Friday, December 28, 2012

And We're Back!

Anyone remember that SNL skit with Jimmy Fallon as the host of a radio show.... funny.

Anyway... I got sick around 12 yesterday, so I left work, went home and slept for 3 hours, and then pretty much stayed in the bed for the rest of the day and night... feeling much better today so I hope that means I am finally on the mend... :)

At work today, but not too much going on, so staying busy with a bunch of stuff that I dont want to do but needs to get done... it is what it is, I guess...

besides that, not too much going on at our house, which is kind of weird... normally, there is a million things going on, so with everyone just chilling, its kind of strange.... but ugh, looks like the weather is going to be cold and rainy the whole weekend and next week too... yuck!  Im not a fan of cold, so yeah, not so much looking forward to that.

But at least we get a long weekend.... and next week is 2013... so weird... this year went by so fast, and Im kind of ready to see it go - it wasnt the best year, but it wasnt too bad.... looking forward to what 2013 holds... hope you are too!

Thursday, December 27, 2012


So Wallace is better.... then Daniel got sick and better in one day... and then I got sick - for the whole Christmas break... yay me!

Blech... Im still a bit sick, but thankfully on the mend.

Christmas was great though... Saturday we went to my mom's family, Sunday was the church Christmas program, Monday we went to my dad's family and Tuesday, we went to my mom's house.... and Ive been back at work since yesterday.

The kids got a ton of stuff... not quite sure where to put it all yet.... Daniel gave me a nice new electric blanket, so Im enjoying that (he is not and has since moved the whole thing to my side of the bed)

I know I could draw this out and make it longer and more interesting, but I dont really feel good - and Im getting migraines in my teeth (ick!), so yeah...


On the adoption front, ugh....

Ok, so all of our home visits were done in November, we provided everything they asked for... so I assumed it would only take a week - maybe 2 at the most - to get it written up.

Yeah... the Friday before Christmas they asked for more paperwork.... and I havent heard from them since.

Not exactly thrilled, but trying to be patient.  I really thought we would be waiting for I800A approval now or have our dossier in China.... guess that will be something for next year.

Im losing faith that we are going to travel by the summer.... sigh.....


ok, back to work I go.... hope yall all had a great holiday break!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wallace is sick

Daniel and I went out of town yesterday to finish our Christmas shopping and thankfully we got it all done... but Wallace got sick, so our babysitter had to go pick him up early.

Let me tell you it is a pitiful sight to have a sick non-verbal child.... poor thing could not tell us how he felt, what hurt and what didnt, if he felt nauseous or what.... so we just had to give him some tylenol and ibuprofin and watch him thrash and moan.... its so hard on a parent's heart when you have no idea how to help your child and he cant tell you anything.

What makes it worse is that Wallace has G6PD (an enzyme deficiency) which means that his body metabolizes medicines more slowly... so it takes longer for them to work and for him to get some relief... it also means Wallace heals more slowly.

We are hoping that its just a cold and nothing worse as he really hasnt had any other symptoms besides a fever and him moaning (which we dont know if he is hurting or is sick or what).... praying that it is nothing serious b/c Wallace has some serious heart problems, and it would be aweful if he got really sick.

If you ever met Wallace, you would never ever know how medically fragile he is, but its times like this that it is brought back quickly into our minds...

Daniel and Wallace slept all night on the couch last night... yes, I have the best husband in the world.

Anyway... thankfully, Daniel is on his holiday break, which means Wallace is getting to stay home with daddy today and from what Ive heard, he is not back to 100% but is doing much better... hopefully, the day of meds and rest and fluids will get him back to his normal self.

Today is Gabe and Emma's last day of school as well... cant believe Christmas is almost here!

Have a great one!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


First off, let me say thank you to Lannie McKee and Kim Kenward!... yall spoil us!


Been a busy day so far... :)

Actually its been a busy couple of weeks... Im tired, yall.... I feel like I have a million things that need to get done, but as soon as I get home from work, all I want to do is sit down... but that doesnt happen - Daniel and I are constantly running around, and we still cant get everything done... :)

I am hoping things slow down just a bit after the holidays... we will see.


