007

New travel dates

We received new travel dates. We are keeping our fingers crossed that they don't get changed (again). We will be leaving Florida on Saturday 11/10 and come back on Friday 11/16.

I hope everyone had a great Halloween!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Today is a special day

Dear Bryson,

Today is a special day. It's your first birthday. We are very sad that we did not get the opportunity to meet you before you turned one. We hope we get to see you VERY SOON. We often wonder how much you've changed (since your referral picture is at least 6 months old). You are a very lucky little boy because you are already loved so much. Not just by your mommy & daddy, but also by your grandparents, great grandparents, aunt, uncles, cousins. It is crazy to think that we have fallen completely in love with you just from a picture, but we have. We think of you every day and look at your picture a million times. We dream about all the things we are going to do with you and all the places we will take you. In our hearts, you are perfect and we can't wait for the moment we get to hold you in our arms. Take care little man. We will be there soon (hopefully). HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY BRYSON.

Daddy & Mommy

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bad news

No we didn't lose our referral, but we won't be traveling as expected on Saturday. To sum it up without going into detail, the paperwork is not in order for us to travel yet. Russia will be issuing us new travel dates shortly. We will still be traveling to see our little man, just not yet. I am pretty upset about it. I had everything planned and ready to go for Saturday. We have already fallen in love with his picture, we were ready to visit him this coming week. I will let you know once we hear about our new travel dates.

3 days

Just in case anyone will be wondering what time it will be in Russia while we are there. Moscow, is 8 hours ahead of us (in Florida) and Novosibirsk is 11 hours ahead of us.

Monday, October 15, 2007

5 days

For our local family and friends: The cost of this adoption is expensive. Since the beginning of the year, we have been slowly cleaning out things around our house and now have boxes in various rooms with these items. We are going to have a yard sale and hope to make some money to be used towards this adoption. We will probably have it a few weeks after we get back from our 1st trip. I will let everyone know the dates for sure once we decide. What we ask of you, is if you have anything you are getting rid of and would like to donate to our yard sale, we would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

6 days

Like Amy, I figured I would also post our itinerary.

Sat 10/20- leave U.S.
Sun 10/21- arrive in Moscow, fly to Novosibirsk that afternoon
Mon 10/22 - Wed 10/24- visit with our little man
Thurs 10/25- fly back to Moscow, have doctor exam done, go sightseeing (hopefully)
Fri 10/26- Fly home

After talking with Amy, we discovered we are on the same flight from JFK to Moscow. It will be nice to be to talk with someone else that is in this process as well. We got some shopping done yesterday and will finish up the rest today. I haven't even begun to pack.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

7 days

We are definitely going to use Alexander as the middle name, but we have been trying to decide whether we should use Alexander (the American spelling) or Aleksandr (the Russian spelling). What are your thoughts?

Friday, October 12, 2007

8 days

A lot of family and friends have been asking if we get to bring him home with us on this trip. Unfortunately we don't. Russia requires two trips. The first is to meet him. The second is to go to court and bring him home.

flight to Moscow - $2200
hotel for 1 night in Moscow - $700
the excitement we feel right now - PRICELESS

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Our travel dates

We got our travel dates last night. We are leaving Florida on 10/20 and will return on 10/26. I can't tell you how much I am starting to freak out. There is so much to do. I don't even know where to begin. Do you?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

His name

If you can't tell by the new ticker we added above, we have decided on his name. We choose not to use his given name because we didn't care for it and the name we had already picked out sounded so much better.
Bryson Alexander

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

We got the call

And it totally took us by surprise, but I can't tell you how excited we are. He is perfect. He will be one this month. He has dark hair and dark eyes. Our agency said we will be traveling sometime this month. The range of emotions you feel once you get that call is indescribable. We are so excited and in love already. We spent all afternoon telling our families about him and they couldn't be happier. Now there is so much to do while we wait for those travel dates!

Friday, October 5, 2007

We are #2

After speaking with our agency awhile back, we had decided to register our dossier in the region of Novosibirsk. They felt that would bring us a quicker referral than waiting in "the pool." We just found out yesterday that we are number 2 in this region for our agency. We are excited about being so close and we are also excited about this region. We love what we have learned so far. A little bit about Novosibirsk:

"Novosibirsk is Russia's third largest city (after Moscow and Saint Petersburg) and the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast. It is also the largest city in Siberia and the administrative center of Siberian Federal District, in the southwest of which it is located.

Industries include machine manufacturing and metallurgy. It is the homes of one of Novosibirsk State University, a number of institutes and a scientific research center. Novosibirsk boasts opera and ballet companies, several theaters, museums, and art galleries. The city is widely considered to be the cultural center of Siberia.

The climate is sharply continental, with severely cold and snowy winters, and hot and dry summers. Temperatures in summer range from 20 to 25C (75F), in winter -18 to -20C, but can reach -40C (-40F) in winter and 35-40C (100F) in summer. The difference between the highest and the lowest temperature is 88C (158F). Most of the time the weather is sunny, with an average of 2880 hours of sunshine per year."

