Next stop China

Next stop China
Next Stop China!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tomorrow at this time...

Tomorrow at this time we will be heading to the airport in Huntsville. Our friend from church is taking us on the church van. I have everything packed except for a few essentials that I will be using tonight and in the morning (like contact solution, makeup, etc.) After that we will be completely packed and ready. We have 9 large suitcases and 5 carry ons. We are hoping to check our bags at the Huntsville airport and not have to check them out at DC. We are spending the night in a hotel in DC, then leaving out at 12 noon on Thursday.
We will be arriving in ET at 0745 in the morning ( midnight our time) I am praying we get some sleep on the plane or I am sure we will all be grumpy.
Praying that our letter will be there and we will pass court the first time!
I am hoping to post on facebook at least while we are there. I might even post on here too if there is time.
These last few days have dragged along so slowly.
Only 24 hours though until we start our journey. I called our agency and apparently no one else will be travelling at this time for a court date. I didn't think to ask her if anyone was travelling for embassy dates while we will be there or not. I didn't get specific.
Oh, and someone mailed us $100 worth of VISA prepaid cards in the mail yesterday. They didn't sign their names, so if you read this blog... Thanks so much!
So grateful for all the money we get to assist with our adoption.
If you read my post yesterday, I am becoming more excited and less nervous. That is a blessing. I suppose I am almost switched around from 70% scared to 30% scared.
Perhaps God will elminate all of my fear before we leave.!
In my free time of waiting this afternoon, I cleaned out Natalie and Hannah's closet and put up all of their winter clothes. I still have some winter stuff floating around. I know we will still have some cool days, but not cool enough that a light jacket won't take care of. That means more room in the closets. I may go do some more in a minute. Bring on Wednesday!

Monday, March 21, 2011

2 days and fear

We leave two days from now. I am so excited.
Aaron is planning to pack this morning. We didn't get much in donations which is a little disappointing, so we may not actually take all 10 bags we are allowed. We will probably only take 8-9, which will be easier on us moving from place to place. All but one of the bags has wheels with a handle. And that one, I might change it over to one with wheels. It was the one I was planning on just sending to the orphanage and leaving the suitcase too. We'll see.
I must admit, I am a little leery of flying. I haven't since our honeymoon. And although I think I will survive, I have a fear I might freak out when they close the doors, and start screaming "get me off this flying death trap"
Or maybe I won't. I guess I won't know till it happens. I have really been praying about it and I know that God will come through for me like He always does and give me peace. I opened my Bible this morning, looking for peace and this is what I found
Daniel 7:19-23
19At the first sight of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions' den. 20When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?" 21Daniel answered, "O kind, live forever! 22My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king"
23The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
OK, God I am trusting in You! Help me not freak out!

Does anyone have any verses that may help me to calm myself? I was thinking last night and praying last night and right now I am about 70% scared and 30% confident and excited. I really want to be 99% confident and excited and 1% scared.

I told Aaron the other night. I feel kind of like I did when we got married. I was terrified of the actual wedding ceremony. I was dreading it, wanting to get it over with. I was not scared to marry Aaron, not scared of being married, but I wanted to get the "ceremony" part over with.
That is how I am with this. I am not scared to adopt. I am not scared to bring two more kids into the house. However, I wish we were at that point instead of all this "ceremony"
I am tight all over. I have kept a stress headache for a week now and I can hardly get to sleep before 12:30am each night.

However, I can't wait to meet the boys! It is surreal!

Thanks for your prayers... Oh and if you do comment, please don't tell me that if we do crash it will only be about 30 sec of terror before the end. I have heard this a few times, and although meant to comfort me, it doesn't really help. Go figure!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New Pictures, 4 more days ! and Yard sale goodies

