Monday, March 31, 2008

A local hero found

Matt Maupin was captured in Iraq on April 9, 2004. Until today he was the only unidentified captive of this current war. Today his family got word that his body has been found. It is a sad story that we have been following since we moved to Ohio, Matt is from this area and his family is still here.
Our prayers go out to his family and friends. His parents have been all over the news and seem so peaceful. They have been missing their son for as long as we have known of Abby, I could not imagine thier pains and loss.
After all this time, they are now able to put their son to rest. Our hearts go out to Matt. He is finally coming home.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

A walk through the garden.....

Today was nice enough outside to start cleaning up the flower beds. Most of the leaves were taken care of last fall so not much clean up this year! A far cry from our first spring here. I look back to then and realize much we have done in 3 years. It's fun, being outside working on the yard. We look forward to doing it again and again! I take care of the flowers, the lawn is all Kevin. Abby enjoys her swing set (borrowed from a neighbor) and digging in the dirt. She's going to be a good gardener, I can tell. She has patience and knows things take time as well as care. We are currently growing some seedlings inside. Carrots, Eda Mame, sunflowers and chives. We also have a "head" of crest seeds starting. Abby made a funny face on a baby food jar and says, "when it grows, I can give it a hair cut!".

I took a few pictures of our "signs of spring". Cannot wait to start seeing some leaves on our trees. Maybe in a few weeks.

I wonder how many times the lawn will need to be mowed this year? Last year we mowed only 10 times. We were so dry nothing grew! Our grass is green today, neighbor just mowed. (we both get a chuckle about how tidy our neighbors yard is. When we first oved in, we thought, ya like them................but realistically, who has the time? Or money? We must get 10 calls a week about mowing or servicing. I honestly tell them that my yard looking greener than my neighbors is not our priority, please take me off your call list!

But, I'm looking forward to another season of it!


Friday, March 28, 2008

Home study approved ......again! :)

Well, a big day for us! We got word from our Social Worker that our home study has been approved by Holt for the Thailand program. Gosh....what-a-relief......we knew we would be! She said that she mailed out 4 fresh notarized copies to us today! We should have all documents in hand by tomorrow,with the exception of documentation from Holt that should be on it's way to us now that they have seen and approved the home study. So here we go......hopefully by next week I will be traveling to Columbus for state certification. Then we will send it to NY for Thai Authentication...........'s really just too much at this point. I remember the relief we felt last August when we finalized our dossier for Mongolia. It felt like weight off our shoulders. Since then, we have experience that tells us it ain't over yet............but we'll try to stay hopeful.

Out our kitchen windows we can see a neighbors side yard very well. We don't know then, but see the dad and son play baseball almost every week. The other day they were out and I noticed Kevin watching them. I could see in his eyes what he was thinking about.....our son. Sure enough, not 2 hours later he was playing ball with Abby in our yard. It was so nice seeing and listening to them together, him teaching her, her telling him she KNOWS the rules (typical 4 1/2 year old!). ...... It makes for a great memory!

What I took from that was Thankfulness....Thank God we have Abby. The time was just right for her. Because of that, I have faith in the timing now. I am pretty sure Shaun will be with us by Christmas's not that far off! (hey, I am trying to be positive!)

Does anyone watch the Apprentice? Well, the cowboy, I am blanking on his name.....anyways, last night he sang a song called "you're gonna miss this". I am NOT a country fan, but I will try downloading that song. It really touched me. From feelings of being a little girl, to being me, today. It made me think of my Dad too, which was a great feeling. Anyways, I wish I remembered his name now, but I am actually a fan............ahhhh Trace Adkins?? Am I right? Well, don't tell anyone, but I like THIS country song! SHHHHHH


Tuesday, March 25, 2008


A bit of adoption news is spreading on my yahoo groups.....................Holt has temporarily stopped taking applications for their Thailand program...............we are lucky, lucky, lucky!!!!