If we would not have lost our first referral, we would have already traveled on our first trip, so we hope to hear something in the next few weeks. It appears that things have slowed down in Russia and referrals are not coming at a fast pace, so I pray things start to pick up soon. There are many children waiting for their forever families.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Another one?

I got another gift from my SBP. I was so surprised when I got the package in the mail. Thanks Allison. You didn't have to send me another gift, but it was very much appreciated and I can't wait to see our little one in the ducky towel. He will look so cute! I have enjoyed you being my SBP and the gifts and cards have been wonderful. Thanks so much! I wish you the best with the journey to your little girl and I have enjoyed following it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A little tease...

For those of you who don't know, we are doing the nursery in a surfing theme. I have found some really cute things on ebay for his room. We are not done with the nursery yet, but until then, I will post some a few pics:

I found this cute little surfer van on ebay. We plan to put it on a shelf on the wall.

I also found this toy box on ebay that matches the colors in his room.
My baby brother turned 18 last Tuesday. He's growing up and it makes me sad. Where did time go? We are still waiting and waiting. Our agency said he hopes to hear something soon. We hope too!

Friday, August 31, 2007

A few updates

We started working on the nursery this week. I was so excited to work on it. Shane said he will be glad when it's done (MEN!). We have painted, put the chair rail up and assembled the furniture. It's slowly coming together. I won't be posting pics till we are completely done (sorry). I got a little tykes toy box on ebay that matches the colors in his room. It was just delivered a few minutes ago and it is cute!

He now has some clothes in his closet and dresser. My order from Kohls came in (most of it did anyways). It will be easier when I know what size he wears, but in the meantime, I have bought for 12-24 months. Shane asked me how much clothes does a baby need. I guess he forgot who he was talking to and what my favorite thing to do is - SHOP! I will just buy stuff and sneak it in his closet and hope he doesn't notice.

I think we have almost decided on a first name. We are 90% sure we are going with this name. It has been a long road to come to this. Naturally, every name I liked he didn't and vice versus. We aren't sharing it...yet.

We registered for gifts, sorta. For some crazy reason, I took Shane and his friend with me and let's just say, I will have to go back and redo most of it. He thinks he needs to touch and try EVERYTHING out. Anyone elses husband like this?!?

There is no news on the referral front. We are patiently (or impatiently) waiting. Our agency said we should hopefully hear something in the next few weeks, so we will see.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Thank you SBP

I love the bib. I have been eyeing that one, just haven't bought it yet. Thank you so much!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I love to shop

I really love to shop and though we shouldn't really be spending money right now, I couldn't resit a good deal. We are 90% sure we will be getting a boy and at this point, he only has about 4 outfits. I have been waiting to buy things unless I find really good deals. This morning I happened to look in the clearance section at and found a ton of cute pieces for boys for around $2-$3 each. Plus if you spend $75 or more, it's free shipping. I called Kohls to make sure there wasn't a certain amount of time you had to return things and they said no as long as you have the receipt. I am not trying to give them a plug or anything. I am just happy that I was able to buy 65 things for $200. Not bad if you ask me. Wish I could find deals like that for me.

And SBP, I got your card in the mail today. Thank you. It did bring a smile to my face. The card explains my life right now.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Bad news

It turns out our referral will not work out for us. The availability of the child turned out to be incorrect. Please don't ask any more questions as to why or what does that mean, we will just leave it at that. Of course this is hard because we are back to just waiting. Thankfully we had received no information about this child yet (not even a picture), so we had not attached to him. We will keep our fingers and toes crossed that a new referral is just around the corner.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Boy is that a lot of paperwork

For those of you that have no idea how much paperwork is involved in a dossier, here is a picture of ours:

I was going through some pictures I had and came across this one. I forgot I had taken it. All the pages look the same because that is the apostille page stapled to each of our documents. Everyone of those lovely pages cost us $10 each. You are looking at a lot of money laid out on our pool table.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My trip to NY and I HATE DELTA

I had a great time in NY. It was much needed girl time and I was able to see one of my best friends whom I haven't seen in a few years. I had been promising her since our freshman year in college that I would come visit NY, so the trip was much overdue. It is very different up there. I didn't get to see any broadway shows or shop too much. I was on a budget because of this adoption. We walked so much that we were exhausted by the end.

