Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm a sucker

I said "NO" to the Easter Bunny bringing chicks this Easter.  The first year in about 10 years that it isn't so.  Growing up, my parents always made sure we had chicks, ducks...lambs one year for Easter.  And so when Cole was a baby I decided to try it.  But we live on land which means that we could keep them rather than shipping them off to the nearest farm when they got a little too big.  So my hubby built the "chicken mansion" for our three chickens, which I though to be very unnecessary at the time.  But through the years, it has come in handy with the hundreds of chickens we've been through.  We've had skunks and owls, minks and dogs.....nature has taken it's tole many times.  And after last fall, when we took 14 of our friends' full-grown hens, I had decided I could possibly be done.  They cost a ton to feed, they're a LOT of work, and I'm tired.  So when I was asked if we'd be getting some (after the e. bunny talk), I said "NO".....or maybe it was more like "HECK NO".

 
But how can you resist THIS face?????  
We went to the feed store to get more grub for the "big girls" and this was what I got...
from ALL three of my boys.

The cuteness KILLS me! 
(yes, I know they get big!)
  uggghhhhh!

These hands promised they would take care of them.....
Mommy wouldn't have to do 
ANYTHING.


I'm a Sucker.
(my oldest even told me so afterward).

Funny Faces and Birthdays

It's this little sweetheart's Birthday today.....my little niece Mkenzie. 
So precious.
 
 Happy 1st Birthday Little girl!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hoping for Home Free~

Today was a rough day.  Today was the day that I've been planning to send out our dossier.  Dic came back from Minneapolis last night after many trips on the road in the last few weeks, and I sent the poor guy out to get his passport photos taken so I could finish up and move it out.  But amidst the confusion of....  
Do I remove the staples?  And why would you send it to me with staples if I'm going to remove them anyway?  And SERIOUSLY you didn't want me to remove the staples because it's too hard to get them back in perfectly?  And do you really want photocopies of our photos too?  And does it matter that one of the notaries didn't date her signature?  And I know there are two addresses, but it's unclear as to which one I use. 

Other than that is was all good. 

Oh.....except for when I asked the postal worker for a piece of tape for my envelope and she just slapped one on herself!  The ends of the flaps were NOT the way I would have had them.  Not with such an important document (I did tell her it was extremely important).  Then she took her "certified mail" tape and wrapped around the long way making the corners scrunch up even more.  I was cringing.  I said "Do you think that's going to be okay?"  she replied "Yep", and threw it in the pile of everyone else's unimportant mail (or so I felt at the time).  I walked away thinking about the countless hours I had put into this dossier....the papers that would bring us to our baby girl.  Should I go back and demand that she re-tape it?  But I just got in my car with tears in my eyes.  

And then I was okay.....

until I saw the police car behind me with his sirens blaring and lights flashing.  THAT'S  when I cried!!  I thought "Why God?  Why ME???  What have I done wrong?  You sent me on this journey and I am doing my best.  What is it you are asking of me?"  

then he passed me on the right.  

It was not my best day. 

So I pray that our dossier gets to Oregon in one piece, and I pray that all of the time and effort I put in will be sufficient.  I am praying for one more small miracle. 
I am hoping it eventually gets to its final home in Ethiopia, 
and then I will feel free.  
Hoping for home free.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'm Okay

With soo much paper work to organize and complete and t-shirts to design and trips out-of-town to help family get organized......well, I can say I'm tired at the very least.  I am patiently waiting (not really) for my husband to get home because I received our certified papers yesterday and our dossier is ready, but we need one more thing....his passport pictures.  I've been pretty irritated--I've worked soo hard to get everything in as quickly as possible and here I sit...waiting.  So tonight when he arrives from Minneapolis I hope he isn't too tired to make that happen.  And just when I think the paperwork is finished I think about the hours and hours I need to put into applying for some grants.  It makes me tired just thinking of the things I have on my plate right now--not to mention Luke's Birthday in two weeks.  So instead of feeling sorry for myself I thought I'd make a list of the things that have made me feel ever soo happy and grateful.  
It's much nicer to read those things anyway, 
RIGHT?  :0)

~~Last week my sister finally spoke from her heart about our adoption and told me she's starting to "get it".  I couldn't ask for any more than that right now (tears are coming).

~~My brother's fiance' and her mama drew up my t-shirt design exactly how I've had it in my head.....in ten minutes.  (noone else seemed to understand).

~~The artist who is re-drawing my t-shirt design for me said he would work it in, in the next few days, rather than the two weeks he originally quoted (just when I didn't think I could take the stress of it any more).

~~The nice lady (and her supervisor) at the post office accepted my check regardless of the fact I had no driver's license for verification.

~~My wallet arrived in the mail with my driver's license and debit card still inside.

~~My husband is coming home after two long weeks of being on the road, and it's soo great that he always accepts the house for the state it's in. :0)

~~The mini-van is paid off and that's allowing us to save some money to help with adoption fees.

~~ Everything seems to be falling in to place.

I think that's good for today---NOW I feel better. Thanks for letting me vent.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blog Fundraising...an issue?