Since many other international programs are changing, Holt has seen a flood of applications for Thailand. The wait has lengthened and not enough children are available. We feel so lucky knowing that we are OKAY! The wait will be a long one, but we have a spot. We got word this morning from our local social worker that our home study has been updated. She will e-mail it to Holt for a final look through. Once we have it in hand, we send it with all other documents to the state department for certification. Once that is done, we will have it couriered to the Thai Embassy in NY for authentication. Then, we send it all to Holt and it goes to wait!

We have been told to expect about 10 months for a referral of a boy, then another 7-9 months for travel. It will be a tough wait, but one we look forward to starting. Once the papers are off, our job is done. Except for the thoughts, the prayers, and the dreams along with Abby's anticipation.

Timing....................we are learning is not in our control. But the timing has been to our advantage. If we were just now learning of Mongolia's changes, we may not have another option. Thank GOD, for timing. Everything happens for a reason :)

So like my Mom always told me................we'll take it one day at a time.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Project complete! Well, almost! Just a bit of touch up yet to do. It was certainly a team effort. Kevin did the electrical and plumbing and I did the painting and the tiling on the floor. We think it came out just awesome. We look forward to our next "together" project! I wish I had a before picture, but I wouldn't post it anyways, it was terrible!

A first!

Above are pictures of our first tile project. We tore apart the hall bath last week and put in a new tile floor! This is the first time we have ever tiled anything. It was a bit intimidating, but the job is done, well. We love it and cannot wait to tile another area of the house. Next is the entry floor! GOOD BYE Linoleum!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Go Irish! Happy St. Patty's day everyone!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Is spring here?

A couple of days ago Abby and I filled all our bird feeders and hung them in the back yard. Well, today we watched a pair of cardinals feast on our treats! This morning I noticed that one feeder was half empty, I thought a squirrel had gotten to it. But to our surprise, our bird family is back! The first spring here they had a nest in a tree right outside our living room window. Abby was little then and doesn't remember. We saw them last year as well, but not living in our tree. (we have a cat!)
It sure is nice to see them back! It tells us spring is here.................YIPPEE!
(I also noticed some tulips coming up! Along with all of my treasured grape hyacinths (sp?)


Friday, March 14, 2008

The IKEA experience!

This week we had a major event in West Chester, Ohio. IKEA opened it's new 39,000 square foot store just 10 minutes from our neighborhood. It has been the talk of "our town" which has been nice. With all the talk about "recession" it's good to see our community growing. IKEA worked well with the town of West Chester to do major road improvements and IKEA has already donated to local charities. They say people have been known to drive up to 200 miles to visit an IKEA store and today I found out why!..........

An UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE!!!! It was a bit of a "thrill". The drive there was like driving to the NY State Fair, people out in Pancho's directing traffic, moving cars everywhere. Buses and limos dropping people off. A bit crazy for 12:30 in the afternoon.
When I got inside, I was a bit confused. Once I got my map, my pencil and a friendly gesture to head up the escalator, I was just fine. The entire top floor is a show room, or show "rooms" from Kitchens to offices. It was really neat seeing how all their products work together. Now mind you, it isn't high end stuff, It's affordable ..............
The bottom floor is the "market place". Everything that you saw upstairs, now all out for sale. On the way to the registers to check out you first go through a large room similar to like a Sam's Club filled with all their "flat box" items.

I had a $100 limit, and I did just fine!

$94.50 at IKEA can get you:

1 coffee table
1 side table
1 lamp
1 lamp shade
1 6x4 area rug
1 2pk cutting boards
4 candle holders
1 pk. tea light candles
3 ceramic planters (for our deck)
1 re-useable IKEA shopping bag (59cents)

With Abby at school this afternoon, I was able to just take my time. I know I did not see everything and I look forward to going again. I didn't have the time to check out the food court, I heard the swedish meatballs are delish! This store is an attraction, I look forward to taking friends and family there when they come to visit. It was an experience...............


Thursday, March 13, 2008

A picnic....and snow!

Today we had a great time at Lily's house (Abby's friend) . It was 60 + degrees today so we had a picnic in the driveway and watched the girls ride their bikes. They had a great time together and played so nice. They even made snow castles with the left over snow piles along the driveway! They celebrated Izzy's birthday with a yummy cake. It was a great day for me to sit and chat with my friends, and for Abby to be with her "red thread" friends. Since the girls are all in preschool, we are lucky to see them once a month. So today was a special day. As you can see, they are all growing so fast......