Yesterday we got some new pictures of Ethan, the 4 month old. So cute. He really is so much more alert. 0 Our one month pictures, he slept in all the pictures. When he was 2 months, he was awake, and now he actually had a 1/2 smile in one. And a ton of hair, but it looks to be such tight curls that it is not sticking out much from his head.
I wasn't expecting pictures since we will be there next week, and we didn't get any of Seth yet, but it was nice to see some more of Ethan.
We leave in 4 days. I haven't packed in a few days. I am waiting until after church Sunday night. Aaron is planning on packing Monday, so once he packs all his things, any donations we receive from church can be stuffed in. I am so ready to go! I am also ready to be packed and waiting. Our good friend from Church is going to pick us up Wednesday and drive us to the airport in the church van since we don't have enough room in our van for all of our bags, and that way we don't have to pay to park the van at the airport.
This morning on facebook, I noticed a friend was having a yard sale. I asked if she had any running strollers with big wheels. She didn't, but she said she did have a double stroller.
I took a shower and got ready and left the kids at Mom's, which really angered the kids because this friend has a daughter our girls' age, but since I am trying to minimize exposures to anything contagious, I decided not to take them.
The double stroller was already bought, and the single stroller for only $5 was nice, but when I asked the other lady who was there selling to collapse it, you could tell it wasn't working. Glad I asked. But I did get a snugli for $2 and it is in great shape. That was exciting. Plus a couple of other things.
I hate going to yard sales, but this was a good find. I had been looking at Walmart the other day for Snuglis and they were 30$
Aaron is burning at work today. It was iffy as to whether they were going to or not. We were hoping they weren't, but they called at 7:30 this morning to tell him to come on in. He probably won't be home until late.
He is off next week though.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wish we could go already

I am so tired of waiting. It is really stressing me out. I have had a stress headache the last two days. I am 95% packed.
Aaron isn't packed at all, but all he is responsible for is his clothes, I am pretty much packing the rest, so he can finish on Monday. Don't think bad about him. If he packed I think I would be obsessive about it and have to make sure it was all there. Another reason why he packs himself. One time we went to TN for the weekend. I told him I had packed for him, but I think I had just had one of the kids and my mind was not all there and apparently I had only packed one shirt for a few days. And ever since then, he packs himself.
I haven't worked any this week and it has been great to stay home with the girls and not have the stress of getting to work, but on the flip side, it gives me more time to stress. But the last day I did work, I was sitting beside one of the nurses and she casually admitted that both her kids had tested positive for the flu the past weekend. Then I figured that even though I hardly ever can link getting sick to something at work, it is normally that I have caught something from another coworker rather than a patient.
I have a few more loose ends to tie, but I really just want to be there. When I rest, it is all I think about. It makes me tired during the day, I go to lie down, then I can't rest because my mind is going so fast, that I just hop back up and try to think of other stuff to pack.
We got a few things Wednesday night at church for the orphanage. I am hoping that by Sunday night we will be able to stuff our suitcases full of donations.
So sureal however to think that in next week at this time, we will be on Ethiopia Air half way to our babies! We leave at 1200 noon DC time and arrive at 1200 am DC time, but 0800 in the morning in Ethiopia. Which means, we will be ready to sleep, but instead the day will be just beginning. I am hoping hoping we sleep some on the way.
We are skipping co-op in the morning in hopes to avoid any germs that may want to fly our way. We really weren't planning on getting out at all this next week. The only thing we will plan on doing is Sunday night at church. The girls Sunday night class is doing a presentation and the girls are in it, and it is about James 1:27 orphans and widows. Probably shouldn't miss that.
Hannah has been coughing a little the last few days. She woke up in the night with that croupy cough and wheezing. I put a crib mattress for her on the floor of the living room and slept the rest of the night on the couch. Of course, it took me forever to fall back asleep....thinking and worrying again, praying, etc.
I think it is either allergies or a cold. No fever, she doesn't act sick at all, so I am just going to treat the symptoms and hope she is better before we leave. If she does spike a fever, I will try to get her into the MD before we go.
On a wonderful note..
They announced Wed. night at church a few weeks ago about our court date and how expensive adoption is and that if anyone wanted to donate, they could give money to us through the church. I spoke with one of the elders and he said he knew that there was at least $1800 given so far. And a friend handed Aaron $300 last night. So so thankful for that. Every bit lets me spend more time with the kids.
Our payments until we get our tax refund in 2011, if I figured right and if we spend/borrow what I am predicting will be at least $1000 more a month. Yikes! Which is why, when I did the budget last fall and saw that, I about freaked! And I have been trying to work each evening and Saturday that I could so we would have a buffer in savings. It is going to be hard for me to work with two little ones at home. It's is not just me working. I don't want to leave Aaron out. Anytime they have a chance for overtime, he is there. Worked 14 days straight a few weeks ago. Some of those days well over 12 hours each. Such a good provider! I love him!
I pray that we get enough money and have enough saved when they come home that I will only have to work my minimum 32 hours a month. I could do 2 7-11 shifts a week, or maybe 8 hours each Saturday. Something like that.
PLEASE PRAY for us every day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Week from Today!