Nothing too much going on with the adoption... I think the holidays have everything slowed down... so I am hoping that picks up soon... I am hoping to have our first dossier packet in the mail tomorrow, so yay for that.

Also, since our tax refund from Wallace's adoption finally came in, we finally have the money to get his certificate of citizenship... which has a hefty $550 pricetag attached... but once we have that, then we can get him on social security and then on medicaid, which means we wont have so many out of pocket expenses... hopefully... :)

So this will be our first Christmas without our daughter since we have known who she is... I hope it is the last one as well.  I have heard that once your dossier is in China, then things speed up a bit - I hope thats true.  It would be amazing to travel during the summer so Daniel and the kids could have tons of time to bond with her since they will be at home.

There is a new pic of Emma on the other blog at if you want to check that out... I am still editing Emma and Wallace's birthday pics but hopefully should have them soon... :)

Not too much going on with us... thankful for that... hope yall are having a great day!

Monday, December 17, 2012


My heart was absolutely broken Friday.... I just cried and cried, and was glued to the tv, and then finally had to turn it off b/c I just didnt have anything left to give....


This past weekend was packed full!

Friday, I went and had lunch with Daniel at his school - its always nice to get in a little extra time with Daniel when I can... and my sister came over to spend the night, so it was nice to see her (and she brought cookies!)... and also some of the guys who were part of our youth group when Daniel and I taught came over to hang out -and they brought home made pizza.... so much fun.

Saturday, Gabe tried out for upwards basketball (a Christmas present from my mom, thanks to her!), and then we made a ton of cookies and chex mix and delivered them to our neighbors - I love the fun day of baking with my kids and the memories of delivering everything in the wagon, but since we give all the food away, there is no extra calories to go with it.... :)  We then went to a cub scout meeting/dinner.... and then a sweet friend of ours came over to watch the kids and Daniel and I got to go to our church Sunday school party - adult conversation and great food... wow, blessed!

Yesterday, we went to church, and then over to a Christmas get-together with my family, and then to the church Christmas bowling party - where our family of 5 took 2 hours to bowl 2 games.... seriously.... but we all had such a fun time.... and when we got home, we watched some tv, ate breakfast for dinner and then spent an hour and a half playing Headbanz... so much fun.

Wow... this weekend was packed full to the brim, and I really could have used a nap in there somewhere, but man, am I blessed.... blessed, blessed, blessed!


As far as the adoption... :)
- We have over 300 puzzle pieces sponsored... amazing!
- I am going to send in our first dossier packet soon... woo hoo!

I cant believe Christmas is so close... and the end of the year is almost here... crazy!

Hope yall all have an amazing week!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Not too much has changed with the adoption... still waiting on the home study to be done, but thats about it... we have sold several more puzzle pieces so that is exciting as well!


In other news, I met with Wallace's principal yesterday for all of 10 minutes - I wanted to talk with him about scheduling a time to view Wallace in class.

He told me that they had always had an open door policy towards parents and that as long as visits were scheduled, we could come at any time.. I didnt mention that I have it in writing that this wasnt what we were told... but since they were being so cooperative, I figured that there was no need to start anything.

So yay... I will be getting to view Wallace in his classroom (hopefully without him noticing I am really there)... so that was encouraging.


So last week, one set of my grandparents began living in an assisted living facility... so Sunday, my mom, sister, Emma and I went to visit their house and pick out anything that we would like to keep.  Mostly a lot of pictures - some of my dad that I had never seen, so that was a huge blessing.

Going through their stuff was so bittersweet... since we still have them around, it made their stuff seem like, well, just stuff... I will cherish the things that I have now and even got a few things to pass down to the children when they are old enough.

There is a Christmas party at their new place soon so we will be going out there and celebrating with them, which is exciting.... but it will be strange not having Christmas eve at their house - weve been doing that ever since I was a baby so its all me and our kids have ever known, so that will be a bit bittersweet as well b/c although we wont be at their house, we will still have them with us.


I cant believe December is around halfway over... this year flew by.... :)

Craziness.... and next year - I cant wait to see what it holds.

