As summer ended, we closed the season with a 70th birthday party for my mom, including my brother and his family from down south. About 35 friends and family came to celebrate Mom on her speical day. Every once in a while I still find a piece of the curling ribbon that held the balloons on the deck, needing to be cut. Chris finished the pool deck and he did a fantastic job! I called it Chris's Ark as he doubled checked each screw and measured and RE-measured each board, I don't think Noah took as much time as Chris did, LOL! :-) Adam says his dad can fix anything and I think Adam is right! We had a few parties to celebrate summer and I think I have enough plastic silverware to last two summers. Note to self ~ Buying bulk isn't always the best idea. Then it was time to head back to school. So we did all the shopping for just the right binder, shoes, so many shoes, and cool pencils. My kids think it's un-Cool to let Mom take your picture on the first day, so sorry no pictures. But I did get to watch them walk to the bus stop, only permitted if I stay on the front porch. The only one that everyone agreed on is this one.....oh my, they are growing up fast!Next up, lots of projects for school (already finished four), plenty of driving practice, dance, concert band, and Halloween !! Oooh, spooky fun! Fall is alot of fun and there is always something going on! Finally the weather cleared up here after three days of rain, just in time to go back to work. Go figure, right? Well this weekend, we will try to find some pumpkins to decorate the front porch. Enjoy the Fall !
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Pardon the background.....It was the best place to show off the costume. She is trying to be serious here; in this dance routine, the girls were to be serious, and not smile, but I kept making her giggle. She wore another outfit, totally black, very sequined and looked great on her, those pictures didn't turn out so well. I have helped out as a backstage mom for several years. So loaded with my bag of tricks, hairspray, every color of bobbie pins known to mankind, double sided tape, more bandaids, snacks and juice, I help the girls change costumes, hair pieces, and help keep them in the right order for the show. It is absolutely amazing! These girls dance in several numbers, having to change multiple times, and remember all the steps for each one. The best part is watching the younger girls look up to and learn from the older ones, and watch each one grow with confidence in them selves. I love being back there!! So much and energy and FUN !!
Dress rehearsal before the show. The theme was All Creatures Big and Small, so alot of animal prints. Reviewing places with our teacher. And this was her other teacher for jazz class - they could be sisters! Teacher M was also adopted from Korea as a little girl - another great connection! Needless to say the show was wonderful and all the girls, even the littlest ones who are sooo cute in their little tu-tu's had a great time. We start that all over again in September!
I can't forget my bestest guys..........Adam finished up his last year of baseball and tennis (for school). Adam is my hardest person to take a picture of, he doesn't like it. But while he was on the field I got him!
He looks very grown up and professional here. Oh my. It's hard to admit, but I have to look UP to see him eye to eye! He will always be my little boy playing with hotwheels on the kitchen floor, panicked when they roll under the refrigerator! Ahhh, memories. Here's my drama, lately he's looking at another type of car, this time ALOT bigger. I can't believe this part......driver's permit !! I want the hotwheels back !! (heavy sigh)
I had to face facts when his birthday came and he proudly reminded me of his new right of passage. Adam can get his driver's permit this summer. I'm still in denial!!! Probably will be until he comes home from the motor vehicle agency with the permit in hand. I know those hotwheels are in the attic somewhere, I might need them! Therapy. We had family and friends over for his favorite, ice cream cake. Mmmm, it was good too!
June brings Father's Day so I had Emily grab Chris, hoping for a group shot but Adam darted away again. Boys. I just love this picture.........
Our June ended in a very special way, compliments of the owner of the company I work for. He owns a very large boat, 70 feet of largeness. Each summer he has a few 'employee trips' and we get to bring spouses or friends along for the ride. Our evening takes place in New York Harbor. The whole night you are waited on by the crew and the staff, serving awesome food and drinks. I haven't been on this trip for many, many years and it is awesome each time! The weather was perfect, so was the company and no complaints were heard.
New York Harbor, just before the sun was setting. The captain actually took us right up to Ellis Island and the Statute of Liberty. It was sad not seeing the Twin Towers, but said a prayer for the lives lost that sad day.
Yep, going UNDER the Brooklyn Bridge as we head up the East River.
