Friday, March 28, 2008

Mr. Mom / Prayer Request

Bo is home today and again on Monday. Nissan is having 2 non production days since the car market is a bit slow right now. Of course that translates into "non salary days" as well. He will be starting a new schedule soon too, working 9.5 hour days and being off on Friday until the market picks up. With the cost of gas being so high, we may be saving money. I am not too worried, and I know that he will love being home on Fridays. Of course, when he sees his "to do" list, he may wish he was back at work. With him being off today, I allowed him the privilege of taking the kids to school and picking them up. That allowed me to go back to bed this morning and sleep before I have to work tonight. I guess I could get used to that!

I want to ask everyone who reads our blog to really start praying about our adoption. I know many of you do and I appreciate it. But I really want people to make it an urgent matter of prayer. I really believe that we could receive a waiting child referral (special needs) soon if God allows it. I know that God has a plan with all of this and I believe that we have a daughter waiting on us. His word says: Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matthew 21: 21, 22 Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4: 6. Well, I believe what His word says, and I need to pray in FAITH, that God will provide our daughter in a timely manner and remove this "mountain" from us. I also need all my friends and family to pray this same prayer, in FAITH. I believe that God hears our prayers and will answer them and I want all of you to really make this a prayer request. I also would ask that you pray that God will continue to provide the money needed to bring Emma home. I am not going to let Satan rob me of my faith by worrying about money. We are too close to the mark to worry about it and God has provided for us faithfully. I thank all of you for your prayers and support and know that we would not be able to make it without every one's love and prayers. We are so blessed and look so forward to sharing Emma with all of you. Please continue to pray for her, wherever she is.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Cleaning

I made a huge discovery today! We have a walk in closet and it has a window. This was a revelation to me, because I have been unable to "walk in" that closet without tripping on something and silently cursing under my breath. What a mess! I am sure that window has never been cleaned or the blind dusted in the 15 years that we have lived here. I must do something about my poor housekeeping! Well, the window is clean and I even raised it to allow in some fresh air and the closet looks great if I do say so myself! Of course, it has taken all day and I accomplished nothing else. 2 bags for Goodwill, 2 bags for yard sale, and a bag of trash. How did we get so much stuff? It's very therapeutic to clean out a closet. Purging things that you no longer need is really very gratifying! Maybe I'm nesting. Is that a sign that we will be getting Emma before too long? Probably not, but worth considering.

Well, mom's taxi is about to start her second running. Pick up the boys at school, take Brady to bassoon, Ashton to the library and run errands in between. Just another day being a mom and really, I can't imagine anything I would enjoy more. Well, maybe a mom with a housekeeper.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Shopping - Not Very Successful

I spent the day shopping. I was literally the first customer in Target this morning. I needed to get some things for the baby shower we are having this weekend for Angel, so I got an early start. I then headed to Kohl's. I have only shopped there once or twice and that was for other people, so I wasn't sure if I would have any luck finding anything. Well, I did manage to get 2 tops, a purse, and a picture frame for $22. Not too bad. They had major clearance items, but it's a bit unorganized. I moved on to the mall and bought nothing. I don't know if I'm just getting old or what the deal is, but I can't find any clothes that I like. I really need some new things and I was determined to find some stuff today, but no luck. I just don't see anything that's cute out there and I am too tight to pay some of the prices. I guess I have gotten used to buying stuff at Good Will! I made a quick trip to Kroger, where I was hit up for money in the parking lot by some man whose "car was out of gas and he was 60 miles from home". It made me so uncomfortable to look up and have this man standing at my car door asking for money. Of course, I didn't give him any and had this guilty feeling of what would Jesus do. Then I went in and watched him drive off. Amazingly, he had gas. I told the cashier and they reported it to the manager, but he was gone when I left. On to Sams and then home to get the boys. That was my day. A whirlwind of excitement.

Brady is scheduled to go on a trip to Washington, DC at the end of May and he has decided he doesn't want to go. "None of my friends are going and I really didn't want to go anyway." What's up with that? As of now, we have paid several hundred on this trip and if we cancel we lose money. I have explained to my precious offspring that if he decides not to go, he has to pay the $350 that we lose. Of course, he's not too happy with that, but it seems pretty fair to me. He has until tomorrow to make his decision, so we'll see. Kids are so weird. Surely I wasn't that way:) Although I really am not very excited about going on a trip with 8th grade kids, I was looking forward to visiting Washington. I'm anxious to hear his decision!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Nothing Too Exciting

Okay, so nothing big happening here. Easter was nice. We had a good service at church and then had lunch with Bo's parents and sister. I was scolded by Ashton for the Easter Bunny oversight (as I suspected I would be.) He couldn't believe he didn't have a basket and only received one lowly chocolate bunny. I should be reported for this indiscretion.