You know... if we all make it past 12-21.... :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Long post...

ok, Im just going to apologize b/c this is probably going to be longer than need be.

Dear anonymous,
Yes, I deleted your last comment.  It was not what you put, but rather how you put it - you were completely belligerent and using curse words and spewing hate.  I covered this in an earlier post, but I will NOT tolerate that here on my blog.  Its fine if you want to disagree with me - Im an adult, but to just be vicious and ugly just doesnt fly here.

I am confused though - if you hate me so much, why do you come here?  I am sorry that you are so miserable, and feel the need to make other people miserable.

As an aside, I never claimed to be holy or righteous or perfect... Im human, I make mistakes... but Daniel and I do try to do our best to treat everyone with respect and help others out as much as we can... Yes, we have made mistakes before and hurt people that we didnt mean to - we sincerely apologize... and part of being a Christian (which we do claim) is grace and mercy and forgiveness... we are thankful for everyone who has extended these gifts to us.

And I will answer your questions/accusations since you asked (albeit not very nicely)...

Do you go to church?
Yes, we do.  As mentioned before, we are Christians and do go to church.  We have been attending Shaeffers Chapel United Methodist Church since September and have tried not to miss a Sunday.  Most of the people there have shown us much grace and are happy to have us back.  The pastor was even one of our reference letters.  Before we came back to Shaeffers, we did visit other churches, but never found one that really fit - we have never church hopped, nor have we ever asked any church for money (or leave when they refused to give us any - so ridiculous).  We are still friends with members of every church we have been members of.

Do your kids go to church?
Yes, they either go with us to Shaeffers Chapel or they go with my mom and grandparents to Crawford United Methodist.... I cant recall a Sunday when they havent been in church.

Does Addie's mom help raise Gabe and Emma?
No.  We are our children's parents and take that job very seriously.  Probably what you are referring to is Gabe and Emma spending the night with her or my grandparents.  They do usually spend one weekend night with either my mom or my grandparents (but when there, they still have to abide by our rules).  We would actually love to have them home more on the weekends, but I dont want to deny my mother and grandparents time with their grandchildren.  Its also how I was raised - we always spent weekends at my grandparents house and for a few summers during college, I spent almost every night at my grandparents house - I even had my own room.  My grandparents are getting older, so I want my kids to have as much time as possible with them so they can make as many memories as possible.

Why not Wallace?
Wallace stays home with Daniel and I because my mom and my grandparents dont feel equipped to hande the special needs that Wallace can present.  Im not gonna lie - Wallace can be a handful and is medically fragile.  It is also good for Wallace to know stability and that Daniel and I are always here since he spent the first 6 years of his life being moved around constantly.  Its also good one on one bonding time with Wallace.  (and yes, we do other one on one activities with Gabe and Emma as well.)

Does Addie have a speaking relationship with her mom?
Yes... we do not just speak through the computer as was implied.  Our relationship is not the best b/c we tend to have differing viewpoints on alot of things, but we do see each other on a daily basis, spend time with each other, and talk.  I love my mom and I know she loves me.... and I know she thinks of Daniel as a son and would do anything for me, Daniel or the kids.  If we did not have a good relationship, I would not let me kids spend so much time with her... in fact, we will be spending Christmas and New Years Eve at her house.

Why did you not address me (anonymous) having a special needs kid?
Since I know who you are, I know that you do not have a special needs kid.  You have a kid with an IEP, which I know can still be tough... and yes, you do have to go to IEP meetings and such.  But your child is verbal and can tell you what is going on, your child is not medically fragile, and your child is fully potty trained.  There is virtually no chance of your child ever spending years in a self-contained special education room.  Im sorry, I know its harder than a "typical" child, and I can sympathize with you there... but you cannot tell me you actually can compare your child with Wallace.  Really?

Im sorry, I cannot remember anything else you posted... if you would like to ask more questions, then you are welcome, but it must be done in an adult manner or they will not be posted.... also, you will need to include your name, which shouldnt be a huge deal since I already know who you are.


