Sunday, June 28, 2009

Congratulations Dan and Kristin

On June 20th my brother married the most lovely girl in Asheville, NC. The whole family was there and we had the best time.
It has been a long time since we were all together with something so great to celebrate and we made the most of it.

There was white-water rafting on Thursday before the wedding. It was exciting and fun for all who went but not without drama. The groom was stung by a bee on his upper lip and it immediatley tripled in size until he looked like Homer Simpson. Just what he wanted for his wedding pictures in two days! Being the good big sister and nurse that I am, I helped take care of him. With benadryl, advil, and ice, we got the swelling down and it was unnoticed by his wedding day.

The Groom's Cake--John Deere Tractor made of pure sugar

Making Music

The Whole Hog

After the rehearsal they put on a southern B-B-Q hog roast with the whole hog laid out. Everyone that had travelled for the wedding was invited and we had a grand old party with lawn games and everything. Kristin surprised Dan with an awesome John Deere Tractor cake for the groom.

The Wedding Party

So Happy Together

The Sword Arch--welcoming and protecting the new Navy Famiily

Saying "I do"

The wedding itself was beautiful. My brother is in the Navy and all those guys in their Navy uniforms were just outstanding. Once again there was minor drama as the minister introduced them as husband and wife and instructed my brother to kiss his bride. They looked nervously at each other without kissing and then my brother leaned to the Minister to let him know that he had forgotten the vows. Ooops--rewind and do this again. The vows were completed, the couple reintroduced and finally the kiss. It makes a great wedding story for a day when everything else went so perfectly.

The Champagne Toast

The "Suessical" Wedding Cake

Annika with bubbles on the lawn

Our Family--I am the one in the black dress on the left hand side

"You've Lost that Loving Feeling..Oh Oh that Loving Feeling"

The Happy Bride and Groom

The reception was held up on a mountain with the most spectacular view, delicious food, great band, and free bar all night long. What a blast!! Towards the end of the evening all my siblings, my mom, and our Aunt and Uncles got together and had a special toast for my Dad. He wanted so much to be at this event and we missed his prescence. He would have loved seeing us all have so much fun.

We can't wait for the next wedding--Kevin and Dawn's in Seattle on Aug. 1st.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A new Day

Okay--it's a new day and a new attitude.
Enough feeling sorry for myself. Pick myself back up and all that.
Today I can truly feel happy for all the good news coming out of Russia and look at that as a sign of hope for myself.
Big congrats to my friend Kim who was referred the most beautiful little girl. I keep being reminded that good things do happen.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Happy and Sad--What is the right way to feel?

Adoption is so full of emotions and I usually try to hold onto the good ones but they seem to get all mixed up with the not so good.
Maybe because I have been sick for the last week, I am a little more emotional than usual but this whole wait and everything else associated with adoption is hitting me so hard lately.

I recieved an unexpected donation to my adoption funds that was really generous and meant a great deal to me--I was so happy and touched the day it arrived.
But then...I had applied for a grant--the only one I found that allowed single women to apply. I was so happy when I found it because I really need some more funds and up until then my search for grants only found ones for couples. This week I found out they were overwhelmed with applications and could not grant mine but they wished me well. I totally understand as they are foundation that is run by donation only and they have limited funds but yet I was crushed--I don't know anywhere else to apply.

I learned from my agency that they received one referral from my region this month. While that is good to hear they also said they don't know when to expect more--my heart fell when I heard that. I also know I am not the only one waiting there. So--what does that mean for my wait--no one knows.

One of my friends recieved a referral from Russia just today. The child is beautiful and healthy and is absolutely perfect for their family. I am so thrilled for them. I don't want to take anything away from their happiness and wonderful news.

But is hard not to feel sorry for myself. Through my Kazakhstan experience I saw many families move through the process faster than me only to find out that I could no longer be in the program. Now in the Russia process I am also seeing many families moving faster than me. It is so hard. I don't know why--am I doing something wrong?, did I choose the wrong agency for me? do they not think I will be a good mother? Do they not realize I can't wait forever?? It really seems so random and it truly tests my strength some days. My biggest fear was that I started too late and my child would have an older mother and these long waits just keep increasing that. Will the day come that I have to give up because I had to wait too long and got too old or too broke or the laws change or whatever else can happen. How can I know the answers? What is the right way to feel? What can I do but wait (and cry)? And pray.

Monday, June 1, 2009

June Already!!??!!

I really can't believe it's June already.

Adoption update:
I have no great updates on the adoption front. My agency had one opportunity with switching regions that I looked into but they felt that I could be delaying my process so that made it easy to say No.
Through the internet, I have been able to connect with some parents that have already adopted from my region or are in process also which has really been nice. It is fun to see the kids and hear about where they stayed, where they shopped, etc. I am getting attached to the city.

In other news:
I have a couple friends that are adopting from Krygystan and they have been waiting for MONTHS to bring home the children they have already met because of some hold up in the government there. They recently had a chance to speak on the their behalf and on the behalf of their children and all waiting families to the Kryg officials in Washington last Friday--Please join me in praying that their efforts were successful and they can fianlly start processing adoptions in that country again. They really need something good to happen so their children can come home.

Something good that is going on:
A few months ago I met another adoptive mom through a friend of mine and it has really been a great connection for me. She found no local support through her own adoption so she decided to start a support group. When I hooked up with them, the group included three moms that had completed adoptions and one other waiting mom. Since me, four more waiting women have joined us. We get together once a month and any other time that some one needs the extra suppoort. It is just great to meet with people that really know what you are going through and they are such amazing women. I am lucky.

Family news:
I had a busy weekend with a neice and a nephew graduating from high school--260 miles apart so it was a lot of driving but my mom, my brother and his family, and I made the trek and got to see both kids--we made my nephew's big party and my neice's ceremony and brunch. My brother has two young kids and we all went together in his van--All I can say is thank goodness for those portable DVD players!