I have spent the last 2 days feeling rather sorry for myself while we wait on our daughter. There is nothing more frustrating than being "stuck". That's where we are. Stuck in the process of waiting for China to move along and getting no where . I know that each day that passes brings us closer to Emma, but the wait just seems endless. I've been looking over all the adorable faces on an adoption website and that didn't help. It is truly amazing how many children are available for adoption. I would certainly do this all again, because I know that this is God's plan for our lives, and I would encourage anyone thinking about adoption to consider it prayerfully. There are so many children in this world who need loving families and so many families that have that love to give. Even with all the waiting we are faced with, I know it will be worth it. I just have those days when it's really hard and I guess the last few have been that way. So, enough of that!

Melissa and I went for a walk today. Poor thing, she's tired! Little Miss Rory had been awake since 4 a.m. and momma was feeling the pain. I remember those non-sleeping days with the boys. I'm sure it's even harder with a newly adopted child who can't be left with anyone else yet. (Attachment and bonding - a big adoption issue for those not familiar). Well, Rory was just as happy as she could be riding in the stroller, making noises and imitating us. Too cute! She seems to be doing well except for this whole schedule thing. It will come and Melissa can remind me of that when we bring our little dumpling home! I wonder if they make a combination stroller and wheelchair, at this rate Bo and I may need one!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

So Many Dresses, No One to Dress

Anyone who knows me knows I love a good deal. I guess that's why there are at least 3 beautiful little "Easter" dresses in Ashton's closet. Poor kid, it's a good thing he so masculine with all those girl clothes in his closet:) But anyway, when you come across pretty spring dresses that would look adorable on your imaginary daughter, and they are marked down to $4, you have to buy them. Of course, now that they have been in the closet for 2 years, I'm wondering if they will ever be used! Maybe next year we will have a little girl to dress up in all those frills and lace. Otherwise, Ashton might need to get concerned. Someone in this house is going to wear those dresses and it might be him!

Ashton had his first games this weekend and was politely spanked in a couple of them. Well, I guess you would call 72-18 a spanking. He told me the boys on that team were huge! Bo said they looked like they were 16 years old, so I think I can understand the spanking. They played 4 games and lost 2, so at least they broke even.

I feel like a really rotten mom this morning. For the first time since my children were born, I did not fix them an Easter basket. Yes, I realize they are almost 12 and 14, but I still feel bad. I just ran out of time and they got home from Disney before I finished the shopping. They do have a chocolate bunny, but that's it. I'm sure they will live and hopefully not be scarred for life, but I do feel bad. I'm sure that I will get over it and I will try to make up for it next year.

Friday, March 21, 2008

There's No Place Like Home, Except Maybe Disney

Well, my little travelers have returned and I think Brady is glad to be home, but Ashton is still suffering from missing the "Happiest Celebration on Earth". He seems a little melancholy with his return and I remember feeling like that when I was a kid, so I'm not taking it personally. The McGowans drove all the way home yesterday because the weather was not so good in Orlando, so they decided to get a move on home. We met them at the High School gym and Ashton went straight to AAU basketball practice. He has his first game tonight at McGavock High and of course I will be working and unable to see it.

I guess we are all just tired today. When I woke up this morning, Ashton had evidently spent the night in my bed and I think Bo must be in Ashton's room. A bit unorganized this morning. Ashton instructed me to bring him some pancakes in bed and "chop chop". Well, needless to say I rushed right to it:) Yeah right!

I can't believe it's Easter weekend. It's so pretty out today, but I think it's going to be cold for Easter. I'm really ready for spring now. It's also hard to believe that my dad died 14 years ago Sunday (March 23). The time has gone by so fast, but that day is so vivid in my mind. It's weird how some things just stay with you. I remember how beautiful the day was that year. I actually had the windows open because it was so warm. It was Brady's first trip to the hospital to meet my coworkers and we had just gotten home when I found out my dad had been taken to the hospital. We just missed crossing paths. But as Forrest Gump would say, that's all I have to say about that.

I have not gotten very much done this week, but that's ok. I spent the day with Aunt Sissy on Wednesday and Miss Mary yesterday. I really enjoyed being with them both and I know they enjoyed the company. House work can wait.

Easter is such a special time. Of course we all love to see the little ones hunting Easter eggs and looking adorable in their Easter outfits, but for Christians it's about so much more. It's hard to even fathom the love that Christ had for us that he died a brutal death to save us. I often think about how much I love my children and how I would die for them, but they are people that I love. Christ died for people that are not easy to love. I have a hard time with that sometimes, but I am so thankful for it. I know I was one of those people who has been hard to love and I am so thankful he chose to die for me.