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My First Painting1

I have always wanted to paint on canvas. Well, this is my first try............what do you think?


Sunday, March 9, 2008

A day in the snow !

Dad and Abby enjoyed the snow today. This is their creation, "kathleen" the snowman! I think she's pretty cute!
We got about 8 inches of snow, but it is melting fast. 50 degress by Friday :)


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Ohio Blizzard!

Golden Buddha

The huge golden Buddha and Sarasota is considered to be the treasure of Thailand. The temple of the golden Buddha is known as Wat Traimit. The image is made up of solid gold and it weighs five and a half tons. Its diameter is 12 feet 5 inches and designed in typical artistic Sukhothai style. It is the largest golden Buddha in the world. It is the golden treasure of Thailand which is 700 years old.
This golden image was completely concealed with plaster originally during Sukhothai and Ayudhya period, most probably to save it from invaders. In the 1950s, it was discovered purely by accident, while relocating it. In 1955, the image was being moved to Wat Traimit and fell from the crane. The plaster came off to reveal the golden image inside.
In the earlier period, the image was installed in the of Choti-naram temple. But the Choti-naram temple was deserted in 1931. To reinstall the Buddha image, the construction of Wat Traimit temple began. Then this golden image was moved to Wat Traimit temple and while transferring the image to this temple, people came to know about the gold beneath the plaster. It was treasured as the most wonderful and valuable image. The statue is kept in a plain and simple building large enough to keep the image. The golden Buddha is kept there till now. It is treasured for not only for being valuable but for historic and artistic values too.
Now, it has become the major attraction of Bangkok.
When Kevin and went to Napa Valley with Bd's last fall, we met Brian Brio, an amazng insperational speaker. He was great and we honestly felt "differant" when we left. One thing he had everyone do was "break a board". We each had a one inch think board that we broke with a "karate chop". I never thought I could do it, but I did. So did Kev..........and every one else! We wrote out fears on the front of the board and wrote our joy's on the back. We "broke-through" the fears and revealed the GOOD. It was an experience I will never forget. My board peices are still in the house, and when I look at them, I think of the meaning behind them and what they resemble to me.............
After the seminar with Brain we were able to pick a book out of his collection to have autographed. I brought it home and read some of it. But what I am reminded of now is the very first story in this book....
It was about the Golden Buddha! HMMMMMM...........small world! Now we may get to actually see it for ourselves!

Friday, March 7, 2008

A snow day ! Again....

Now, at 4 years old, Abby has no idea behind a "snow day". It is just another lazy day for her to watch Sponge Bob. We were able to get out and play! We went to the store for groceries this afternoon. We never park in our garage so I thought we would today, ( a little something differant, since it's clean and organized) Well, when I pulled into the driveway and pushed the garage door opener, Abby said "your going to wreck the car" I then replied "don't you have faith in my driving?" she said "NO"..........................
We made it into the garage just fine!
Everything is shut down here because of the "BLIZZARD". I suppose if I didnt grow up in "snowy-cuse, NY", I'd be freaking out too. They say 12 inches by Sunday! I really don't know when the last time I saw 12 inches of snow at once before..................oh-ya....the last time we went to SNOWY-CUSE in winter!
Hope everyone is nice and warm............and I hope this is the last snow storm of the season! :)


Do I even need to say anything???? This is the view out our front door. Abbys field trip to the Nature Center is canceled ....................

Wasn't I just thinking about my garden?


Thursday, March 6, 2008

What to do.....what to do.....

When I actually think of all the things that need to be done, other than the essential paperwork, I get a bit stressed. I do know that it will be a long while before our Thailand baby (toddler) will be in our home, but when I add everything up in my head, it's kinda scary!