It has been brought to my attention, more than once, that fund-raising on your blog can hurt your chances with the Ethiopian government--and I suppose other countries as well. I'm struggling.  I had made the decision to only allow other bloggers to view my blog when we get a referral so it wouldn't be an issue.  But I know I have lots of peeps out there that check in (even if few ever comment :0).  And I haven't even really begun my fund-raising.  The t-shirts are coming within the next couple of weeks for sure and I can't wait to put them up all over and try some of the cool raffle ideas other people have lead me to.  So what to do???  Do the rest of you have this same concern?  Did any of you go through with it?  And even if I closed it to non-bloggers, how difficult is it to get an account?  I don't want to make it a pain to drop in and see the Chiolis Family.  
Anyone?
Anyone?

Monday, April 12, 2010

God pulls through again

I'm done sulking now.  I got a call today from one of the restaurants (Casey's Cafe in Chamberlain) we stopped at on our way back from Mitchell yesterday.  It's actually my mom's cousin who owns it--and she let me know that she had my drivers license (and my wallet).  Luke pulled it out to look at something and must have dropped it on the floor.  She said she'd mail it out today.  Thank goodness SHE found it because my debit card was inside. Wow how things work out!
More good news.......Our home-study came in the mail today....very late, considering when they sent it, but it came! :0)  Then the t-shirts I have been soo tirelessly working on (without a successful outcome) got the final touches, which I'm optimistically hoping will print as beautiful as they look on paper. :0)  I completed the paperwork for our I-600A to send out this week (such a good feeling).  And all that's left is to take my husband's last-minute photos for our passports and dossier when he arrives at all hours of the night!  I can then get our dossier sent out.  I am soo happy for the families around us who are beating the double-trip rule to Ethiopia, but I can't help but say how I'm a little envious.  
Maybe...
just maybe... 
a tiny miracle 
will 
happen.

Discouraged

Okay, first I have to say that I KNEW that adopting would be a long and sometimes difficult experience.  BUT I also thought that the hard time would be the waiting for the baby.  When "they" say the PAPERCHASE....."they" aren't kidding.  I have been really on-top of things so that I'm not the reason for holding up the process, but there are just some things that I don't have control over.  Our home-study was ready with our agency, but they were still waiting for our FBI clearances, which also took wayyyy longer than we expected.  We got the news about the two-time travel to Ethiopia and I really ran to get things done so if there was even a glimmer of hope that we would make the deadline I would be ready.  That deadline is coming up soon (May 1st)... soooo soon.  And then we heard that not only did we have to have a referral by that time, but our dossier also had to be in Ethiopia by that date.  Things were looking a little more dull at that point.  BUT..... I was still determined that I would not be the reason for holding anything up!  We've been waiting for our home-study to get here so we can get it off to Pierre for certification and I almost stayed home this past Thursday-Sunday from Mitchell to wait for it to come.  It needs both of our notarized signatures before we can send it off.  Hopefully it will come today.  Dic will be home tonight to sign it and then off again in the morning--so we have a very small window of opportunity.  Once we get it back from Pierre we can include it with our application for our I-600A (immigration Visa) paperwork and all of our other documents for our dossier (which we have complete) and get that sent off to the agency in OR.  Then I can begin to relax a little more. :0)  SO I will take a deep breath and do a little praying today that all goes smoothly.  There isn't a real good chance that we will meet the May 1st deadline (especially when there are probably 100 families waiting for the same thing).......but a girl can hope, RIGHT?? :0)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter and the egg

The egg is a symbol of life.  And when Spring comes we see the birth of many things anew.  While we talk about the rebirth of Spring we also think of Jesus Christ.  So when we celebrate Spring we may do so with the egg.  Somewhere down the line the celebration of Easter and Spring became confused (or thrown together) and it became the Easter egg.  But the roots of Easter began pre-Christian, and according to Greek mythology, when the ancient Anglo-Saxons worshiped a fertility goddess, named Ostara, they would offer her seeds and colored eggs to please her.  The word "Easter" is actually translated from "Ostara".  It is also thought that she transformed a bunny (which later became known as the Easter bunny) from a bird, which laid colored eggs for the children.  In the earlier days of America, the settlers would recount stories that the Easter bunny would bring colored eggs for the good little children, which would be left if their bonnets and ball caps.

What a totally confusing thing for a parent to decide.  Are we telling a big-fat lie that the Easter bunny is coming?  Well, we were really beginning to feel this way, especially when it came down to all the questions.  Zachary was wondering how he got inside our house....and how could he carry all of that stuff?  What are we teaching our children?  So we told them that we still want to celebrate Spring with the eggs and the baskets and the fun.  But we want it to be known that we do not honor a bunny, or an egg, or the gifts.  This day is about our Savior who died on the cross for us.  It all seems to tie together now.  These holiday traditions sure are tricky!  And then of course, they wanted to know about........Santa. :0)   A story for a different time.
                                                    coloring eggs with my sister's family at our house.
  Easter dinner

Shayna and Uncle Dic

Lukey lov'n on Mkenzie
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