Friday, October 31, 2008

Someone's in Labor!!!

Defiant from the start! Halloween was the only day Amber didn't want to have her baby!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Enough Said....



Amber... Four days overdue and still counting....

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gearing up for Ethiopia....






Sort of. At the end of this week an amazing team will be heading off to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to do a little "extreme home makeover on the Werea Daycare" (Photos are of Werea Daycare). Here is an excerpt from my caseworker's email explaining the project:
This daycare is different than what we would call a daycare—this is a place that children from incredibly poor families are dropped off to be cared for. The conditions are horrible though—there are no toys, the structure is not a safe environment and this place is not somewhere that we would desire children to spend all of their days.
My friends, Annie and Dan, are helping head up this project and have organized a group of men to work hard all week to accomplish an ambitious goal. I am so excited for them -- what an experience. I think it is so fantastic that AGCI is investing beyond just Hannah's Hope. My heart aches for Ethiopia... but that is a whole other discussion.

Aside from bringing their hard work and skill, it is a great opportunity to load up the work crew's bags full of items that will be put to good use at Hannah's Hope and beyond. Hannah's Hope is the home that the children live, receive phenomenal care, and get loved on while they wait to be adopted. I am frequently hounding Annie for detailed information about how Hannah's Hope is run as she was there at its start and this will be her third trip. I was able to take advantage of the fact that I work at a hospital and go "dumpster diving" through medical supplies and medicines that would otherwise be thrown out. I also appreciate all my friends who have helped with donations from the "Hannah's Hope Wish List" and helping obtain sought after medicines.

So... I will live vicariously through this group and know that my time is coming sometime in the relative near future.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Great Great Friends....

Again, I am just blown away by the generosity of the people in my life. Tonight was such a great night... I am so lucky to work at a place where many of my co-workers also have become my greatest friends. They wanted to take me out to my favorite Ethiopian restaurant to celebrate my plans to adopt -- that was going to be fantastic enough. But in addition to hanging out with my cool peeps, they showed up bearing gifts! I have beautiful flowers to stare at (a rarity in my life sadly!), a 2L of diet coke (do they know me or do they know me?!), and I am now the proud owner of a great new stroller! How awesome are my friends?! I have said this before -- I knew that having a baby was going to be a fantastic experience and one that my friends and family would embrace along side of me... but I never expected to feel so loved and supported during the process of adoption. I don't know why I'm shocked by this because the people I surround myself with are amazingly cool and generous. Its just an overwhelming feeling and one that I'm grateful for.

Whaoo hooo... Today I sent off all the paperwork that I could to my agency. I am waiting on just a couple of things before they can schedule my homestudy. But it does feel good to have it off in the mail so I no longer stare at it.....

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tagged



I've been tagged? I'm learning that "tagging" is rampant amongst bloggers... and although I ignore these type of emails normally because I don't feel like I have anything interesting to share.... I will choose not to be a party pooper. So, seven random/weird facts about me:
  1. I have an unhealthy love for Bono... U2 as well... but specifically Bono (not a shock for anyone that knows me);
  2. I am a member of the SourToe Cocktail club (you'll have to look it up);
  3. My ancestor fell off the Mayflower (we're proud of that family heritage);
  4. I am the farthest thing from a morning person (my friends at work can attest to this... I think they're still my friends?!);
  5. I love traveling... I love roadtrips..... I love dangerous bus/train rides in random countries... I love adventure.... I love airports;
  6. I thoroughly enjoy adrenaline rushes -- skydiving, bungy jumping, flying down the ski hill... the faster the better... usually;
  7. In college I essentially lived on a diet of poptarts, ice cream, and diet coke.
I don't know who to tag that hasn't already been.... so, here it stays I guess.

Vote...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Fun....



This week has been full of random and fun things. Today I went to my very first pumpkin patch... apparently this is a common annual event for many. I grew up picking out the perfect pumpkin from the bins outside the local Safeway... who knew this existed?! We really went to explore and conquer the corn maze though... and conquer we did.

On Saturday night my friend Jen had a White Trash Party. She recently bought a "fixer-upper", which had bathtubs and toilets sitting in her front lawn... thus the theme of the party came very naturally. I had to swear on my life not to publish any photos I took on my blog. Weird. Imagine if you will, inappropriate usage of wife beaters, big hair, caked on make-up, and much much more that I don't even feel like I should describe! I was saying little prayers to and from Jen's that I wouldn't be pulled over by the local police as my outfit would've required a lot of explaining -- especially if I was close to Aurora at the time!