We leave next Wednesday. Can't wait! I wish we could leave today. Seems like the weeks since we have known have drug out forever. I now have all of Madelyn and Hannah's clothes packed. I will probably finish Natalie's today and start on mine. I don't mind washing the same thing over and over if I can have my stuff packed. This packing has been looming over me know for a while and I really want to get my part done. All that will be left is Aaron's stuff which he is responsible for and anything we get from church to give as a donation. So by Sunday night, we will have all of our stuff ready. I hope...
Hannah has woke up with a cough. Hannah who hardly ever gets sick... even when the whole family gets something, she is normally spared. So, I am hoping it may be allergy related since things are really starting to bloom here. She has no fever, so maybe it is. Anyhow, she has a week to get over it and not make anyone else sick.
We were planning on avoiding public places for a while before the trip to avoid sickness, but that has proved impossible.
I hope to at least post on facebook while we are gone, but if I get a chance and can figure out how to do it, I will try to update on the blog.
We have got journals for everyone, even Aaron has something he can write in, but I doubt he will use it. We have books to read on the plane, 7 new coloring books, lots of crayons, pipe cleaners to make stuff out of. Plus, apparently on the way, they will have two movies "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" and that Owl movie that came out last year. However, according to the website, on the way home, there are no kids movies. We will be leaving ET at 10pm, so maybe we will get some sleep.
I am sure I will have lots of adventures to type about when we get back.!

Monday, March 14, 2011

9 More days until we leave

Getting more and more excited about our trip.
Please keep praying that our MOWA letter is there (see previous post)
Aaron had to work yesterday so it was just the girls and I until after church last night. We barely made it to church in time for the girls to eat donuts and go to class. I had to dry my hair as much as possible with the heat from the car blasting.
We had a fellowship meal after church, so lunch was taken care of. Then we went to Mom's for a while and around 2pm, I was so sleepy, so we came home and I took a 45 min. nap. I think a lot of it is mental exhaustion. I find myself constantly thinking about our upcoming trip, especially when no one is talking to me and all is quiet.
All I got packed yesterday was a carryon bag. I have 2 huge suitcases loaned to me from a lady at church. I am hoping for some donations from church like diapers, formula, etc to fill our bags too. We have 4 more big bags to pack. I would like to fill them if I am going to take them. And 4 more carryons to pack.
I have been emailing a lady that adopted a baby boy this year and was at the same B & B we are staying at in Nov and in Jan. She has been a very valuable source of information. For example, when the B & B said they had laundry service, I assumed 2 things, either they had a washer/dryer you could use, or you gave them your laundry and they washed it for you in their washer /dryer. WRONG!
Apparently, their laundry service is you giving them your clothes and then they wash them by hand and hang them up to dry outside on the line for anyone to see. Hmmm! rethinking the idea of taking less clothes and just rewashing them. I would rather handwash them myself in the tub and hang our undies inside and possibly the rest of our clothes outside.
It's will be a whole new world.
I am happy for the adventure and praying that God give us all good attitudes.
I was thinking last night of how when we were going to adopt from Guatemala, before that country closed, I was so stressed about flying for 5 hours in a plane and we never got close to adopting from there and it was on the same side of the world. And now, here I am going to fly clear across the world and spend 14 hours total on a plane on the way and about 18 hours total on the way back and now my attitude is bring it on.! ok, lying a little, my attitude is a lot better though and I am not totally terrified anymore.
I will take a dramamine daily though, the nondrowsy type so I can remember my trip.
Last night Aaron had to go check on something at work at 11pm. He had been up since 6 and normally is in bed by 9pm, so I was afraid he would fall asleep, so all of us went. He just had to drive around for a few minutes. Well, we ended up driving down two curvy side roads too. We were gone about 45 min-1hr. Ugh! I was so nauseated by the time we got home. It was cold outside and I was riding the last few miles with the window open, cold air blowing in my face, pressing my fingernail in this pressure point in my earlobe, that somehow helps with the motion sick nausea, hoping to get home and not get sick. I do not want to feel that way on our is an awful feeling.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

