Thursday, April 28, 2011

Still Catching Up & Moving forward

Emily graduated in June.  Onto July, well July was a horrible month!!  I lost my best friend, my Mom.  What a sad time for me and our family.  It was very hard and some days, it still is. But we aren't going to dwell on sad things, this has a happy ending, I will get to that soon.  For now I wanted to share some fun & interesting things about Mom.  She loved Asia and everything about it, she had Chinese things all around her home, pictures, stickers, plaques, etc.  When cleaning out the spare bedroom, we found a suitcase under the bed.  When we opened it, it was full, and I mean, FULL of things she purchased when she went to China for Emily's adoption.  Chopsticks, tea sets, paper cut outs, fans, chops, paintings, if you saw it in China, a sampling of it was in this suitcase.  I honestly thought she (previously) gave it all away as gifts.  Boy, was I wrong.  My sister and I gave Christmas gifts to family members from Mom even though she wasn't with us.  We got a lot of smiles and tears in return.  It was a nice feeling!   Mom also liked to collect things.  I gave away over 500 cook books, 400 of them went to the local culinary college, and they were so happy to have them for the students and teachers. They sent me a letter of appreciation, and I cried ALOT!   I still have a few Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cookbooks to find homes for.....anyone interested??   I'm still trying to find homes for some Cabbage Patch dolls she collected too.  I will have to add a few pictures of those too.  Some of them are still in boxes, some are not, but well taken care of.  Beanie Babies, she collected those too.  Alot of the Beanie Babies, the smaller ones, I gave to the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia.  Emily was there are a brief stay after arrival home and they are AWESOME! At her last follow up appointment, I asked about finding a home for them there.  They gladly accepted them so they will help share some of Mom's love too.  Being in charge of her "estate" has this title of "Executrix" (personally it sounds like a porn star's name) but basically you get to make decisions about all things important to her.  What a tough job!!!  And without too many details, not everyone will be happy with your decisions.  But Mom trusted me with things and I hope I have made her proud.

July also brought another worry for a Mom.....Adam passed his drivers test and got his license!!
Mom got a hair appointment to get more highlights added to hide the grey!! And the higher insurance bill!!  I know it's a big car, but we felt safer that way.  He thinks he's riding in style and that is fine with me.
August - we were able to sneak away for a few days to Williamsburg VA.  We are fans of roller coasters so Busch Gardens was a must!  We also went to Water Country and had a blast!
I call this the "Hollywood" shot, everyone's wearing shades 
Met another family with a daughter from China, so the mom's chatted about their agencies and experiences while all the kids went down the slides, even the biggest kids - the Dads!  The weather was perfect and it was a much needed break!!   August also brought us some wonderful news regarding our adoption from Taiwan - we are NUMBER THREE on the wait list!!!   Yes, #3!  I couldn't beleive it and I was so excited I actually picked up the phone and called Mom's house.  When I realized what I did, I just smiled and figured she already knew - she was moving this along from Heaven!!!  Thanks Mom!!

The fall months brought us back to school, with two kids now in high school, a freshman and a senior!  I felt pretty old.  But then we had to bring all of our dossier paperwork current so I had homework too.  Fingerprint renewal and home study updates - That is all ready to go.

November came and we were NEXT!  Oh. My. Goodness.  Next.  Wow, we made it.  We are there, finally.  Oh no!  Now I'm not ready to be at this point, here comes the panic!  I still have so much to do for Mom's things and the holidays were coming up fast!! But keeping busy got us through it.  Our holidays were hard with out Mom and we still hosted family dinner so I made our traditional  10+ pounds of mashed potatoes, 20+ pounds of turkey and loads of veggies for dinner.  Memories are wonderful and are great conversations when you miss someone so much!    Back to adoption.....If there was such a thing as being addicited to your email, that was me!  I think I was checking our email about once every hour, waiting, hoping for that special gift of a referral.  What I did receive was a new computer as a gift for New Years!  No, I didn't blow it up checking email, but at first I wondered if I did go over board and that's what happened.  Turns out it crashed, bad!  I lost everything!!  5 years of pictures, documents, home work projects, mom's copies of documents, adoption documents, everything!  Luckily I had some pictures on my computer at work, and I am able to share them here.   Ta Da & Happy Birthday, Happy NY's, Valentine's Day, happy every holiday to me!  We purchased a new computer.  A friend who is handy with computers was able to retrive about half of the pictures on the old computer, but nothing else.  I backed up the important docs on stick drives, but never did the pictures.  Please don't ask me why, I don't have an answer but was upset about it for weeks.  I have learned from my mistake and as soon as I put new pictures on the computer I copy them on the stick drive.  I have two drives just for pictures and another one for documents. I haven't learned all the tricks on the new computer, but I'm trying and Adam's friend who loves Apple products is my teacher.  It figures I have to turn to a teenager for help for electronics and technology.
Trying out the built in web cam

January also brought the first birthday of my great nephew, Colin.  I hosted (my niece's) his baby shower surrendering my dining room table to little ducks and everything blue.  He has a cute smile!

The above picture is from November and the other one is ready to have his first birthday cupcake!!!    He's such a love!!

January was also the freshman/sophomore HOP, similar to Jr. Sr. Prom....that is coming soon!  Emily looked way, WAY grown up (sigh, again) and of course, had to have the perfect well as each girl did.  We met at a friends house, hired a limo bus (cheaper that way), and were able to get some great pictures.  Everyone met back here afterward for snacks and catching up.  They had a great time!!  But did you notice the girl to guy ratio is a bit off here ???  The dads noticed that of course!!

I call this his Movie Star look
A few weeks later Adam was inducted to the National Honor Society and made mom and dad extremely proud!!!!  He has worked so hard for this and earned it all.  He looks soooo handsome!!!   

January also brought us a lot of snow and an even stronger addiction to checking email!!   I diagnosed myself as having Email OCD  Yes, I am addicted!!!!  Just waiting for any news from our agency and or our social worker.........


Lisa said...

After all this time, how you NOT be checking every!! :) I would be too!!!

What a lovely recap and amidst the sadness has come so many lovely surprises; finding that suitcase nestled away with treasures from the trip to China is a tremendous gift. Clearly she cherished those items and wanted them to one day be found and gifted to those whom she most loved and adored!

Please do keep us posted....on the edge of the seat now waiting to hear your long anticipated news!


QingLu Mama said...

Great update, love all the tidbits and pieces of your busy lives!

And again, so sad and sorry for your loss. I can only imagine how hard such a huge loss is to endure.

And...please don't delay any more updates...I am so excited to hear any good news of the newest member!

And I remember those email checking days so well. Gosh, they are so painful and exhausting! Hoping the end of that process is near over.......