I hope everyone reading this blog has a very Blessed Easter.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Date Night

OK, so maybe we are not the crazy fun couple we used to be, but I guess that comes with age. Bo and I went to dinner last night at Outback and then went Krogering. Yes, I know it sounds way too exciting, but we did have fun. Bo loves to see me using coupons and he was impressed last night when I got 4 tubes of toothpaste free, 2 bags of Romaine salad mix for .49 cents, 6 cans of free dog food, and came out saving almost $50 in coupons. Yes, in his eyes I'm some kind of frugal goddess:) Well, you have to impress where you can! Seriously, we did have fun. It's nice to have adult conversation and just enjoy each other's company.

One of Bo's friends at work, Carla, sent us $100 yesterday in an envelope labeled Emma McGowan adoption fund. It was so sweet and thoughtful of her. I was just so surprised and it really meant so much to me. I guess with the long wait it just feels like Emma isn't real to anyone yet, except us, and even I sometimes have a hard time with the concept. But she is real, whether she has been born yet or not. God has the most perfect little girl picked out for our family and I am thankful for that. This donation was such a blessing and will be used to bring her home. We are still several thousand off from what we need, but I know that God provides and we are not worrying about it. Bo has been selling a lot on eBay and we may try to have another yard sale in the spring. I just hate to have the "3rd annual Emma Adoption Sale". I never would have imagined it would take this long! I'm sure our repeat customers might think we are scamming them and there really isn't an Emma at all:)

I didn't hear from my travelers last night. I guess thay were partying to hard to call mom. I spoke with them Monday night while I was at work and Ashton informed me he wasn't missing me "a bit". I'm thinking that's his way of hiding his homesick feelings. Of course, I don't really believe that, but it makes me feel better! Brady informed me, in his very 14 year old masculine voice, that he did miss me. I'm sure he was just trying to make me feel better too!

Monday, March 17, 2008

It Sure Is Quiet Here

Well, the travelers are in Orlando and I'm sure they have ridden as many rides as possible by now. They called last night and were at their hotel and it had a big screen TV, so life was good. They were heading to Outback to eat. Pop and Giggee have no idea how much these 2 boys can eat at Outback. I warned them! Steak and salmon will be the selection. Oh for the days of the children's menu! I took these pictures Friday night before I went to work as my travelers were preparing for their journey and I thought they were cute.

Bo and I have decided it sure is quiet without the boys around. You get so used to them screaming at one another, running around the house, and just being boys that when there is no noise it's really weird. We actually just laid around the house yesterday after I woke up and he got home from church and did nothing. We watched the ballgames and movies and as usual, fell asleep on the couch. We are getting so predictable. I have to work again tonight, so I'm just taking it easy today and then my husband is going to take me to dinner tomorrow night. Wow, a night out without the kids!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Who's Driving this CAR?

Another busy day, but I managed to get in 2 walks today and really enjoyed them. I loved my middle of the day walk with Dede, but I really loved my evening walk with Melissa and her adorable girl. Okay, Melissa was fun, but looking at Rory was wonderful. She is so beautiful. Very solemn, no smiles to me yet, but she is a beauty. So petite!

So I get in the car last night on the way to church and Bo is in the passenger seat and Brady is in the drivers seat. Do you see a problem with that, since he's only 14 and has never driven except in the driveway! I white knuckled it all the way to church. Brady did a good job for a beginner. His greatest statement of the evening was while on the way. "I don't think we need to go to church tonight, I think there's a lot of praying in this car right now." Too funny. I made a decision last night that I don't mind taking care of a lot of things. Give me the stomach bugs, the dirty clothes, the yucky stuff, but Bo can teach the boys to drive. I just don't think I can do it.

The boys are counting down to Disney. Now I just have to get them all packed. I know they are going to having a blast. They have already devised their plan of action and are ready to go.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Swinging Clubs to help with Stress

I finally got to try out my new golf clubs that my husband gave me for Christmas and I love them. Of course, I didn't hit any better with those than with the old ones, but I really loved them. Hybrid clubs are the bomb. Thanks Dede for calling and saying lets go hit a bucket of balls. What great therapy right before you go to a meeting with your child's teachers:)

I had another chance encounter with an adoptive parent this afternoon. I'm calling these my God moments. I was talking with the ladies at the post office (while mailing e-bay items to raise money for our girl) and they were asking questions about the adoption and how much longer. I of course use my standard "who knows, they are waiting until I get really old" line and then I left the post office. While I was putting on my seat belt this man knocked on my window and I opened the door. He said "I know you don't know me, but I heard you talking in there and I just wanted to tell you that it will be worth the wait when you get your daughter." He then introduced me to his daughter who was adopted (not Chinese) and she was adorable. He said he just wanted me to know that the wait was worth it and he was so thankful for his beautiful girl. What a great God moment!

