Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Homestudy Finally...

Yay! Canada pulled through and provided my background clearance check. Phew... I was concerned that my unruly years would be represented on that little piece of paper! ha ha.. Anyway, what this means is that I can finally move forward onto the Homestudy. Unfortunately, because we're heading into the holiday season, my social worker didn't think that all parts could be completed until after Christmas... but at least some parts are getting done. I will have my home inspection meeting this Saturday morning -- so that's a start.

Other news regarding single mother adoption -- it looks at this point, unless things change in the Ethiopian regulations, that I will be permitted to adopt from Ethiopia. The government is going to allow ten single mother adoptions per agency per year.... and I will be one of those ten. Thank goodness.

No other exciting news or pictures to post as I've mostly been working this last week... but Happy Thanksgiving to everyone tomorrow!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Changes??

Well, there are rumors and speculation swirling around the adoption world that Ethiopia is, or may be, changing their laws regarding single mother adoptions. Meaning -- they may be restricting or banning future adoptions. I spoke with my case manager yesterday who informed me of this potential change... but she felt hopeful that I may not be affected. Apparently there is a possibility that Ethiopia may allow up to ten single mother adoptions a year per agency... and someone, somewhere in Ethiopia asked my agency for the names of single women currently in the process... therefore, there is a potential light at the end of the tunnel for me. I am choosing not to fret or worry -- there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. If for some reason it is not meant to be... I will cross that bridge when it comes. So... I will remain hopeful, but sad for what this may mean for orphaned Ethiopian children who are missing out on some amazing mom's.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pineapple Classic...


The Annual Pineapple Classic took place this past Sunday, which proved to be as hilarious as it was last year. The premise... create a team of two or four, run 5k as a team, conquer a variety of obstacles along the way (ie. climbing walls, tires, shimming through tubes etc...), all the while carrying a pineapple, and then enjoy the luau at the end of the race. Pretty fun deal. It is an annual fundraising event for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Our team, Malibu Run, finished it... that was our goal!

Following that fun, I decided to venture north for a few nights in Vancouver to catch up with friends and enjoy the city. I love going home... and I was lucky with fantastic sunny weather so that I could enjoy some walks and bike rides. Here are my friends Ann and Mike and their kids, Kaya and Zane... they are so fun.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Emmie!!


My niece, Emma, is 9 today!! Wow... its crazy how time flies and how quickly the kids are growing up. Emma is probably the sweetest, most unselfish person I have ever met in my life. I have no idea how she is capable of so much unconditional love... I really look to her when I try and adjust my life to be more selfless. Happy Birthday sweet thing.... I miss you so much.



On another note... I received this letter in the mail from her last week. I guess I shouldn't be calling upon her for my reference letters... All you need to know is that my sweet, precious niece has been badly corrupted by her Father -- my brother-in-law! It is a horrible thing to take advantage of children and warp them at an early age!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tagged...

Well... I was tagged by Erin and I'm supposed to find the fourth photo in the fourth file of my computer and explain. So... the winner is a picture of my sassy niece Kate.

I adore all my nieces and my nephew for their distinct personalities and humor, but Kate is probably the one that can make me laugh the most. She is exuberant beyond words. Whatever she has to say, she says it passionately -- and often very loudly. She also loves being the center of attention and can crack a joke without even thinking about it. She has an addiction to books... she and her sister, Taryn, can sit literally for hours and just read. I love that.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Major Buzz Kill

Ahhh... the morning was turning out so perfectly... I got up early despite the fact I really like to sleep in... but i really like avoiding rush hour traffic more. I treated myself to a triple shot grande latte from Starbucks... and I hit the road. I made great time and pulled into Olympia earlier than expected (note the foreshadowing here). I had a very nice lady help me get my document state certified and I headed back to Seattle singing my little heart out.

This is where things took a turn.

I was driving through Tacoma listening to one of my favorite U2 songs -- Bad. Just as the song was gaining momentum I noticed the police officer on the side of the road. I even noticed him get excited and start jumping on his motorcycle. I was thinking... too bad for the poor person that's about to get pulled over. La ti da... I'm still singing. But because someone's about to get pulled over, I still pay attention so I can watch it go down. I better even get over to the middle lane so that he can whiz by me and get the offender. Wait... Why is he coming up behind me? Why is he motioning for me to pull over?? Its Me?!?