The Brooklyn Bridge

Rockefeller Center

The trip home on the otherhand was TERRIBLE. On Sunday, the weather around the country was bad. I showed up at 2:30p for my 3:45p flight. At that point they had cancelled 80% of the flights and delayed the rest. They originally said we would fly out at 9p. So I sat at my gate for a long time and only got up once to go to the bathroom. Well about 5:50p I decided to check the board to see if it said anything new and it said my flight was currently boarding at a different gate, so I ran over there. When I got there, there were 3 people in front of me that she let on, then she left for a minute. When she came back, I tried giving her my ticket and she said the plane weighed to much so they wouldn't let me on. I was so mad, I asked to speak to a manager. From the moment he came over, he was a complete asshole to me. He swears he called my name over and over and told me I must have not been paying attention. Trust me, I paid attention. Why on earth would I intentionally miss my flight. He walked away with no sorry or other suggestions. So I went back to the girl and asked if there were anymore flights to Tampa. She booked me on a flight at 8p that had a connection in Atlanta. We didn't end up getting out of NY till 9p. We landed in ATL about 10:50p and had to sit on the runway for 30 mins because they didn't have a gate ready. When I got off, I ran to the next gate and they told me (and others) I couldn't get on because I didn't get there quick enough and they filled the plane with standby's. That was the last flight out that night. Needless to say I was so upset. This meant I had to sleep in the airport by myself. They were lots of others who got stuck there over night though. They rebooked me for the only flight they had available on Monday, which was at 8:30p. This was insane. So I went back up and asked if they had anything flying into Orlando earlier than that and I got a 11:30a flight. I barely got any sleep that night. I got into Orlando at 1p, Shane picked me up, then we had to drive to the Tampa airport to get my luggage. I finally got home about 4p, went straight to bed and didn't wake up till Tuesday morning. Needless to say, I don't think I will ever fly Delta again. I have never met so many rude people. I plan on writing them a nasty letter.

I haven't heard anymore about the referral. I am trying to patiently wait and it's not easy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I'm outta here

I leave for New York first thing in the morning and I have a ton to do still (including packing). River Ranch was fun despite the rain. I will post more next week. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Friday, July 20, 2007

This weekend

Well, we are out of here shortly for the weekend. Last year at the Strawberry Festival we bought a vacation package for River Ranch. Little did we know, that we had to attend a timeshare tour. They did not tell us this part till we got our information in the mail. We couldn't get our money back, so we decided to suck it up and make reservations. I called back in March and was not able to get a reservation till July, so this is the weekend we go. River Ranch is like a dude ranch resort located here in Florida. They have cabins, hotel, airboat ride, buggy ride, horseback riding, rodeo, pool, saloon, fishing, etc. My parents used to bring us there all the time when we were kids. Our package is for 4 people, so we have decided to bring my brother and sister with us. Those who are new to our blog, my brother and sister are much younger (17 & 13). They mean the world to us and we are very close with them. They spend most weekends at our house. They are very excited to become an uncle and aunt, but I think it's going to be an adjustment for them to not get 100% of our attention once the baby is here. So this is like a little vacation with them before the craziness begins. I have lots of great memories of River Ranch from when I was a child so I hope it is still just as great. We would like to bring our child there in the future, like my parents did with us.

There has been no word yet on the adoption front. Still don't have medical information. With going out of town this weekend, then I am going to New York next Thursday-Sunday, so I haven't had a ton of time to think about (okay I'm lying). I figured I would give my agency a call after I get back from NY next week.

The baby's bed set came in and I love it! It looks even better than it did in the picture. We also ordered a dresser and changing table last week. It should be delivered next week sometime. I have a few things I want hubby to finish up around the house before we start on the nursery. I can't wait!

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Guess what I got in the mail today

A package from my SBP. It took me by surprise as I was just expecting bills as usual. I was very excited to open it. In it was:
  • 'who loves baby' album. It is a soft album that you can put pictures in it for the baby. I have been looking everywhere for one of these, so THANK YOU. We will put pictures of us in it and leave it at the orphanage so our little can look at it and remember us.
  • Baby Einstein lullaby CD. I know he will enjoy listening to this.
  • A toy that has 9 links to take off and put back on or link together
  • A very sweet card

Thank you SBP. You made my day.

For family and friends who are wondering what the hell SBP means, it is Secret Blog Pal. A group of 12 of us bloggers each have a secret pal and over the course of 2 months, we will send them 1-2 packages and a couple encouraging cards.

Monday, July 16, 2007

I've been tagged

I was tagged by Christen.

4 new things I did in the last 4 years:
  1. Got married in February 2003
  2. We bought a house in April 2004
  3. Decided to start TTC, went through infertility treatments & then finally decided to adopt
  4. Started working from home

4 new things I hope to do in the next 4 years:

  2. Travel to Ireland
  3. Decide about going back to school and for what
  4. Maybe adopt another baby (I know I'm getting ahead of myself, wishful thinking!)


When I first started this blog, it was intended for family and friends only. Over the past several weeks, I have come across many other bloggers who are in the process of adopting from Russia or have already completed an adoption. They have shared their blogs with me, so I felt it was only fair, to share ours with them. The great thing about these ladies, is they know exactly what we are going through and feeling. It's nice to meet others and share our stories and experiences with them. Not that our family and friends aren't supportive, but these ladies and their blogs have been a great help and a great source for information.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

We found bedding

We finally found bedding for the nursery that we both agreed on and liked. It is Aloha Baby by Lambs & Ivy. I bought it last night on ebay for about $40 cheaper than it is going for in the online stores. I think we might have found some furniture also, but I want to look around a little more before I order it. I can't wait to start working on the nursery. I have waited for over 3 years to do this!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Big News

We received a possible referral for a little boy. We got the call last week and it totally took us by surprise. We have been debating whether or not to tell others since it's not for sure yet. He doesn't come off the database till September, so we wouldn't be able to travel till then to meet him. Once we agreed to register our dossier in this region (which we agreed), we will receive medical information and a photo. My agency is just not sure when we will receive this information. Hopefully we receive it soon, so that we can have it checked out by an IA doctor and make the final decision on whether or not to travel and meet him. All we know right now is it is a boy and he will turn 1 sometime in September. That is a little older than we were hoping for, but we are getting used to the idea.