On another note, my boys are going to Disney World next week with Bo's parents. They are so excited (the boys:) I know they will all have a blast, but I am sort of jealous. I'm sure that I will think of something to do while they are gone!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Daily Life

It's been few days since I posted due to working several extra shifts. I must be getting old because I'm just exhausted after working extras and messing with my sleep schedule. Friday night was the best night we've had in the ER in a long time. The snow and ice started around 5:15 and it really helped our night out. Only 2 pts. However, it melted on Saturday and then I paid dearly for that good night.

No new adoption news. I had received an e-mail from our agency yesterday stating thay had received 20 waiting child referrals (formerly called special needs) and they would be contacting people if there was a match. No call, as I suspected. It's understandable since we have not been on the Waiting Child list for very long, but it's still hard not to get your hopes up.

The boys have been pretty active. Due to Brady's loss of privileges, he's spending a lot of time wandering aimlessly. He is getting some reading in and playing his guitar. We get report cards tomorrow, so that should be loads of fun. Ashton never slows down, so you just have to try to keep up the pace. I often think what he would be like if I allowed him to drink caffeine. A constant whirlwind would best describe him I'm sure. He spent the night at a friend's house on Saturday for a big birthday party with his ball team. He was rated one of the top 3 for good behavior by the hosting parents, so that was good. I was told their was a little "ruckus" by a couple of the boys resulting in one of them hitting the other. When I asked Ashton what happened his reply was quick "boys will be boys mom". Too cute.

Tomorrow is my only day at home and from the looks of my house, it will take all day. It's a complete mess. That's another hazard of working extra shifts. Nothing seems to stay together. I really admire moms who work full time. I remember how hard it was as well. However, it's supposed to be really nice out and I would rather be playing golf than cleaning house.

Pretty boring read, so I guess I will call it quits. Not a lot of excitement in our lives right now and I guess that can be a good thing.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Moma Said There Would Be Days Like This

No matter how well your day might begin, a sharp decline happens when you get a phone call from the teacher. Of course, when the call was placed yesterday and you are just now getting the message via voice mail and you haven't even left the house yet, you know your day may be headed downhill. And they say labor is hard! Labor was the easy part, raising these little darlings is the part I'm trying to figure out. Needless to say, when Brady returned home from school today and his room had been "robbed" of his TV, stereo, IPOD, and gameboy, I think he realized that mom was a little ticked. I will give him kudos for being very mature and discussing it with me like a man. Of course, he didn't get anything back, nor will he until his grades improve, but he did handle himself in a very mature manner.

I had started reading a Beth Moore devotion this morning and as I was reading it later in the day, she had written about living your life in a whirlwind or a earthquake, wherever you might find yourself, and while you are there, what do you do. When the ground is moving and shaking all around you and everything is caving in, how do you handle it? And then she wrote from Psalms 46 - Be still, and know that I am God. Isn't being still the hardest thing in the world to do? We are all in such a rush with life just whirling about us. But while reading that, I just thought how great it is to know that in my rush, God is watching over me and wants me to know him more personally. When I'm worried about my boys and life in general, he is there for me and I just have to take some time to be still and know he's in control. Why do I have such a hard time with that? Just another area in my spiritual life that requires a lot of work and attention.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Excuse me, but are you adopting?

I had the nicest chance meeting in the grocery with a lady that I had taken care of before in the hospital. I noticed this lady kept looking at me and I thought she looked familiar, but I wasn't sure. She stopped and and said "Aren't you the lady that's adopting?" I immediately remembered her and she was quick to pull out a photo of her granddaughter who is adopted from China. Adorable and according to grandmother, just the smartest child ever! She was so sweet and wanted to know how much longer and all the details. Well, at least I could refer her to our blog and tell her to keep watching. Eventually something has to happen! It's the eventually part that is killing me.