So, I pull over and start pulling out my registration and license... trying to look like an agreeable person who doesn't deserve a speeding ticket. The officer was all business. He showed me his radar gun indicating that I was going 72 MPH in a 60 MPH zone. Well, everyone knows that you are allowed to go at least 70 in a 60... what's another 2 really?! And, I was going with the flow of traffic... there were plenty of drivers going much faster than me. But I was too proud to tell this officer all my explainable thoughts. As he left to go write up my ticket, I slyly moved my Hospital badge onto the passenger seat.... just in case. Nope. Didn't work. I officially don't like Tacoma... no wonder it won some sort of 'least desirable city to live in' ranking a few years ago.

So, the document that I chose to drive down to get certified so that I could have a happy drive cost me $144, a half tank of gas, and my 'peaceful easy feeling'. I had been feeling slightly guilty about my unnecessary drive and its effect on the environment anyway. Apparently now I'm giving back.. but in the form of more money in Tacoma's pockets.

Whatever. I just pumped up the tunes again and resumed where I left off.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Road Trips....



I just love them. I don't do them often enough... but there's something about hitting the road, plugging in the tunes, and accelerating to who knows where.... I was recently perusing through old families photos and came across shots from our exploration of Europe by VW in 1979. The pictures just make me laugh. My parents were very ambitious for sure -- they took three kids aged eight, six, and four and camped their way through Europe for 2 months before we settled in Edinburgh for the year. I clearly remember that the kids rotated sleeping positions each night and the coveted spot was up front -- across bucket seats, a stick shift and all.... and my parents slept diagonally across the bed in the back. If you look closely you will notice my Dad self-medicating.

So, tomorrow I will take a mini trip down to Olympia to get my Power of Attorney needed for the adoption state certified. I could really get this process done by mail... but I wanted an excuse to hit the road with my new playlist and just drive. There will be some stellar singing I'm pretty sure. Let's hope my, not so deeply rooted, road rage doesn't make an appearance while dodging rush hour traffic! The first step is acknowledging you have a problem.

I heard back from my Social Worker today and she has finally tracked down the appropriate person to get my clearance from Canada who said it "shouldn't take very long"... but wouldn't give a specific timeframe. We'll see!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Oh yeah... Adoption


So, I look back and realize that, although I started this blog to update my friends and family about the adoption process, everyone has been subjected to my everyday life without any mention of adoption for a while. Well, what's going on? Not much. I officially have everything I need to proceed to the next step -- homestudy. But, we need to wait on my Canadian background check to come in. This should maybe concern me a little... not because of what they'll find (I hope! ha), but rather the time it may take! If the government works as quickly as the Canadian postal system, I may be waiting a long time! Oh well. I will not fret. There is nothing I can do... As I said to my social worker -- we may not be the fastest nation, but we're really nice! But, that is where I'm at for now.

Happy notes -- last night we were able to celebrate with my friend Jill at her "end of therapy party"!! Jill is such a rockstar.... she has completed all her rounds of chemotherapy and radiation and did it in style -- she is an inspiration. And, she is looking cuter than ever in her new sassy short hair.

Amy and I decided to take advantage of the fact it has rained something like 10 inches in the mountains this past week and slop through muddy trails in the Cascades. I love the smell of rain and the crispness of the air this time of year. And bonus... we didn't get shot at.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Choices...

To live purposefully in a world that, at times, seems out of control is what I strive for. Despite the exciting results of this weeks' election, other aspects of my life have not been so elating. My heart has been burdened this week... I love what I do for a living and I get to meet the most amazing of people. But sometimes there is no happy ending. I don't understand how and why some people have to endure so much... and my heart literally aches....

But, as I constantly analyze the why's without any really good answers, I frequently remind myself how important it is to live and choose to be happy -- it is a gift. I have so many opportunities, for which I am grateful. I have my health, fantastic family and friends, and freedom. Thank you for the wine, conversation, and laughter Amy.... you are a great friend.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Days!!!

Last election I fell off my chair with the unexpected results... I was holding my breath all morning hoping and wanting to believe that the people of this country would make the right decision. While I snuggled up next to my sweet sweet buddy, Ben, I watched Obama take the stage. I am excited to be excited again. This is a huge victory for the country and the world.

Happy Election Day!!!


It better be anyway..... Go Obama Go!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

More Halloween Fun....




In addition to the big news of Avery's arrival, Halloween fun took place at the hospital too. With the help of a lot of volunteers we were able to pull off our second annual Halloween Carnival. We decked out all the doors with painted doors so the kids could trick-or-treat, and then we followed that up with carnival events. We sufficiently sugared up all the kids to make for a very interesting evening for the night shift!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Yay!! a Halloween Baby!



Avery decided to make a grand entrance yesterday at 4:15pm. She is beautiful and sweet... and apparently a "drama queen" according to her nurse last night! I get to go visit again today so that she knows that I'm her favorite "Auntie".