Looking down from the tower, taking a picture of Chris.......it was so cool to be up that high, the view was great!!
Terry and Chris caught having a great time!!
In July we took a few road trips for vacation - More fun !!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Adam plays the French Horn and the Alto Sax. Doesn't he look handsome ?? I'm a little partial, I know, Mom's privilege! :-)
All of this fun combined with the regular Mom jobs. And June was jumping even more than May.......... :-)
Friday, May 15, 2009
It seems that while we were all snug, sleeping the night away, the IT Dept in the main office was very busy installing new surf control software!! Darn those geek guys. Although our IT guys are not really 'geeks', they are very helpful and genuinely nice guys. That day, they were getting the Stink Eye from one very disappointed adoptive mom!!! It's a good thing that their office is two and half hours away in north Jersey.
It seems that Taiwan Adoption Blogs are "Social Networking" and (in their eyes) rank right next too Facebo*k and MySp*ce. I think Taiwan Adoption Sites are better but now they are not permited on the work network.
I lost my therapy! I have been DENIED! I know what some of you might be thinking - I was at work, I am not supposed to be catching up on my personal web surfing at work. And you are right. I was taking some time to catch up. I admit it. I know that this is not a very good excuse, but with our adoption going at a snail's pace, reading other stories is therapeutic. It gives me hope and something to look forward to. I can read about hotel stays, the places to see, and as always ~ PICTURES! Thank you to the other families for allowing me to share & enjoy your stories. I wish the IT guys and the bosses felt the same way.
Another intuitive and wonderful mom, Riza, (and very supportive too) recently posted about how Moms' needs often take a back seat to the needs of their children. I am no different. Kids come first. The kids get to the computer first so I don't get a lot of computer time at home. I have "Mom things" to take care of and the evening just slips away so fast. I am guilty of sneaking a quick peek from work. And now I have been Surf Controlled!! Ugg !!
I would like to apologize in advance if I miss a new update, happy surprise, referrals or travels dates (yes, recently almost missed that post, sorry Sara). I will get to them, I promise. I have adjusted some settings on my blog, hopefully I have got them set right, and I can check them quickly. Any tips for blogs updates would be great~please share.
I am trying to look a this positively, that I will be a better employee, maybe read more news, and even try to be a better mom by asking to share the computer.
PS ~ I couldn't find a construction sign for Surf Control LOL I'll look tomorrow
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Thanks for listening to my venting and pity party.......sometimes those that have 'been there and did that' are the ones that can truly understand!!!!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
My little girl doesn't look so little here !!!! She cut off 11 inches of her hair. She donated it to an organization that uses donated hair to make hair pieces and wigs for cancer patients called Locks of Love. This was all her idea, and as her mom, I can't say enough how proud I am of her. She told me when I asked repeatedly 'Are you sure?" (I guess I needed to be sure more than she did) She told me that she wanted to help someone else, more than she wanted the hair, and her hair would always grow back. All I could do was smile, hold back my tears, hug her and make an appointment to cut her hair. Grandmom wasn't as pleased with Emily's decision, but as a parent, you have to let them try. She looks so grown up !! Christopher and I decided that she cannot combine the eye shadow and this new cut until she is about 25 yrs old. :-) I know this was not an easy decision for her and was tough on me too. So other moms and dads, cherish your little girls while you can ~ because while you are doing laundry, they are growing up really, really, really fast!!!! Hide the make up!!
She has a birthday coming up and has decided she wants a Chinese themed party - so now I am off to search for ideas for a group of girls, just becoming teenagers.....Open to suggestions and ideas.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
First, I am feeling better, and Mom is still doing well too. Knock on wood!!
Second, On the Adoption front, we had our last visit with our super awesome SW, she was here last Sunday morning for several hours! Yes, on Sunday. I still can't believe she was here on Sunday. She completed the rough draft and it was emailed to me for review by Monday afternoon. Here's where I dropped the ball....I wasn't feeling well, trying to proof read, and cold medicine kicking in wasn't a good a combination. I did get it finished, and emailed her back. As of Friday afternoon, it was going to the agency for their approval. Yes!! Now if we could only get a referral .......(heavy sigh)
Finally, and I think will really show my age, (don't laugh) but while I was looking for information for the HS & the SW, I came across some dates that I thought were interesting.......so I thought I would share and we could all enjoy a chuckle or gasp.