Since we were originally thinking that our some was going to some from Mongolia, and could be up to three years old, there is not much we have done to prepare. Now I think about itty-bitty girl toys that are ALL over the house, we are going to have to teach Abby that things like for etc. "polly pocket" pieces CANNOT be left around for a toddler to put in his mouth. There is also the CONSTANT dispaly of crafts on our dining room table, gliiter glue, child scissors and all kinds of beads and odds and ends................we are going to have to figure out alternatives to Abby's crafting space!

The extra bedroom is slowly being changed. Daddy likes baseball and we all think the room will turn out great. We are taking our time with it, enjoying it. Abby has been picking out things for it and soon it will be painted. Then it will sit for a while. Once we know how old our child is, we can get to work. We do still have Abby's crib, so if he is young, we will use that with boyish bedding. If he is old enough, we will probably get him a twin bed. I am curently searching for a used dresser for him. When we waited for Abby, I refinished a dresser from my parents house. It was fun to do and Abby is still using it today. I like knowing a piece of something I grew up with is in her room. I wish I had something from the past to add to Shauns room. Maybe something will pop up?!

We are also trying to refinish our guest bath on a budget! The entire thing needs to be gutted, but the funds are not there. We have decided to take it one thing at a time, knowing eventually it will get done. Kevin replaced the 80's vanity light a few weeks ago, what a differance! He also changed the faucet, knowing we will be changing out the sink and cabinet soon. Abby likes the faucet! the old one was so difficult for even me to use, so having it changed was a nessecity for her to wash up on her own. We have the sink/cabinet picked out, and the tile floor. We are hoping to have the shower/tub refinished at a better price then having a new one installed. We are also chaging out our light switches through out the house along with replacing all the outlets. All are very old and are original to the house. Changing them alone, makes our home "look" newer.

Soon, I say this with High Hopes! We will be moving to the outside! Our yard is large and we have some work to do out there too! Hopefully we can take some time this summer to give our shed an overhaul. It is our only outside embarrassment, but it was inherited with the house. If we give it a couple coats of paint and replace the missing shingles, it should look OK. We will have to trim up some of our trees this year. I love our trees, but one, maybe two need to go. We have an apple tree in the back that looks like it might run away, the original owners newer staked it right, so it has grown funny. We did try trimming it up a few years ago, but honestly it needs to just go! It does not supply us with great apples, so I am not that sad about it. We aslo have a "christmas" tree in our front yard. When we moved in, Abby was taller, but now it is getting huge and we do not want it blocking the house. We wish we had moved it our first year here, but now it is just too big to move. That WILL be coming down this year.

We are most looking forward to our flowers! We are starting to see our tulips and 'dills popping up! I love to work in the garden, so I cannot wait to start mulching. As you probable guessed, I have already started planning. I am taking on a special project this year, it's our walk-out, we call it our "garden cranny". It could be really nice, so along with my morning glory growing all over the canopy, I'd like to spruce it up a bit. Make it something special.

Today, we shopped for a birthday party...............Abby just wanted evrything in the store. She made it out with a gift for her friend and 2 things for her! A balloon helicopter toy and a bead necklace kit! Is she spoiled or what?

What to do now?

The pictures above are from Last April and May. I have been looking at garden pictures, mainly to remember what plants are where. Funny how I can forget in just a short time..........

Just my thoughts!

The internet has been such a useful tool during our adoptions, not only can we get ANY kind of information about our childs birth country, but we also "cyber" meet fellow adoptive parents and share our desires for another child.

During our paperchase and wait for Mongolia, I met a wonderful Mom in Florida. She is married and has 2 older biological daughters. They adopted a little boy a few years back from Korea and WERE planning on adopting another boy from Mongolia. We sent emails back and forth and even communicated with each other through gift packages using snail mail. She has proven to be a blessing to me as I know SHE and her family know exactly what we are going through. We support each other........................Adoption Buddies!

Once we heard of Mongolia's changes, we went in seperate directions in continuing our adoptions. They chose Taiwan and it sounded like it was all going to work out well for them. After e-mailing this friend last night, I got some heartbreaking news from her. Although she sounded OK, I had to shed a few tears for her and her family. Taiwan just recently changed their policies, they no longer qualify to adopt sad.