If it all works out, we will travel in September and that is not far away. There is so much to do!

Our dossier is finished

Well, our dossier is finally done. Thank god! During lunch, I am going to Fed Ex to ship it to our adoption agency. Hopefully when they receive it, they don't find any mistakes. My luck they will. We are now in the waiting stages. Now if only our I171-H would hurry and come.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Great article

I found a great article on one of the many message boards I go to. It made me cry because I can relate to her in so many ways.

It's about moving from infertility treatments to adoption. She said it best "I'd forgotten the most important thing: I wanted to be a mother more than I wanted to give birth. At the end of this long road, there will be a child waiting for us - the child we are meant to have."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Can't wait to shop

Even though I can't wait to shop for anything for the baby, there are a few things I am really looking forward to buying. I have found some really cute things on some adoption online stores.

These would be for me:

These would be for the baby. How cute are they?

These would be for the grandma's & aunt:

And here are some other things that are really cute:

Friday, June 15, 2007

Almost done with the dossier

Well, I can honestly say, we are almost done with the dossier. We have visited the psychologist, doctor, two different police stations, CPA and Property Appraiser's office. We have filled out and got all the paperwork needed. We also received our passports in only 3 weeks (we had to expedite them though). On 6/6, I sent out the first batch of paperwork to the secretary of the state (SOS) to be apostilled. Hopefully we will receive them back sometime next week, but I know they are backed up. We are going to my aunt's tomorrow night to have a ton of papers notarized, then I will send them out on Monday to the SOS to be apostilled. Our home study is done, typed up and in the mail to us. Once I receive that along with some of the other papers needed from them for the dossier, I will send the third and final batch of papers to be apostilled. Our home study agency will also be sending our written home study to the USCIS, then it will be several weeks (or months) before we get their approval. We should be paper ready (term used in the adoption world) in a few weeks. I almost don't know what to do with myself. Getting everything ready for the dossier kept me busy.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Things are slowly coming along...

and I am exhausted! I can't even begin to tell you how busy this dossier is keeping me. I will give you a little recap of all the running around and calling around I have done. On 5/17, I went down to the Tampa Police Department to get a local police letter done. Our agency said our place of birth needed to be included in this letter. Well, of course the police department refused to do that. So, this past week I called the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department and pleaded with the lady there till finally she agreed to add it in their letter. We went on Friday to get that done. On 5/22, we went to have medical exams done (again). Only this time there was much more our doctor had to fill out and write. Thankfully, my wonderful Aunt Candy drove all the way over to our doctors to notarize these forms. And did I mention that both the medical form and local police letter will expire after 3 months. So, we will be getting those done again soon. After calling many different psychologists and psychiatrists, we were finally able to find someone to see us and evaluate us (we have an appointment on Monday 6/4). There is nothing certain that they have to do, but make sure we are sane enough to raise an adopted child and write a letter saying so. As soon as most of them heard the word adoption, they said they couldn't help us. I had to find a CPA to verify our assets and that was also quite a task trying to find one to see us. Luckily my mom called the CPA they use to do the books and her work and she was more than willing to help. She will be doing this for us on Thursday. Thursday night we drove down to Davie because we had an 8a appointment to get fingerprinted. It was a long 4 hours there Thursday night, 10 mins at the USCIS office on Friday and a long 4 hours back. Now all the USCIS needs is a copy of our written home study (which should hopefully be done in a week). I have heard it takes them anywhere from 2-6 weeks to approve (at least we hope they will approve us). Are you lost yet at all we have had to do? Well that's not all. We also had to get 6 certified copies of our marriage certificate and certified copies of our house deed. Thankfully my friend Sam works at the clerk of courts (?) office and was able to get all that for us. We still have to get a property verification letter from the appraiser's office and are not having any luck with that so far. I have been told by others that they had the hardest time getting this letter. I have learned through this that there are quite a lot of rude people out there at these businesses I have called. It seems as soon as they hear adoption, they can't help you. It's quite frustrating! We have to compile a set of pictures of: every side of our house (done), every room in our house (done), 3 different angles of babies room and a minimum of 12 pictures of us and family. I'm still working on that. There is also tons of paperwork we have to fill out and get notarized. We are also waiting on our passports to get here since copies of those are needed for our dossier. We paid extra to have them expedited, so hopefully they will be here in the next few weeks. Then we have to send EVERYTHING to the Secretary of State (in Florida) to appostile each document (at $10 each). It's amazing everything you have to go through and get to adopt. Most people have no idea. I know in the end it will all be worth it, but for now it's exhausting and sometimes frustrating. At least it keeps me busy.

