Friday, March 31, 2006

Words I love

The words below are not words that I love for their meanings, but just love to be able to use. My sister says I use SAT words. I will incorporate a word in to a conversation and she will say... Good SAT word! We are geeks!


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Things I wonder about

1. How old will Madeline be at referral?

2. Will Riley be open to adding a new sibling?

3. Can we actually manage 3 kids?

4. Will the money be there when we need it?

5. Will we ever get to Australia to see Moe?

6. Why do I love being at home with my kids when I must work?

7. Will the nursery be ready in time?

8. Why are there so many mean people?

9. Do friends really matter as much as some people think they do?

10. How did I get lucky enough to find a man who loves me as much as my husband does?

11. Will I be strong when my kids need me?

12. Why does music move me so?

13. How do you know when to say no? or yes for that matter?

14. How much longer will be have to wait to see Madeline for the first time?

15. Will James be happy with two siblings? He loves Riley so much!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Best Sound in the World

Well, anyone who knows us well knows that Riley has some speech issues. When he was abandoned, his way of dealing was to completely refuse to talk. He didn't speak at all for the 11 months he was in foster care. So.... getting him home and talking has been such a huge deal. His poor little mouth muscles were so weak! He could not suck a drink up threw a straw!

He has made tremendous progress and is now talking ALOT! It is not easy for "strangers" to understand his speech but it is steadily improving.

That being said...

at nap time on Monday I put Riley to bed with his little play cell phone. It plays songs, beeps, rings and... here is the neat part, records. I recorded my voice saying "I love you, Riley" He pushes that button ALL the time. So, when he first laid down for his nap I hovered by the door listening to him. I could hear him talking... so, I wanted to listen. (Okay, you can call me a snoopy mom if you want.) Well, Riley was pushing the button to hear my voice and he would then say... "I Wuv You Mama" He would push the button again and hear me say "I love you, Riley" and then he would say, "I Wuv You Mama" Boy.. I was then in tears! That is probably the best feeling in the world. No one was telling him to say anything.. trying to get him to speak. He was just saying he loved me.

Since Monday Riley has been coming up to me several times a day to tell me he loves me. His nap time practice must have added to his confidence. Today he told Nana (my mother) he loved her. He also told James, Daddy and his cousin Carolyn.

He is a so absolutely right for me.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

About Me

1. My happiest times are spent with my family. I prefer to be with my husband and sons above all else. I never thought I would be this way. I have always been very outgoing... but home is the best place of all.

2. I love dorky boy bands. No clue why they are so appealing...but just love em!

3. My lifelong dream has always been to perform on Broadway. That to me would be the ULTIMATE job! I love to sing, dance, act... being on stage is the BEST! That is probably why I became a teacher. I am in front of an audience each and every day!

4. I love bad jokes. The more innane and immature, the better. I love to watch people roll their eyes after I let them have a real zinger! That is fantastic!

5. I am not a good cook, though I love to cook. I can't follow a recipe well. I can't make the same thing the same way twice. I have not killed anyone with my bad cooking yet.... my family us very patient with my limited culinary skills. My mother on the other hand is an AMAZING cook! Yum!!

6. I think you should always make enough chocolate chip cookie dough so there is plenty to eat. This should be a law.

7. I am addicted to Buccaneer football. I work at all of the home NFL events here in Tampa. I have even worked a Super Bowl! I have actually attended more professional sporting events then my husband who is VERY athletic!

8. If I could be on the computer, watch soaps and talk on the phone all at the same time I would think I was in heaven.

9. I thought being in China was absolutely amazing. I actually missed it when we got home. I have been like a giddy child thinking about our next trip. I think it is the most beautiful place I have ever been.

10. If I had my way, I would be independently wealthy with a hot cabana boy. Oh yea... and Mike Alstott would be my torrid affair boyfriend. haha... And YES, my husband knows this! He just thinks I am me and accepts all of my craziness.

11. I think Carabas Steak Marsala is sinfully delicious.

12. I have two sisters. We are so different! I am the middle child and LOVE to play the neglected middle child role to annoy my parents.

13. My husband thinks I am funny. There is nothing better in the world.

14. My son, James, who is 9, thinks I think I am more funny than I actually am. hmmm... I like his father's perspective better.