11 more days

I can hardly believe we will be leaving in 11 days.
Please, please please pray that we pass court on the first time around.
In order to pass court, you have to have a letter from the Ministry of Women's Affairs (MOWA) in Ethiopia recommending you. MOWA has decided that instead of writing 50 letters a day, they are going to drop down to 5 letters a day.
So one scenario is that we get there and when we get to court the letter is there, we pass court and then we wait for an embassy date.
I hope that happens.
If the letter isn't there when we are at court, we still do our part of court. Then our case will keep being put down for court until the MOWA letter comes in. At that point we will pass court. Fortunately, whether you pass the first time or not, since you have already done your court part, you don't have to keep flying back for court.
Hoping and praying that we pass and can pick up our babies like we would have if MOWA hadn't decided to slow down.
I have 5 big bags packed. 5 big bags to go. Plus 5 carry ons to go. A lady from church gave us a big suitcase today to use and I think she has another big one. In case I do have to pay a fee for them with our first airline in the US, which our travel agent said is iffy, then I might as well take my money's worth. I am planning on packing at least one more today. So hard to decide what to take. Got to get moving.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Flying out 2 weeks from today

Aaron's parents brought the girls home tonight. Sunday, we drove them up to TN since we had to get some stuff from my bro's Eric's house. Then they took the girls to Atlanta for a few nights. They went to the Aquarium and Coke Factory, plus some other places. They had a great time.
Now that the trip is over, I can get all their clothes washed and work on packing to go across the world. It's a little daunting. I need more suitcases though. I am not sure what to do. We have some that are too big for carry on, but too small in my opinion. However, since we don't have a lot of donations to take with us, we can probably just use those. But we still need a few more I think. I want to fill 10 bags.
Once we get all of our stuff packed that we have to have, if I have room, I think I will announce how much room we have left in our bags and see if anyone would like to throw in some formula or diapers to fill them up. In a way, I feel crazy packing two weeks ahead of time, but then again, I feel like the time is creeping up fast.
I finally got my meningitis and Hep A shot this morning. I wanted a polio, but they didn't have adult polio boosters there and the doctor didn't think I needed one. However, I got on the CDC website this afternoon and turns out that they do recommend a polio booster. The Travel Doctor that is local is travelling out of the country. I think I will call his office tomorrow to see if he will be back before our trip. I am sure he will have what we need. What a pain.
I slept terrible last night. I felt like I hardly slept from 2:30-6am. Then when I did wake up for good, my left shoulder hurt so bad and I could hardly turn my neck.
So I was able to get an appointment at the chiropractor this afternoon. Boy did it hurt, and it still does, but normally it takes 12-24 hours for the adjustments to really take effect. I am going back Friday. Hate to spend the money, but I don't want to start out the trip in pain.
I think we have many of the main things we need for the babies.
We have a crib and a pack and play leftover from the girls. Mom has a crib at her house and we haven't decided yet, but I may just trade her the pack and play for the crib and have both cribs at our house. But Natalie slept in a pack and play until she was 10 months old and she is ok. They take up less room, and you can move them through doorways.
I have a bouncy chair if the baby is little enough to use, a bathtub., clothes up to 18 -24 months.
I have carseats for both boys.
I really want a running stroller. Don't laugh, I am not planning on running, but our driveway is gravel and I enjoy walking with the girls up and down the driveway and around the yard, and i don't think normal stroller wheels would tolerate gravel. I wonder if someone could convert an old stroller into one, using the bicycle wheels off a few of our bikes that don't work. hmmm.
I asked Aaron if he thought it could be done and he said he was sure it could, but then acted like he wouldn't want to be seen with me pushing the thing. Anyway, I would only be able to use it at the house, since folding it up to put it in the car would be impossible with bike wheels.
I may or may not work again before the trip. If I do, I don't think I will work past this Saturday. I was sitting by a nurse yesterday and she casually mentioned that both her kids tested positive for the flu. Then I decided to roll a little farther away and I just don't want to risk getting exposed to something if I can help it right before our trip. Plus, I think it would be too much stress when I am trying to prepare (mentally) for our flights.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Vaccines please