We have been looking at dressers and bed sets for the nursery lately. It's funny that we have waited for 3 years to be able to pick out and buy these things, but yet we can't seem to decide on any. We change our minds on an daily basis. It's such a hard decision.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Been awhile

I haven't posted in awhile. We signed a contract with our adoption agency on 5/7. Our last home study visit was last week and it went well. I spoke with our social worker today and she received the last of the needed documents and hopes to be able to type up a rough draft of the home study this weekend. One of big approvals we need is from the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services). That is basically the approval to bring an orphan into the US to reside. One of the things we have to do for it is be fingerprinted by the INS. We received an appointment of 7/17 (that was the earliest appointment available in Tampa). I contacted the Tampa USCIS office and they were able to get us an appointment in Davie on 6/1, so we will be traveling over there next week. We received our dossier package last week. A dossier is a package of documents that are required by Russia. Once we have gathered them all, had them notarized and appostilled, we will send them back to our adoption agency and they will have them sent over to Russia to be translated. For this, we had to get local police checks done and medical exams done (again). We still have to see a psychiatrist or psychologist and I have to find a CPA (any know one) to meet with and go over our assets. I spoke with the director of our adoption agency and we are officially on the waiting list. We are number 9 (although there are many different factors involved). I told him we would take either sex and he said he would definitely be a boy. So I guess we can start planning for that. I have always wanted a girl, but I will take whichever they send my way. I'm actually starting to get used the idea of having a boy. He said it is possible we could have a referral in July, but it will more likely be the end of September. Russia closes for vacation from August-Mid September. I asked him if he believes we could be home with the child by Christmas and he said that is VERY possible, so I will cross my fingers and toes. Russia is a very unpredictable country to say the least, so you never know.

For anyone that might be interested, this Sunday night (5/27) Dateline will be running a segment called "From Russia with Love" at 7pm. It's about a family that adopted twins from Russia.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Questions & Answers

A lot of people have asked questions about Russia or the adoption process. I figured I would answers some of those questions in this blog. First, let me say that the process to adoption is a very involved and lengthy process, especially international adoption. Adoption itself has changed drastically over the years and continues to change.

Why did you choose to adopt internationally instead of domestically?

We did look into domestic, but it just didn't feel right in our hearts. There is a great deal of risk with domestic adoption. With foster to adopt, the social worker told us that Florida will give the birthparents every chance possible to get their kids back, even if it is not in the best interest of the child. Even if the parent(s) were in jail for 5 years, the child will sit in foster care till they get out. She said that a child could be in our home for 2-3 years before we might have the possibility of adopting them. That is heartache and a chance we didn't want to take. The only other option for domestic adoption is to go through a birthmother. You go through an adoption agency or adoption lawyer who finds a birthmother for you. You have to "sell yourself" to her along with many other families. You might do this by video, scrapbook, letter or meeting her. The expectant wait for a caucasian child is 1-2 years. We didn't like the idea of selling ourselves to her, then hope that she picks up out of the other 50 or so couples. In addition, the United States has moved towards open adoptions. This could mean just letters and pictures quarterly/annually or it could mean visits with her. We don't necessarily like the idea of this. The birthmother usually gets to decide how "open" the adoption is and what she wants. If we don't agree to this, she will go find another couple that will. It is also a pretty expensive process, around $25,000+/-. Included in that is birthmother expenses. Florida requires you to offer up to $5,000 for use of birthmother expenses (food, rent, utilities, clothes). In addition to that, the birthmother cannot sign the release form till 48 hours after giving birth. That is two days that she has to change her mind. If she changes her mind, we lose all the money we gave to her for expenses in addition to most of the agency/lawyer fees. She is not obligated to pay anything back to us, Florida considers it "gratuities." Some other states require you to pay more than $5,000 for birthmother expenses, so that might make the price more if we contract with a birthmother in another state. Out of the 4 situations we personally know of from friends or family, in all 4 cases, the birthmother changed her mind. We decided it was too much of a risk to take.

Why did you choose to adopt from Russia?

We wanted a caucasian child, which rules out most other countries. Countries like Australia, Ireland, Switzerland do not have many children available for adoption nor do they allow out of country adoptions. Russia is the most popular country to adopt from and they have thousands of children in the hundreds of orphanages in their country. Russia also has a very rich history that we look forward to sharing with the child. We want them to be proud of being Russian. We have considered giving them a Russian name (some of them are a little strange though). We have also thought about celebrating a Russian holiday with them every year (we haven't decided which one yet). We both agreed that we will celebrate "Gotcha Day." It is the term used to classify the day the Russian court approved you to adopt them. That way every year, we can celebrate the day we became a family. We also wanted a closed adoption and Russia does not believe in open adoptions like the US does. The rights of the parents of these children have already been removed. We will not know who their birthparents are and as a result, never have to worry about a birthparent popping up one day. This can be both a positive and a negative thing because the child will never be able to seek out their birthparents.

How much will the process cost?

We don't have any idea because there are many different factors involved. We probably won't know the total till after its all done. It will likely cost between $30,000-$35,000. We just look at it as if we are buying a car since that is the average price of a new car these days.

How does the process work?