15. I think I should be able to wear a tiara whenever I want. I don't understand why that bothers other people.

16. Whomever invented jeans is a saint!

17. I have a lot of acquaintances but only a very few friends. Friends are special.

18. I think a white wall in a home is a sin! COLOR RULES!

19. I want a yappy little puppy I can carry around in a purse. I think I would name the puppy a big dog name like Butch.

20. Legos are entirely too pointy. Nothing hurts more than to step on a darn Lego piece in the middle of the night on the way to the bathroom.

21. I think parents should be held more accountable for their child's academic success.

22. I once had a Big Mac attack outside a closed McDonald's when I was in high school. That is the closest I ever came to being arrested. It was pretty funny... well the police officer didn't think so.

23. If you don't know what a Big Mac attack is... YIKES! You are YOUNG! haha

24. I think a child's laugh is the best sound in the world.

25. If I could be remembered for only one thing... it would be for being a loving mother.

26. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people walk into a convenience store with dirty feet! YUCK!

27. When I was little I used to do things and then blame my sister. She was always SOOOOO good. I never got away with it.

28. I think there is nothing that gets adrenaline pumping more than a great kiss. My husband can still... after almost 20 years together give me a kiss like that.

29. My husband and I have been together for more than half of our lives.

30. We were told we would never have children. James was a fertility miracle. Riley was an unexpected miracle. Madeline is just a miracle.

31. I have never tasted peanut butter and jelly.

32. I think the word nougut just sound yucky! I have never eaten a candy bar.

33. I think black olives are like little yummy presents you can carry around on your fingers.

34. I have never understood the song/game "Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar"

35. I love reality T.V. Now that being said.. I have never watched Survivor.

36. How many spin-offs of CSI can be legally made? Don't watch any of them... can't think of a good reason why to

37. Listening to James sing in the car makes my heart happy.

38. The first time Riley chose to sit with me and cuddle, I cried like a baby.

39. I prefer a sunset over a sunrise.

40. I am NOT a morning person.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Tiny Footprints

- By Jenn M.

Before your lungs could breathe
and your eyes could see,
your little feet
were walking all over me.

Before you could crawl,
and even talk,
your little toes
took a walk.

They took a journey,
went far and wide.
They traveled to my soul
where they now reside.

With every second that passes
they make another move.
With every day that ends,
they dig another groove.

No matter how long or how far
we might be apart,
your tiny little footprints
are all over my heart.

Friday, March 24, 2006


Okay, the CCAA has posted an update on their website. I am adding the exact message here. This is VERY good news!
What this means is that our dossier has completed the review process! If there are any questions or problems with our dossier, they are asked when it is in the Review Room. Woohoo! No questions or problems for us!!! Yipeee!! I am jumping up and down!! Now, the long wait for the end of May, all of June and July to be matched before we are matched with Madeline. Keep your fingers crossed!!!

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Hmmmm... so, it is taking China 4 months to match the families with May LID's. That is so perplexing to me. I guess I am sitting here wondering if this is the beginning of the end of international adoptions from China. It seems that it is working it's way towards a grinding halt. If this time schedule continues it could be a YEAR before we receive our referral. I just can't wrap my brain around it.

Now, I am far from a rocket scientist. I don't profess to even have a glimmer of an idea as to the working environment in China. I do believe that the CCAA is working hard. I am just so darn frustrated.

I know we needed this extra time to recoup financially from all of the unexpected expenses that hit us all at once, but MAN I am ready to see some progress. On some levels it feels as if referrals have not even come in for the past few months. I feel like I am in a haze. I worry that something will happen and we won't be able to bring Madeline home. I am feeling insecure.

Okay... I know, I know... all will happen in the right time. I know we will be matched with the perfect baby.. .but I am just really worried that I am starting to be truly depressed. I am not really sure how to make this better.

On a happier note... I am so blessed and truly lucky to be surrounded by a husband who loves me dearly and two boys who think they have the best mom in the world. They help soooo much. I think sometimes the wait is more difficult when I look into my sweet, Riley's face as he sleeps. I wish he could have come home sooner. I don't want Madeline to be without her family for even one second longer than necessary.