I say she sounded OK, because they have new plans. I guess you could call it "PLAN C". They will search for a child waiting, and go from there. I pray that they find their son, that their little boy soon, someday has a little brother..................

I write this because, to us, this is the reality of adoption as we see it now. It does not take just 2 to create a family through adoption. It takes EVERYTHING. It takes phone calls to social workers and government agencies. It takes money. It takes opening up your life to be "judged" by others. In cases like these, it consumes you. Once you feel in your heart that another child has a place, you fight as hard as you can to find him. My Buddy is a fighter..........................she and her family give me stregnth. THANK YOU!

She knows who she is, so I am not mentioning her name on here! But I will tell you that meeting her via Mongolian Adoption was a blessing, one I hope to cherish the rest of my life. If we were taken in that direction, only for us to meet, that is enough. It was all worth it.

Thank you Buddy! I cherish you!


Sunday, March 2, 2008

A brief description.....

For those of you just joining us on our Journey to our son, I figured I would fill you in. It has been a whirlwind for us, so it must be a bit confusing to others. Many of you know that we originally thought our son was in Mongolia!

Kevin (Dad) works for BD's Mongolian Grill, and has worked for them for almost 2 years. When Kevins restuarnt opened in September of 2006 and at the opening events, our family met Uusaan, the owner of the Bd's in Mongolia! He took to Abby fast and sat and had lunch with us. He was a very nice man and was very curious about Kevin and I adopting Abby from China. He then asked "why not Mongolia?" I told him that I had no idea they has an international adoption program, but will check it out!

Well, we checked into it and just thought it was meant to be for us. We started gathering paperwork and completed our dossier in July 2007, our dossier was finally submitted to Mongolia in August of 2007.

We knew right away that the Mongolian program was not stable. It was on hold all of 2007 due to staff changes in Mongolia, we knew our wait would be a long one!

In January of 2008, we got a call from our agency saying that Mongolia's board had started meeting, but news was not good. Mongolia changed the rules. Dosssiers of Families with children from other countries were no longer being accepted for placement. This means, because we have a daughter adopted from China, we do not qualify for these new standards. I cannot even tell you how much this pains us, as our daughter has been learning about Mongolia and about her soon to be brother. We feel Mongolia is unjust in their new policies and have worked with our agency and the US embassy in Mongolia for them to sway their decisions. As our dossier sits, waiting to be denied, we have been advised to go to Plan B. So here we are! Thailand, plan B.

Because we have Thailand, we have faith. It really doesn't matter where our son is, just that we find him. These are the unknowns about adoption, things happen. We are strong! We feel in our hearts that our son is.........somewhere, it is just a matter of finding him.

So, your caught up!


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Abby's Gotcha Moment

Being an adoptive Mom already, I know what this process is like, atleast I think I do. One day we will get a call, then a picture, then we start packing, then one day we have a baby. The prgnancy is the "wait" and the labor is the plane ride and it lasts up until you have what you went for.....your child! The the "wait" is all worth it. Nothing else matters............not the "pregnancy" not the "labor" ................a pure joy comes!

I am reminded of this because tonight my daughter asked to watch "her movie" ! It is her movie of the day we met in China. It is special to her, as it is to us. As I watched it, I did not cry, like I always seem to do.............I learned from it!

As I watched her being handed to Kevin..........I remebered the joy! You see, back then, I doubted it too! I just could not believe someone was going to HAND us a baby. Well.................they did!!!! And I REMEMBER!

So enjoy Abby's Gotcha moment again! I just love seeing that smile she gave us! I really don't think she has stopped smiling since! PURE JOY!

It did work!!!! I came back to this blog tonight surprised to see the video working! Yippee.
The vidoe is actually from a year ago, Abby is so much bigger now! But I love it and it is small enough to add here. Hope you like it too!

K that didn't work! I have to admit this "Blogging" thing is VERY new to me. This is exactly why I started this blog now, long before we travel! I need to play with it a little and see what it can and cannot do. So hang in there, it never takes me too long to figure things like this out!

I tryed to add a very cute video clip of Abby. .........................oh well, I'll figure it our eventually!


Ahhhh The love of a child...............nothing better!