Ok, now to answer other questions that Ive gotten lately... :)

Why did you leave those nasty comments up - why dont you just delete them?
The reason is two fold on that.... 1. I think anonymous has embarrassed themselves, and I think it is proof that there are just ignorant and hateful people out there, 2. I want everyone to know that this is what adoption really looks like... this is really the first of this kind of meanness for this adoption, but we got this kind of emails and comments almost daily when we were adopting wallace.... it gets hard sometimes.... but it makes us all the more thankful for those of us who have held us up and stood in the gap for us.  I hope it also helps others understand why Daniel and I are a bit jaded sometimes.

What is it like having a non-verbal child.
Honestly - its alot harder than I ever thought it would be.  I am an introvert and like quiet, so I thought this would not be a big deal.  It does become a big deal though when your child wakes up screaming and crying in the night and cannot tell you why - you have no idea if they are having a bad dream or if they are sick or hurting.  Just last night, Wallace fell down and started crying and he couldnt even tell us where he was hurt - thats a helpless feeling as a parent.  It also means we may never hear I love you (although Wallace will show us), it means that if Wallace is bullied, we dont know.  If he has a bad day, he has no way to express that so usually he acts out.  We dont know what Wallace's day at school looks like, we dont know what he ate for lunch and if he liked it or not... It also means Wallace cant verbally defend himself either - if a kid kicked him first so he kicked them back, but the teacher/babysitter only saw Wallace kick, then he is the one in trouble - this can make Wallace an easy target.  We believe that since Wallace was in the hospital for the first 2 years of his life, he missed out on learning how to speak as he didnt talk to anyone or have anyone talk to him - he still does not know how to make certain letter sounds... and since he is already 8, we are wondering if he has missed that window of learning.  Yes, we absolutely still work with Wallace and he has speech therapy at school, but its just not possible to tell now.  We will love Wallace either way though.

What does it mean to you to be goth?
It doesnt mean that I am obsessed with dying or feel the need to be constantly depressed or am overly interested in horror stuff.  I do like black and gray and heavy make up and tattoos and piercings. I do find a cemetery peaceful and not the least bit scary - but no, I dont want to sit there at midnight reading poetry.... :)   I do love the darker things that exist in nature - spiders, bats, skeletons, full moons and crows, etc... I think God has a darker side that alot of people miss out on and it can be very beautiful to relate to Him in that way... I know that may not make alot of sense, but I hope it helped.


The meeting with Wallace's teachers went well... everyone was civil and I feel like we got some things accomplished... they didnt give on everything, but I know that I cant win everything either... but I think we did make a huge jump forward in one area, and Im happy with that.

And just for the record, I know that Wallace's teachers do like him and they are doing a good job in most areas... Wallace is actually almost writing his name and he is counting to 3 on his own and can count to 10 with a little prompting... we just want to make sure that he is reaching his potential.

If you know me at all, I am not super confrontational - I really dont like confrontation, but I will do it if it needs to be done... especially when it comes to my children... and I wont apologize for that.


As for this adoption.... we are waiting on two papers to be notarized then then we will have just about everything ready for the dossier.

Our home study should be approved this week, so that is good news and we are keeping our fingers crossed....

So excited for our new baby girl.... :)

Thanks for sticking with this post... and I apologize that "anonymous" has ruined comments for everyone - I never want it to be moderated, but it is what it is, I guess... you can always email me at

Love yall!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Not for the weak of heart.