So... the wait continues. Our paperwork was sent to China 8 months ago and logged in 7 months ago. I am ready for some forward movement!!!!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Were you Born Today?

Were you born today across the ocean deep and blue? Did someone wrap you warmly? Did they stop and gaze at you?

Did they look upon your almond eyes and touch your silken hair? Did they stop to kiss each tiny toe, hear your breath upon the air?

Did you hear a soft voice comforting, securely in her arms? The warmth of two souls bonding, Oh, the lure of newborn charms.

Were they charmed by every movement; every yawn and stretch and pout? Did they celebrate with handshakes and good spirits all about? (Or were the tears mistaken, as they fell upon your face? Their eyes were wells of sorrow? Their heads hung in disgrace?

Did they tremble when they realized the thing that would be done? Did they mourn the new day coming, with the rising of the sun?)

Did they place you, oh so tenderly, in the place where you werefound? Were those blankets wrapped up tightly to deny the cold, hard ground?

Did she whisper words of comfort with a love that was so deep? Did she recognize the features of this one she could not keep?

Did you feel the night wind blowing as it carried in the morn? Did you hear your mother weeping on the day that you were born?

And here across the ocean a mother weeps for you. How long before she travels `cross that ocean, deep and blue?

How long before she gazes at those little dimpled hands? How long before she travels to that promised, distant land?

Her heart is filled with gladness. Her dreams are coming true. The secret thrill of motherhood, across that ocean deep and blue.

And she'll gaze upon your almond eyes and touch your silken hair. She'll stop and kiss each tiny toe….feel your breath upon the air.

And you'll hear a soft voice comforting; the worlds so insecure. Two fragile souls are bonding as they hold each other near.

She'll be charmed by every movement; every yawn and stretch and pout. And she'll celebrate with handshakes and good spirits all about.

And you'll hear the night wind blowing as she rocks you off to sleep. And she'll whisper words of comfort, with a love that is so deep.

.....And far across the ocean a mother weeps.....

-Mary E. McRae

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Two Years Ago Today....

Well, two years ago today we had the biggest and best surprise of our lives. The rumors had been floating around for weeks that CCAA was sending referrals up to July 20 LID. Since that was OUR LID we (and our agency) were unsure if we would be included in the batch of referrals or not. China had not been sending more than a months worth of LIDs so no one was really sure what was going to happen.

Around 10 am we received an email stating that our referral had, indeed, arrived. We were told to expect "the call" today!! WOW!!! We were going to learn about our little GIRL!! We had the room painted, clothes hanging in the closet, little dolls and more ready to go for Chloe. We waited all day for the phone to ring.

At 5:30 pm on March 9, 2004 our phone rang. On caller ID I could tell it was GWCA. I yelled for Jerry to come inside and answered the phone. I was a nervous WRECK! I was shaking and on the verge of tears. This was all so amazingly unreal. I sat down, paper and pen in hand ready to write EVERYTHING down. Who would have known I would never get all the information. Once I heard the words "It's a boy!!" I was too shocked to even write down one thing. I could NOT believe what I was hearing!!!!!

I finally scribbled down a few basics, name, age... didn't get province or really anything else at that point. Jerry, who at this point had NO idea what was going on was getting antsy. I finally turned to him and said "it's a boy". He shook his head no, thinking I was joking. After he really looked at my face he knew it was true.

What an unexpected and special surprise... Chloe was Yuan Dong Bao, a 26 month old boy in Nanning, Guangxi. God has a funny way of making things "right"

We went to the computer to open the email from GWCA with his picture and fell so deeply in love. I think on some levels he was the baby I lost in February 2002. Riley was born 3 weeks before my ectopic rupture. You see, now I know God needed me to lose that baby and not be willing to continue with fertility treatments since my baby was in China. I believe this with all of my heart. Riley has always been my baby. (Okay... he can be Jerry's too... but he is REALLY mine! haha I am not good at sharing.)

Now, as I reflect on this miracle I know that Chloe was never supposed to be... Riley was always the second son in our family. It is amazing how life has a way of balancing everything out so it is just as it should be.

March 9th will always be a very special day to us all. Riley will always be my baby.

We love you, RiRi... you are perfect!