As I said before, it is a very lengthy and involved process. Everyone in the world has to approve it. You start by having a homestudy done. This involves interviews, gathering of documents, looking around the home, background checks. We have to find an adoption agency that works in Russia and is well respected and send them an application. We did this and found out last week that they accepted it. In the meantime, we had to file form I-600A which is an application for advance processing of orphan petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. They will require us to be fingerprinted. Once they receive our completed homestudy (which should be done in about a month), they will either approve us to go to Russia or deny us. The adoption agency is sending us a contract to sign with them and a dossier package. A dossier is a gathering of documents such as marriage/birth certificates, medical reports, house deed, pictures, police reports, homestudy and much more. All these documents have to be notarized, certified and appostilized. This will be very fun trying to get all that done! It is also time consuming, so I am anxiously waiting on the package so I can get started. Once our dossier is completed, it is translated to Russian and sent to them. The Russian data bank has to approve it. Once they do, they will match us with a child that is available. Then our adoption agency will let us know they have a referral and give us the available medical history and a photo (if available of that child). Then we either decide to travel to see that child or turn down the referral. If we decide to travel, they will give us travel dates which will be several weeks away. Russia requires two trips. The first is to travel to meet the child and "accept" the referral. Then we would come back home for 1-2 months while more paperwork is processed. Then the second trip is to go to court and bring the child home. The judge is the final person to approve the adoption and the most crucial.

Are the children healthy?

There are diseases and infections that are mostly known to Russia. Because of this, we have to find a doctor that specializes in international children and one that knows Russia's terminology. When we are sent the referral and given the medical history, we will give it to the doctor to review and let us know of anything that might be bad. Also, after we visit the child on the 1st trip, we should video them and have the doctor review this as well when we return. Children in orphanages are sometimes raised different than children who are not and we might have a few obstacles to tackle because of it.

What age and sex will the child be?

There are many children living in orphanages in Russia. It is a country that has great poverty and most people give up their children because they cannot afford them. The average monthly salary of a Russian is $20 a month. Children have to sit in the Russian data bank (a database for children in orphanages) for at least 6 months before they are considered an orphan and are available for adoption. They sit in this "bank" for that period to allow Russians the opportunity to adopt them. Most times it does not happen though. Russians are not very open to adoption. The men cannot accept raising another man's child. If a couple does decide to adopt, they go through great lengths to hide their adoption. They will usually fake a pregnancy and never tell the child they were adopted. The child will be at least 8 months or older by the time we travel for the first trip and will be about 1 or older when we bring them home. We requested either sex. We would prefer a girl, but there is usually a much longer wait (about 8-12 months longer) for a girl because there are mostly boys in the orphanage. I am not sure why that is but I have heard two different things. (1) Russians prefer to keep girls and give up their boys. (2) They feel that when they are elderly, their girls will most likely for them and their boys will not. We will take which ever they match with us first.

What is the timeline?

There is no concrete timeline because many different factors are involved (how long it takes the homestudy, INS and the Russian data bank to approve, how quickly paperwork is done and sent over). I can do everything on my end as quickly as possible, but the rest is out of my hands. If all goes well and quickly, it is very possible we could have our child home by Christmas (we can hope at least).

I have to watch what I say about Russia in my blogs and make sure that it is nothing that could "ruin" the reputation of their country. Apparently a couple said some bad things about Russia and some of their officials somehow read it and they banned that couple from ever adopting in their country. I hope this answers some questions. If you ever have free time, there are a few other blogs that I frequent (and learn a lot from) about others who have adopted from Russia. If nothing else, I like to check their blogs for pictures of their beautiful kids:

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

First homestudy visit

We had our first homestudy visit last night and I think it went great. She was super nice and was only here for about 1 1/2 hrs. She asked us questions about family, friends, our relationship, how we were raised, discipline methods, why we are adopting. I was afraid she was going to ask really personal questions, but she really didn't. It was nothing compared to what they wanted to know when we were going to foster. She looked around the house and gave us a list of documents we need to get. She will visit once more in two weeks.

Friday, April 27, 2007


The carpet is laid and it looks great. It took them two days to lay it though. I was ready for them to be done so I could have my house back.

We signed with a home study agency. We have our first visit Tuesday. That is soon, but we are anxious and nervous because she will be here for a few hours. We have some things to do around the house though to get ready. Everyone has told me not to make our house perfect because then they will not be able to see how a child could live here. We at least have to clean and move the rest of the stuff upstairs. She will look around the house, but we she mostly comes to talk to us. She will also be giving us a page of all the documents we need to get for the next visit. Sounds like I will have a lot to do, but that is okay because staying busy keeps me distracted.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A different path

Are you wondering how the MAPP classes went? Well, they didn't go as we would have hoped. We were at the class all day on Saturday and we left there pretty discouraged and upset. I won't go into lengthy detail as to why, but we just decided its not for us. Being that we basically just want to adopt and not to "foster", it's not the best situation to put ourselves in. We think it will result in too much heartache. So we came home after the class and talked and I stayed up till 2am that night researching everything possible with adoption. Then we decided that we are going to take a different path with this. We have decided to adopt internationally from Russia. We both agreed on this and we are once again excited because we are moving towards something again. This will be a very consuming process as all international adoptions are, but it will keep us busy. We will mail out the application for the homestudy tomorrow and hopefully have decided on an agency by the end of the weekend. We are VERY ready for this new journey!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Past few days