My, how the time lines and the costs have changed!!! We have been waiting for ONE YEAR now and still have nothing to report for update regarding the timeline. Honestly, some days I feel like it is NEVER going to happen. The kids remind me in subtle ways that "when the baby comes home" this or that will change. I try to be positive, but once in a while, it gets hard. I know other families have been waiting as long or longer that we have, I give you credit. Maybe I need a new hobby to help pass the time.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Now if we could only receive a referral.......wishing for a referral, wishing for a referral!
Monday, March 23, 2009
Now if we could just get a referral, that would be icing on the cake !!!
Speaking of cake, tomorrow is my husband's birthday.....wouldn't that be an awesome gift if I could tell him,
"Happy Birthday Honey, & Congratulations ~ It's a Boy!"
Ahhh..... to Dream (and hope and pray and cross your fingers and toes and wish on every star)! Imagine the different ways to tell him, on the cake, in a card, on a note wrapped in a box......hmmm.....???? :-)
Thursday, March 12, 2009
We are waiting for a referral, it has been 48 weeks, or 11 months since we were added to the "Wait List", officially Pregnant on Paper. Our placing (adoption) agency sent an email a few weeks ago, saying it was time to get the home study updated. Figured this was coming because of the extended wait time. No problem. Started calling the social worker. After 6+ messages and several emails, over about two weeks time, I still hadn't gotten any reply, in any form. Worry, panic and a few other emotions started to creep in. I left every possible phone number, and email address I have and still NOTHING! What could be going on ??? Was she on vacation, were her kids sick?? No answer was more stress being added to the existing stressful & bad week I was having....my mom was admitted to the hospital again (emphysema & pneumonia), dealing with the doctors and family updates for her, then two lengthy and involved projects due (a day apart) for the kids, and to make it even more fun, the construction company I work for started to remodel the office, with no place quiet to hide, talk or make calls. I just wanted the SW to call me back and something to go as planned. Nope. Nada. Zip. (heavy sigh)
Our social worker works from a satellite office in NJ but the main office is in Maryland. At the time we used them last year, she took every bit of SIX months to complete our homestudy. (no joke) Comparing other agencies this should have only taken about 6-8 weeks. When I was given this agency's name, I was "cautioned" to 'keep after her, she needs reminders'. This office worked with Taiwan and the placing agency, OK, great. Thought no problem, I work with accounts receivable for a living, so I'm always reminding some one to pay, I can do that. Boy, I had noooo idea how many reminders she needed until it was happening or not happening. So when we were asked to provide an update, I knew I'd better get after her, hoping this doesn't take a long time again. (note: she is a nice person but had outside issues to 'deal ' with that had nothing to do with our homestudy, at that time, once committed & paid, we were at her mercy) After no replies, and a stressful week, I kicked into collection mode and called their main office located in Maryland. I left at least three messages for their executive director. On the last message I think the overload & stress came out by telling them how unprofessional this organization was and I couldn't believe I haven't heard anything back. I also left a desperate, but stern message for the social worker in NJ. Good or bad, please just call me back!! The NJ SW finally called me back, two days after the mean message to the director, telling me she received a call from her boss (about my call). Finally, I thought, progress. The SW proceeded to tell me that she was laid off from her agency approx. 4 weeks ago, but she didn't get to finish or send a list of other agencies to help or to contact. She offered to do a "quickie update, shouldn't take but more than a couple of weeks" if I'd like. Translation, I'm thinking I'm looking at least a month for an update (based on last year).....I didn't think an update should take too long, swell, nothing changed. Here's the best part, then she explained that the main office has decided NOT to renew their license, expiring in June 2008, in NJ. Tears building fast........
So even if I accepted her offer, the homestudy wouldn't be valid for long, nor would she be able to do the post placements once we received a referral. All I wanted to do at this point was cry!!! Tears are coming big time.....So I hid in the conference room, closed the door and cried. Overload set in and it all caught up. About half an hour later, I washed my face, grabbed pen and pencil, and back to the conference room I headed. I called our adoption agency, explained the drama and asked the 'what now?' question. They were great, very supportive and helpful. Home Study DO OVER!