This is Daniel writing. So we are now fully immeresed in this adoption and wow it is nothing like our first. I already find myself wanting it to be done with it and our little girl home (where she belongs). I also want to transition from active adopters to mentors of other adoptive parents. Addie and I have learned so much about this process and we know that we will never leave the adoption world, but rather we want to help others on their journey. This journey is not easy, it is not for those who trust only in themselves or those who care about what others think. This journey is for those who understand that life is more than the newest toys, the newest cars or the world of pretty people. This journey is for those who hate the term "NORMAL" (like there is such a thing). It is for those who love our old phones, old cars and crazy lives. We look to challenge the status quo. As a teacher I am around young people who want to question authority (I Love My Job!); I get to show them a person who dared to ask "why not?". I love the story of Jesus calling His disciples. He goes to them and says "Follow me"; thats it. No master plan details, no health care, no 401k, no security blanket; infact the longer they were with Him the worse the deal got. Jesus kept talking about treasures in heaven, blessings in persecution and loving enemies. This is why I Love Jesus, He speaks with such conviction that the disciples just follow Him. When we got the call to follow Jesus and reach out to a complete stranger it was scary; I am not going to lie, I was scared. Not of the parenting (afterwards the parenting is what I needed the most help with), but of the things I felt I couldn't control: like money or family matters. But the crazy thing is that no matter how much I was scared, God was greater. My fear failed to compare with His Glory. Any success we have had with Wallace has more to do with God than with us. Addie and I are most definitely human and we make mistakes, just like the disciples we have not always done the best, but God is always there to hold us together. I guess what I am trying to say with all of this is that, this adoption is showing how much time I wasted last time by worrying. I let my fear control me and I missed out on the awesomeness of God. This time have tried to turn over that fear to God and just trust Him. The other question is what about you; Jesus never told anyone to just stay at home and take it easy. To all the people who say to us about adoption "thats great, but we don't have the money", no you don't, but God does. Or the people who say "why not adopt from the U.S.?"; we  are quite familiar with our local children's home and can get you in touch with people who need volunteers. Or to the Christians who asked "Why would you bring a stranger into your home?", because that is what our Heavenly Father did for us. The adoption world is most definitely a place for Christians to reestablish the fact that Jesus sees value in every single one of His children.


Dear Lannie McKee - your generosity overwhelms us, thank you.... Aunt Anita - thank you so, so much!


I would absolutey love all of my readers to go read the *lovely* comment that I got on Wednesday's post.... Id love to hear your opinions on it... especially parents of children with special needs - Id love to know a single one of you who havent had to fight for something at school... :)

Would it surprise you to know that a member of my family wrote this?

No?  Me neither.

It doesnt surprise me that they couldnt even leave their name either.

Really, its just sad.

And a bit pathetic.


If you arent keen in telling.... Im kind of in a fighting mood lately....

I cannot wait to sink my teeth into a few people this week.... hurray!

Its my birthday present to myself, I guess...  well, actually, Daniel gave me the go ahead as well... I think he is tired of being "the diplomat" to ignorant people who refuse to listen to anyone.

And for all of those who think Im getting myself into trouble.... well, the backstory is that we tried to talk to certain people at the beginning of the year - we tried to be nice and helpful and supportive.... but they just keep going against our wishes, so protective measures have to be put in place.

So yeah... for all you underdogs and freaks, and special needs kids, and all of those who are constantly never given a voice, Im going to bat for you.... and should I go down in flames, well, Ill go down with a smile knowing I was doing the right thing.

Betcha didnt know that my symbol is the Phoenix.... b/c I always rise up out of the ashes.... yeah, I may go down in flames, I may get burned and scarred and come out ugly.... but I always rise up.



This is a weird post, right?

Im cool with it... :)

As for the adoption, our homestudy is almost done... crossing our fingers for soon... :)

Love yall - even the haters out there - you make me who I am, so thanks!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Yes... I am in a much better mood today... :)

Yesterday was bad.... and I think it may have even been worse for Daniel - he had a bad day too... ugh, hate when Wednesdays gang up on people like that.

So I got my medical letter, got my application letter approved... and the home study is almost done!

So tomorrow, I hope to get our application letter and financial forms signed and notarized and thats it for our first dossier packet.

After the home study is done, we will have that reviewed by our adoption agency for China, and then we put in our I800A application - would love it if you prayed with us that this is a speedy process... :)

Once we have our I800A approval, then we can submit our dossier to China!  So exciting!

So yeah... today is good.

I just finished reading "Evolving in Monkey Town" by Rachel Held Evans... and I loved it, in fact, Ive already promised it to Daniel and then a friend, and then I hope to read it again.  Its definitely not for everyone, but since Im a Christian skeptic/cynic, well, it was right up my alley.

Anyway... I havent gotten any questions in awhile... anyone?  bueller?  bueller?


Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Ugh, let me go ahead and warn you I am not in a good mood today... I honestly have no idea what has gotten me so ill, but I am... so if you see me in person today, I give you full permission to pretend like you didnt, duck away... :)

As far as paperwork goes....
- we finally got the police clearances in
- I have drafted our application letter, after it is approved, we will get it signed and notarized
- letter for the meds is ready for pick up

Today, Im kind of on the end of the chart where I just want to give up - Im tired of being tired, Im tired of the paperchase, Im tired of things getting messed up, Im tired of other people judging, Im tired of not being enough for some people.... I just want a week of vacation on a tropical island by myself where it is completely quiet - Im one of those true introvert people, and if I go too long without some absolute quiet time, I start going crazy...

Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow.


On the money front....
- so far we have sold 40 of the 1000 puzzle pieces... if we sell 10 more, we will be at 0.5% of having it completely filled... :)

- the IRS finally agreed to give us our refund from Wallace's adoption... they estimate it taking 2-3 more weeks

- there is an art show in town for the month of December, and I have 6 pieces in the show... praying that they all sell

- hoping I can book 1 or 2 more families before the end of the year


Besides that, its pretty much just business and craziness at our house lately with all the holidays and family and adoption stuff and school finishing up for the semester.... I want to pull my hair out some days, but I know it will all turn out well.


Ive requested parent/teacher meetings with Wallace's teachers and his speech therapist... they pretty much told me that it had to be done during school hours b/c their time outside of school was more important than mine.


well, because they decided that, it means that since Daniel is also a teacher (on the other side of town), he wont be there.... and well, that means they pretty much just lost their buffer... Daniel has the nickname "the diplomat" for a reason, whereas mine is "rock thrower".... but yeah, mama bear has been woken up and she is about to come out.... and she has some sharp claws, especially when it comes to her baby bears.

And especially since they have refused me access to visit my non-verbal child's class during a normal class period just to watch....

they may be re-thinking some of those decisions after its all over. :)

So to the person who asked why I didnt change my profile pic to that of a "loving mother" - well, I think the one Ive picked works really well for this occasion b/c Im fixing to fight - and I cant say its going to be pretty, but I will walk out standing.... it also makes me wish that other people knew what it was like to be a parent of a special needs student so you know how hard we have to fight just to get what our kids need.  It shouldnt be that way.

see.... I warned you I wasnt in a good mood... :)

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Today has been so busy... craziness!

So Daniel picked up our medical paperwork yesterday so I turned it in to be reviewed and one of them needs to be rewritten... ugh.... so gotta drop that back off to the dr's office and hope I can pick it up tomorrow.

The lady getting our police clearances forgot them, so hopefully we can get those tomorrow as well.

I think that is all we are lacking at this point.


We sold two more puzzle pieces... awesome!


The kids are loving the advent box... they have to be up, dressed and ready to go before we check out whats on for that day, so getting them up and ready in the mornings is going alot easier b/c of that... they are always super excited to check it.

Today we are going to leave quarters at vending machines and laundromats, so that should be fun... :)

Not sure what else to write about.... does anyone have a question?

Monday, December 3, 2012


So today is Monday.... :)

The weekend was good, we didnt too much of anything... got a few things cleaned up and did a photo session, oh, and we got our advent box up.... its something new this year - each day has something that the kids are supposed to do for others and something fun for them to do for themselves.... todays was: Others: let someone go in line in front of you, You: Go to the parade

Christmas parade tonight and thankfully its not going to be too cold... woo hoo.... I think we are also having pancakes for dinner as well, so double yay!

As for the adoption paperchase... :)

- supposed to be getting the police clearances today

- supposed to be getting all the medical paperwork today (notary called in sick on Friday)

- Daniel got fingerprinted on Friday and all is clear

So yeah, hopefully we will get all of that today and I can quit fretting over it.

So far weve sold 38 puzzle pieces... awesome!


So quite a few people are asking what we know about our daughter so far....

The answer is not much honestly... but what we do know is that she is 1, she will be 2 in April.  She lives with a foster family who she is attached to and she seems to be very introverted.

She is not officially ours yet, so we cant post pictures just yet, but I cant wait... hopefully when we do get officially matched, we will get more info and pics and then I can share.


Busy day here like Monday always is... hope yours is good!