The past few days I have been very frustrated. I think the excitement has left for awhile. Now that the classes start tomorrow, it's all starting to sink in. I am just frustrated that we have to go through all this. We got a letter of 15 things we need to have ready before the homestudy. Once they start the homestudy, it will be a minimum of 90 days before we will be licensed. That means another summer without a baby. One of the things we have to do is fill out a profile application for each of us. We each have to fill out 16 pages of every kind of question you can imagine. An example is "Who taught you about sex and how?" Please tell me how that is going to reflect the way I will raise and love a child. Another question, "Are you and your spouse sexually compatible?" That really is none of their business. It's not like that is something we will sit and talk with our kids about. I just feel like the whole thing is an invasion of privacy. I understand them wanting to make sure we are not crazy or will hurt these children, but there has to be a limit. Everyone who gets pregnant does not have to go through all this. If they did, about 40% of the world would not be qualified to have a baby. It's like they are judging us on everything you do and we find ourselves being paranoid about EVERYTHING.

The whole adoption or foster/adoption industry is bullshit most of the time. They break us down (as if we weren't already). The costs for everything are ridiculous. How are average people supposed to afford it all. And most time they don't put the needs of the children first. If they did, there wouldn't be so many children out there in the system. I feel like no matter what path we go down, there are going to be roadblocks and bumps the whole way. Maybe we were sent down this path for a reason, but everyday I ask what that reason is. I often wonder if I have done something in my past to have deserved this, but I can't come up with anything that should result in this type of punishment.

I just wish others would realize what a blessing and miracle it is to be able to have a child. We know several friends and family who completely take their children for granted and only dote on them when it's convenient. Situations like this are starting to affect me more now then ever. They have experienced things we will never get the chance to do. We will never know what it's like to feel the baby kick, to see the baby move on the sonogram, to hear the heartbeat, the anticipation of finding out the sex, to hear that first scream when you give birth, to hold that baby for the very first time. And most importantly, we will never know what a child created by the both of us will look like. Who's nose, eyes, hair, personality, feet will he/she have?

MAPP Classes

They start tomorrow. I am anxious to start them and get them over with. But what on earth can they talk about for 26 hours. These are when we have classes:
Sat 4/14: 9a-4p
Mon 4/16: 6:30p-9:30p
Thurs 4/19: 6:30p-9:30p
Sat 4/21: 9a-4p
Mon 4/23: 6:30p-9:30p
Thurs 4/26: 6:30p-9:30p

It will be a busy few weeks. We will let you know how tomorrow goes.

P.S. We are finally having carpet laid Wednesday, but we still have so much to get done before then. I can't wait.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Most people don't know what to say to people who are in our situation, but I found this on another blog and had to agree with her. I was actually able to laugh at it :

Top 10 things that have not helped us in having a baby...

10. Sex
9. Reading books about how to have a baby
8. Non-doubling HCG numbers
7. Crying, bargaining and begging
6. Pillows under butt
5. Being asked "When are you going to have a baby?"
4. Doctors
3. BBT (basal thermometer) or OPK (ovulation prediction kit)
2. Holding other people's babies

Monday, April 2, 2007

A few updates

1. Our MAPP classes have been pushed back a week. They will now start on April 14th. I am very anxious to start them since nothing else can get done till we take those classes.

2. We finally went to pick out carpet for the upstairs this past week and ordered it. Now we have to wait for it to come in before we can figure out a date to have it laid. I can't wait.

3. During my sister's spring break she stayed with us for half of it. I took her to Islands of Adventures and we had a great time. The weather wasn't so great, but it wasn't packed and the longest line we waited in was only 30 minutes.

4. The trim is finally done. I know Shane is glad. He has busted his butt on it and it has been a lot of work, but it looks great. The upstairs is starting to come together though there is still so much to do.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


We were both very nervous to let others read this blog, but everyone has been very supportive. We were unsure of the responses we'd get. It was very hard to create this blog and let others in on how we feel. Most people besides our mothers (and a few others) have no idea everything we have gone through and all the pain we have felt. We have done our best to put on a happy face and not let others know what we're going through. But I can only keep it bottled inside for so long. I've always been better with putting my thoughts and feelings in writing instead of saying them in person. I know a lot of people don't know what to say to us or when to ask us questions. What do you say something to a couple that is in our situation? There is not much you can really say. Just pray for us and support us. That means everything in the world to us. I have never been very religious, but for over 2 years now, I have prayed to god every single night to help us. I have to have faith that he is leading us down this path for a reason.

Friday, March 9, 2007

In the meantime...