Okay, so Ashton is the funniest kid in the world. After discovering that someone had a wildlife camera in the woods by our house, he decided the only thing to do was wait until his buddy Payton was here and then go for a walk in the woods. Did I mention he was wearing a huge Chewbacca (spelling?) mask and walking like Bigfoot? Okay, so I would love to be the person who looks at that footage. I can only imagine how silly these guys were in front of a camera. Wonder if they will make it on the news as the latest sighting.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Okay, so I have spent my day with my dear, precious, sweet son being evaluated by Sylvan Learning to start a study skills/organization class. My dear Brady is so smart. He always has been! His problem is that he has difficulty applying himself. Well, in addition to lots of other methods, this is our latest attempt to get him out of middle school and hopefully teach him how important it is to do your work and even more important - TURN IT IN. The teacher at Sylvan was great. She came down to talk with me after he completed the reading comprehension session and was quick to point out he had no deficiencies. "You're 8th grader scored at a 12th grade, 9 month level - he's very intelligent, he just needs to apply himself". No duh! After I got control of my desire to go beat him, I felt a little better. I know how smart he is, but if he doesn't do the work and turn it in it's hard to convince his teachers how smart he is:) So now we learn to study. In all honesty, they don't teach that in school. There really isn't enough time and everyone learns differently. I hope we find the method that works best for him and that these classes help him. I am getting older by the moment and I can easily lay the blame at his feet! On a lighter note, the Sylvan teacher did comment on what a sweet and polite boy he is! I could have told her that too.

Referrals came yesterday and went through Jan. 4, 2006. Our agency did not receive any. Our next referral batch is Jan. 6, 2006. At least CCAA is finally out of 2005. At the rate they are going, the average wait time has increased to 27-28 months from Log in date (LID) with a steady increase of 1 month each month. (Long time would sum it up!) At this rate, the soonest we are looking at would be very late this year, more likely spring of 2009. Depressing.

I am dying to check on Brian and Melissa, but I have not called. I hope they are doing well. No posts on their blog. Can they possibly be a little too busy:)

I read a devotion over the weekend that really hit home with me. It was on faith and based on 2nd Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. The writer states "God's word and His promises are either 100% true or they are not. Since His word is true, your faith is the difference." That has really hit home with me today. Life is so hard. Raising children, dealing with people, finances, waiting on an adoption, etc. I know that I struggle with faith and I also know that I am not the only one. I know Satan must love it when we question or grumble about things. It's an area that I am constantly having to work on and I guess I always will. God's word is true and my faith, or lack thereof, really is the difference. It's days like today that I really am thankful I can pray and ask Him to keep me grounded and show me the way.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Banquets and Babies

Ashton had his last junior league basketball banquet/dance last night and I think all the kids had a lot of fun. The theme was the 70's and some of those kids and parents really went all out. They were too cute. Watching the dance was really the fun part. Several of the boys and girls went together (as much as you can at this age:), but most of them didn't have a dance partner, so mostly they just stood around. Ashton had one girl ask him to dance via her messenger and he sent word via his that he didn't "feel" like it. Of course, it wasn't the girl he really wanted to dance with and that made all the difference. We tried to explain to him it was okay to dance with someone without liking them, but he wasn't so sure. As Bo put it "one dance doesn't mean your going to buy furniture with the girl". Kids are so funny!

Our original plan was to meet Brian and Melissa at their house along with several people from church around 10 p.m. Well, airlines have a way of changing things and their 8:30 flight turned into a 10:40 flight. After some discussion, we decided that midnight wasn't too late for us to go visit people arriving home from a foreign country with a new baby and are we glad that we did. They got home around 12:15 a.m. and Rory was very alert and more adorable in person than in pictures. She is beautiful and seemed to be doing well considering all of the craziness surrounding her. Big brother Camden seemed unfazed as well. So we made a quick food drop and gave some hugs and we hurried on out. I hope their night was not too eventful. She's on Korean time so her day was in full swing.

Well, as a waiting adoptive parent, it really meant a lot to see them get home last night. Of course then I couldn't sleep even though I was physically exhausted. When Bo finally came to bed he said what I was thinking. "Well, is it me or did that just make this wait even harder?" My answer of course was yes. I'm not the least bit jealous of Brian and Melissa. I couldn't be more thrilled for them, I'm just so ready for our time to come. Along with the entire desire for our daughter, it's a feeling of not being complete yet. We know we have another child and we just want her home and we want our lives to become more normal. Waiting is truly the hardest part. Even Brady was wired up after visiting her last night. He just kept saying how pretty she was and how he just wants us to get our baby. It was really sweet. Ashton didn't say as much, but it was obvious by the look on his face that he feels the same way.

So we wait. We wait on an office in China to match us with a child that they deem is a good match. We wait on all that goes along with it, the good and the bad. But at least during the wait I have the assurance of knowing that someone greater is in complete control of this situation and He has the perfect little girl for our family. Our time will come and I am sure after it's all over with and our life does return to normal it will seem like it didn't take that long. But somewhere in another part of the world our baby is waiting. We know that she is going to be worth the wait.