As far as adoption stuff -- I sent off my fingerprints to the FBI this week (hence the graffiti ed envelope begging them to process them quickly). Another good reason for not getting pulled over and arrested Saturday night... the mug shot would've been awesome. I'm pretty much done everything that I can do and am simply waiting to receive letters back from other people... and then we start in on the home study.


I had to post this cute picture of my buddy Connor(after getting approval from his mother of course) who I took care of a lot over a year ago... Isn't he just the best? He gives the best snuggly hugs ever.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!




Canadian Thanksgiving that is... My American friends really get a kick out of Canadian Thanksgiving... they aren't quite sure what they're celebrating... but bottom line is they'll celebrate almost anything if it results in a full-on turkey feast. The inaugural "Canadian Thanksgiving" started as a mini dinner party seven years ago with about 5 of us. It has turned into a full-blown event now. Amy and I now host the annual party (Amy doesn't really have a choice because we have it at her place, she's been to every one, and she's half Canadian -- it would be unpatriotic if she didn't want to participate!). Last year we maxed out with over thirty people salivating over the turkey and pumpkin pie... this year we shortened the invite list to the mid-twenties... to make it more quaint! It was great fun.... fortunately I made it home before the tryptophan kicked in. Oh... and Rosanne and Brian. You were, and are, definitely missed. Sorry we couldn't skype...

Over the weekend I made a quick trip up to Vancouver to celebrate with my family. It was a full weekend of gluttony. Fantastic.

On the adoption front I am still plugging away... I am almost done with all the Homestudy paperwork. At least its satisfying to be doing something.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I'm Overwhelmed.....

by generosity! I am feeling all gushy today so I may as well let everyone know! I just feel so blessed by the people in my life. I was telling my friend tonight that I know, without a doubt, that I am doing what I'm supposed to be doing -- adopting my baby girl. I feel God clearly saying "Yes". Initially, I had a couple of panicky days early on wondering how I was going to do this... but all those doubts have been erased and I feel a huge sense of peace about it now. Huge burdens have been lifted by friends and family through their gifts, support, and enthusiasm. I really embrace the philosophy, "it takes a village", and I cannot think of better people to have surrounding and embracing my future daughter.



This is the first gift I received -- from Sue at work. Isn't it absolutely gorgeous! I cannot believe that people can actually do this... I am blown away! I love it Sue... thanks!

I have spent two straight days pretty much working through the paperwork and online courses. I have made strides... I can see the dent. Yay! Now I have to start hounding other people to write letters, fill out forms etc.. I wonder what I can bribe them with?!?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My homework has started....




Oh I love my life most of the time! The girls and I headed down to Seaside for a few nights and probably Amber's last hurrah before she has gives birth in a few weeks (Thanks Chris for letting Amber come!!)... I love being by the ocean and the beach cabin that we stay in (thanks to Melanie's cousin) is super cute... As it was the last time we came down, we were greeted with a lot of rain -- but it makes it more cozy that way. I think we watched at least 4 movies, played countless games, read, finished a few crosswords, ate very well, and explored and shopped a little. We started the holiday strong though all cozy and tucked in watching the highly anticipated VP debate. Go "OBiden" Go. Don't even get me started about Palin.
When I got home I had a box waiting at my door. Within the box contained my Homestudy binder and my Adoption Planner. It is quite the list of things to accomplish... but I'm just going to try and put my head down, think positively, and plow through it. Not only does it involve gathering a bunch of documents, references, governmental forms etc... initially there are educational lessons and workbooks to work through. I'm finding it interesting already.
One last thing... I had a nice little chat with my 8 year niece, Emma, in Australia tonight. We hadn't had the opportunity to really chat about her being a new cousin next year. So, we talked about it tonight and she asked me if I was going to have a girl or boy. I told her it was probably going to be a girl and she had the response, "well that's good Auntie Shauna -- because girls like to sleep in whereas boys get up way too early..... and I know how much you like to sleep in". Ahhh... I love that girl. And it proves that, although we live a half a world away, she knows me very well! It is not lost on me that I need to take advantage of these remaining months of long, uninterrupted sleep by the way... I'm taking full advantage!