Waiting is the hardest thing ever, so we decided to take on remodeling our upstairs. What were we thinking? It has been a huge undertaking. I know it will look amazing when it's done, it just doesn't ever feel like it will be done. When we bought the house almost 3 years ago, we wanted to replace the carpet because the previous owners didn't take care of it, but we put if off because we didn't want to spend the money. This year we decided to use our tax return and to pay for it. Then we thought about it and said if we are going to do that, then lets do everything we want to the upstairs before we have new carpet laid. The plans were to: take down popcorn ceiling and respray, paint all the ceilings, paint all the walls, replace bedroom doors, replace closet doors, replace blinds, replace all baseboards upstairs, find new bedding and curtains for master bedroom and guest bedroom and set up a nursery. First step was removing our horrible popcorn ceilings by scrapping them down and retexurizing them. Boy was this a messy job. Naturally Shane didn't like them, so we hired someone to spray them last Tuesday. They look really good now. Then this past Saturday and Sunday, we worked on the house for about 25 hours. We worked our butts off and were so exhausted. We painted all the ceilings upstairs, painted the nursery white, took down all the doors, closet doors and baseboards. We have been trying to work on it a little each day, but by the time we both get off work, we have little motivation to work on the house. Guess that means we will be working on it most of this weekend. We are hoping to have carpet laid by the end of March, so we have to get most of the work done before then. Shane and I have very different taste, but we were able to agree on all the wall colors and bed sets. I will post pics when it is all done. Some of you may be asking why are we setting up a nursery when we don't have a child yet. One of the requirements for fostering is to have a room set up for the child. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but setting up a nursery has been one of things we have been waiting years to do. Friends of ours were generous enough to give us their daughter's old crib. Now we just have to find a dresser that somewhat matches and pick out a neutral bedding set that can be used for either sex.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Our next step

I figured I am getting the hang of this blogging, so I will finish where I left off earlier. After much discussion, tears and research, we have decided to adopt. We have never been apposed to adopting. We just wish it could have been a choice instead of our only option. Our first choice was to adopt from Russia, but with costs of $30,000+, that was quickly ruled out. We did look into domestic infant adoption. The costs for that are still unbelievable, $15,000-$30,000. Even if we scraped together every dime we had and borrowed money from family, we would be completely broke in the end. I don't want to try and raise a child while in debt. How do all those families out there who adopt afford it? Plus, if the birthmother changes her mind, we have lost all the money we have given her for expenses and we lose some agency or lawyer expenses as well. We weren't sure if that is a chance we were willing to take. So we have decided to foster-to-adopt. We know that this is a VERY risky road, but it will virtually cost nothing in the end. My grandparents have fostered for over 25 years and while they have done an amazing thing, that is not what we want. We want to foster with the intend to adopt. We know nothing is guaranteed (especially with the Florida system), but we will request to only take children that are on the road or plan to be on the road to adoption. I plan on making this very clear to our social worker. We figured we will give this a try and if several children get yanked from our home, then we will reconsider this whole process.

We have found an agency to go through to get licensed and so far they have been really nice. We are only in the beginning stages and there is so much to do still. We have filled out our initial application packet and had our medical exams done. The next step is to take 26 hours of MAPP classes over the course of 2 weeks starting April 7th. For the first time in years, we are excited. I think it's because we finally are moving towards a goal and we are doing something instead of sitting in limbo. Though we are both very impatient and want this whole process done yesterday!

We are pretty particular in the type of child we want, so it may take awhile longer. We want a white child with no medical problems. We either want one child a year or younger or a sibling group of 2 with the oldest no older than 2. The sex of the child doesn't matter to us and we don't have to have a new baby. I know others disagree with us feeling that way, but we would actually prefer the child to be closer to 1. That is such a fun age. We are probably crazy to say we want two children at once. I don't even know how we will handle going from no children to 2 children. Shane seems to thing it won't be any harder to have 2 children instead of just 1. What does he know, he is an only child! But the way we look at it is that it has been such a roller coaster ride, that we are not sure if we want to go through this all again so why not get it done at once. And they would be biologically related which is a plus.

Our first post

After reading many different blogs about others' adoption experiences, I was inspired to start a blog of our own. It is a good way to keep everyone updated on what is going on with us. Though I can't guarantee how often I will post on here, but I will try. This blog will be from the both of us, though I doubt Shane will ever post on here. He doesn't even know I have created this. Guess I better tell him tonight.

Some of you know and some of you don't, but we are not able to have a child biologically. It has been a very long road and that was the outcome. Needless to say, it's not the outcome we were praying for. Please don't ask why we aren't able to, just trust me when I say we can't. It's a very personal situation that we don't want to share with the world. June of this year will have been 3 years since we started trying. It has been the most emotional, stressful time of our lives and I would never wish infertility on our worst enemies. It consumes your life and it takes a toll on yourself and your marriage. It's hard when everyone around you is having babies, most of which are unplanned. I'm not saying that they don't love their children, just sometimes it's unfair. It's hard to go to little kids birthday parties and I have completely banned going to baby showers. I know that might sound selfish, but that is the best way I know how to deal with it. I have asked god so many times what we did to deserve this. But there are no answers to why this is happening, it's just part of life. Lucky us! Some of you have asked why do we want children so bad. We have both always imagined being parents. We want to be able to give the same love and support that both of our parents have always given us. We can only hope to be as good of parents to our children as our parents were to us. If you can't tell by now, our mothers mean the world to us. Well, I am getting quite emotional as I am typing this, so I will post again tomorrow.