Seriously, I really, really need some vaccinations.
Well, I know I have put this off, and part of it is my fault. However, ugh, now that I have incentive to do it, I am having lots of trouble getting it done.
Here is my terrible story that happened Friday that makes me angry every time I think of it.
Started a few weeks ago. I called my doctor's office to see if I could get an appointment for my vaccines. The person I spoke with told me that I didn't need an appointment. To just call the day before or the morning I was coming to get them and let them know I would be there. So, Thursday after noon I called the office. Made sure they had my shots in stock and told them I would be there either Friday at 730 or 1pm. She said ok.
So, Friday morning I got the girls up early and we drove the 45 min. to the doctor's office. Got there at 7:25
Here is my timeline
7:25 arrive at doctor's office and sign in
7:35 receptionist asks which doctor I am there to see and I tell her I was there for vaccines
only and was told I didn't need an appointment
7:45 receptionist tells me that they dont know if insurance will pay for the shots or not and that I will have to pay $242 today when I was done getting shots and they would file later
8:15 receptionist tells me that I actually do need an appointment - sorry that they told you wrong on the phone and do I want an appt with doctor at 8:30
8:16 tell receptionist again that I was told TWICE on the phone that I did not need an appt and that was the only reason I got my kids up early and showed up here at 7:30 in the morning because I was told the afternoon before that it was ok and if I do take the 8:30 appt would they get me back there soon because I have to be somewhere to teach a coop class at 9 am, which by the way, is why I made sure to get here at 7:30, because I thought surely an hour and 10 min was enough time to get me 3 shots! And it takes me 20 min. to get to my coop, so I have to leave at 8:40
8:17 receptionist tells me that she is giving my chart to the nurse right now and hopefully it would be soon
8:30 receptionist again calls me to her hole in a glass window (probably to prevent disgruntled patients from strangling her when they sat in an office with 3 kids for an hour and still no shots)
wants me to sign my chart so they could see me.
8:31 I realize that she had lied earlier and hadnt given my chart to the nurse and therefore wasted another 15 min. of my life. I ask her if they can get me the shots in the next 10 min. before I have to leave. She smiles and says she doesn't know. I grit my teeth and say forget it, I am leaving. She smiles and asks if I want her to reschedule me. I say no I will find some where else I have already wasted an hour here on something false you staff member told me.
so, didn't get shots on Friday.
Tried all the doctors in my town today and only one gives them and I would have to fill out an application, have him approve me and then get an appt next week.
So I swallowed my pride and called my doctor. made a complaint to the office manager and made an appointment for Wed am. Perhaps I will actually get them now. We'll see.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Yesterday, Aaron took off work early to come home and burn our property. I guess we burned around 15 acres, but I have no idea. It went ok and hopefully we killed a gazillion ticks. Burning really seems to decrease the ticks and let me tell you, we live in tick heaven.
When we bought our neighbor's property last year, Aaron and I went and walked the border of it and when we got back to the house we both had about 40 regular size ticks crawling up our jeans. Took about 20 min of constantly pulling them off and a lot of self control on my part to keep from losing it, since ticks do look a lot like spiders...
When we bought our house almost 3 years ago, the day we closed, we came up and walked around. When we got back to our rental house, we each had more than 20 seed ticks crawling all over us. Missed church that night because we were in the bathroom pulling off ticks.
I am going to have to go walk the fire line in a minute to make sure that it has not jumped the line. Last night when we got back from church, Aaron went and walked it and there were a few places with 2 foot flames. Thankfully, not across the fire line. It is a little nervewracking to see huge flames, but I just watch Aaron and if he is not freaking out, I try not to either.