Now armed with the decision that it would be best to find another agency for the homestudy and post placements, and re-assured that we wouldn't loose any time with them for a referral, I made several calls. I couldn't trust this SW anymore and my gut was telling me to RUN! We decided to use Holt International, (the same agency we used for Adam & Emily's adoptions), and felt very good that they weren't going to be closing any time soon. Holt sent me documents to complete via email that afternoon and they were completed and returned ASAP. Don't you just love Fedex!! Our fingerprints (yes, we have to do them over too, they are non-transferable) are updated and submitted too. Hopefully the State of NJ doesn't get too concerned as to WHY we are in the system again and again ! :-) Holt didn't think that getting an update done in a few weeks was a problem, we plan to meet our new social worker, next week. My prayers were answered, Thank you God and Double Amen!!!
My first call to the unreliable SW was on February 16th and I only rec'd ONE return call from her and that was on March 5th. As of today I still haven't gotten a call back from the Executive Director (boss) in Maryland. I'm not expecting to at this point, probably because I put it out there due to overload or honesty. I am shocked that they do business like that. I would have gotten fired if I didn't follow up with my customers !! Who is the wonderful agency you ask (sorry for the sarcasm) ........We used World Child International Adoption, based in Maryland. I am not the kind of person to talk bad about anyone, but I felt that there maybe other families would want to know. An agency cutting back while you are waiting is a horrible thing to deal with. I hope that anyone who is currently using them has a better situation that we did. I cannot speak for everyone associated with this agency, but I feel better that we will not be using this office or SW in NJ.
Now that my tears have dried, my blood pressure has come back down, our new homestudy is underway, my mom is home, doing much better, and the kids projects both received A's, (Awesome job kids!!!) I can honestly say that I have the best husband and family.... they put up with my grumpiness and tears, helped with my mom and helped around the house so together we got through this tough couple of weeks. God answered my prayers by giving me strength and a great family!! I hope that I haven't upset anyone by posting this, because I try not to post anything negative, I guess it was an awareness and venting moment!
I am trying to be optimistic for a referral soon and for final rulings for some other waiting families, saying my prayers, crossing my fingers and toes for Good News Soon!!!
Thanks for listening :-)
PS - At work, the construction is still going strong, up to remodeling the bathrooms now, Dust is everywhere !
Ahhhh, Spring cleaning :-)
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Here's my question....Does anyone have any experience or preference to using EBay or Craig's List for selling bigger items? A few people have suggested selling some things on line. I have a computer desk, a couple of pieces of exercise equipment, an air hockey table, a lot of out door holiday decorations, things like that. It's too cold here to have a yard sale and I'm running of room to 'store' things waiting for the weather to get warmer. I have gotten raised eye brows from Chris because I have taken up a corner in the garage. I have been to each site but wanted some other input. I thought some blogger input would help. Please let me know what you think, if you have ever used these sites, which do you like better, etc. Both of my B-I-L's use EBay, but Craig's comes recommended by some co-workers too.
If we don't get a referral soon, I might have to post an ad for basement & closet cleaning! LOL
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Which turns out very well because we were up late finishing another project with Emily. She had to make a college brochure~ started as each student picked a college, then had to research it, gathering a boatload of facts, course studies, costs, campus, etc. and then had to make a brochure, using pictures, school colors and facts to "sell" your college in an oral presentation. Sounds like fun, but it was a lot of work (and not a lot of notice, less than a week) and she did a great job, I hope she gets a good grade. All of this for seventh grade honors English class, I hope I survive this class, but Emily does really well.
My heavy sleeper Adam woke in a panic this morning thinking he over slept. When he realized how much snow there was, he was disappointed he didn't go out side last night to play, he went to bed early. Ahh, the priorities of a teenager ! Sleep, play and food. He was tired and needed the rest because he started high school baseball training last week so I guess he needed to catch up on sleep. But baseball season is upon us and that means spring is on the way !! YES!!!