I think I will start packing today. I may actually have enough clothes for the boys for the trip. It is hard, since I have no idea what size they are. There is laundry service at our Guest house, so they can wear the same thing over and over if they have to. I am planning on doing that. That will let us take less clothes and just wash them and wear again. For our whole family, we can take 10 50lb suitcases and 5 carryons. I plan on using all of that, and hopefully a lot of that will be donations. I still haven't bought diapers or formula. I am itching to start packing. I know I don't want to wait until the last minute to pack 15 bags.
My brother Eric said he has tons of carryon size bags and duffle bags we can use, so we are going up to his house Sunday to get those. We have at least 4 we can use hear and 2 carryons.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day of Shopping

Yesterday I finally finished all of the dental work I needed to have done. It feels sooooo good to know that I don't have to go back again until the next cleaning. And during that time, I can pretend that they won't tell me I have more cavities when I go back. I will live in denial and love it!
Mom was going to watch the girls, so when I took them over there around 7:30, I asked if she wanted to make a day of it and help me shop. Well, you don't have to ask her to shop twice, unlike me who tries to do it all on one day so I can go many days between shopping. We got to Decatur around 9am. I was going to go to Goodwill and see if I could find some baby boy clothes to take on the trip. Well, I couldn't even find Goodwill. The building it used to be in was something else now. So we then went to Dollar Tree where I spent more than I have ever spent before on snacks for the trip and coloring books. It will be worth it though. With my food "allergies" or whatever they are, I am taking plenty to live on while there.
Then we headed to Walgreens to cash in on the "free" stuff this week. I also got lots of dried fruit there to take with us, something that Dollar Tree did not have.
Then we still had 45 min. before my dentist appt. So we went to the JCPenny Outlet at the Mall and found 4 pairs of dress pants for the girls at 1.99 each. No shorts allowed in Ethiopia, and so I was trying to find pants for them to wear while there.
By this point it was time to go to the dentist at 11:00. I had taken sandwich stuff and mom and the girls sat in the van and had a picnic while I was in the dentist.
While in the chair, they found a small cavity on the tooth next to the ones they were putting crowns on and asked if I wanted them to go ahead and fix it or come back. Duh! fix that thing now. It ended up being 2 hours at the dentist. I felt bad for Mom, but she and the girls said they had a good time in the car. Go figure.
I was still very numb and could barely talk. Of course, the girls decide to ask 100 questions. We stopped at Martins and found 2 more pair of pants for Madelyn, a shirt for Madelyn and a shirt for me for $21 total. Madelyn is very hard to shop for pants for. She is in Jrs sizes now and they fit her. I had still been buying girl sizes. She is getting so old.
By this time it was almost 2pm, I hadn't eaten lunch and I was starving, but still too numb to chew. My numbness was starting to wear off and I could tell the pain was coming, so we stopped at Sonic, got the girls slushies at happy hour and I got a Mocha, Caramel Java Chiller. YUMMMM. I dropped Mom off real quick and headed home so I could take a pain pill and not drive. Lunch was a Java Chiller and a pain pill. Needless to say, had a little belly ache for a while.
Made Creole Chicken for supper from Emealz. It didn't taste anything like I thought it would, but it was so good. Took forever to eat it though. I can't chew anything on the right side of my mouth. Try eating meat on one side, takes forever and the good side starts getting sore.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Answered prayer 15 years in the making

I can hardly believe that we are going to Ethiopia THIS MONTH!
Last summer, I was teaching the teen girl Wed. night class at church with a friend. I was going through my prayer journal that I used to keep before Aaron and I got married. Part of it was while I was dating him. Anyway, while reading through it, trying to find passages to show how I felt during that time, I found one sentence at the end of one prayer.
Dated 7/22/1996
"Help me make it to Africa at least once"

I didn't even remember praying this, but apparently God did... wow... A prayer by a 21 year old girl. An afterthought. A seed planted by God many years ago that is finally coming to fruition.