Friday, July 29, 2011

It's hot down here...

Matt received this email as a forward from a friend in Ohio... I thought it was too funny not too share.

Dear Diary,

June 1st:

Just moved to Texas! Now this is a state that knows how to live!! Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy evenings. It is beautiful. I've finally found my home. I love it here.

June 14th:

Really heating up. Got to 100 today. Not a problem. Live in an air-conditioned home, drive an air-conditioned car. What a pleasure to see the sun everyday like this. I'm turning into a sun worshipper.

June 30th:

Had the backyard landscaped with western plants today. Lots of cactus and rocks. What a breeze to maintain. No more mowing the lawn for me. Another scorcher today, but I love it here.

July 10th:

The temperature hasn't been below 100 all week. How do people get used to this kind of heat? At least, it's kind of windy though. But getting used to the heat is taking longer than I expected.

July 15th:

Fell asleep by the community pool. Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body. Missed 3 days of work. What a dumb thing to do. I learned my lesson though. Got to respect the ol' sun in a climate like this.

July 20th:

I missed Lomita (my cat) sneaking into the car when I left this morning. By the time I got to the hot car at noon, Lomita had died and swollen up to the size of a shopping bag, then popped like a water balloon. The car now smells like spoiled tuna fish. I learned my lesson though. No more pets in this heat. Good ol' Mr. Sun strikes again.

July 25th:

The wind sucks. It feels like a giant freaking blow dryer!! And it's hotter than an oven. The home air-conditioner is on the Fritz and the AC repairman charged $200 just to drive by and tell me he needed to order parts.

July 30th:

Been sleeping outside on the patio for 3 nights now, $225,000 house and I can't even go inside. Lomita is the lucky one. Why did I ever come here?

Aug. 4th:

Its 115 degrees. Finally got the air-conditioner fixed today. It cost $500 and gets the temperature down to 85. I hate this stupid state.

Aug. 8th:

If another person asks, 'Hot enough for you today?' I'm going to strangle him. Darn heat. By the time I get to work, the radiator is boiling over, my clothes are soaking wet, and I smell like baked cat!!

Aug. 9th:

Tried to run some errands after work. Wore shorts, and when I sat on the seats in the car, I thought my bottom was on fire. My skin melted to the seat. I lost 2 layers of flesh and all the hair on the back of my legs. Now my car smells like burnt hair, fried skin, and baked cat

Aug 10th:

The weather report might as well be a recording. Hot and sunny. Hot and sunny. Hot and sunny. It's been too hot to do anything for 2 months and the weatherman says it might really warm up next week. Doesn't it ever rain in this stupid state? Water rationing will be next, so my $1700 worth of cactus will just dry up and blow over. Even the cactus can't live in this heat.

Aug. 14th:

Temperature got to 115 today. Cactus are dead. Forgot to crack the window and blew the windshield out of the car. The installer came to fix it and guess what he asked me??? "Hot enough for you today?" My sister had to spend $1,500 to bail me out of jail. Freaking Texas . What kind of a sick demented idiot would want to live here?? Will write later to let you know how the trial goes.

Funny, eh? I thought so too. It's the opposite of Ohio; winter seems to hold you hostage indoors while in Texas the heat holds you hostage during the summer. I hope this made you laught like it did me!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another Check on the List

Yesterday afternoon we heard some good news on the adoption front. Our new home study was approved!!!! For some reason I assumed that there would be a few things that needed changed. I'm not saying that Leah would miss something, it just seems with this adoption process we hit every bump possible.

Now we're just waiting for our Texas background checks to come back. I'm not sure why it's taking so long considering we've only lived here for a little over 2 months and there's not that much of a background to look at!

Once that comes (our home study should be here in a few days), we'll mail out our dossier and USCIS fingerprint application (again!) and then be added to the wait list.

Woot woot! Every little step feels so good considering all the setbacks we've encountered. But anything worth doing isn't usually easy.

Closing with a little bit of Gabriel cuteness for the grandparents out there! And everyone else, of course!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hope found me

Two years ago today, hope found me.

It's not to say that I washopeless but I wasn't hope filled and had very low expectations for our dreams to materialize.

Hope found me in the eyes and lives of two teenagers. Teenagers who were making a very difficult decision in the best interest of the one they loved; a little baby due in just 3 short weeks. A baby who would need more than they felt they could provide although the love they had for him was ample.

Two years ago today Matt and I walked into our adoption lawyers office and met Gabe's birth parents. The hour blurred as Matt and I did our best to answer their questions and make a good impression. Waiting in Mary Catherine's (our lawyer) office while she spoke with Miss B and Mr. C felt like an eternity. You see, we'd been there before and left broken-hearted.

This time we didn't leave broken-hearted; we left excited, new parents-to-be and filled with hope. Hope that wasn't possible with out the amazing hearts of two young people and one amazing God.

This date, July 27, is such a significant date for us. Like Gabriel beating the odds and being born healthy or his actual Gotcha Day when we were able to bring him home; today is filled with so much meaning. Two people chose loss and giving up something so that the one they love would have all that they wanted for him. And for us; their loss was our gain.

Miss B and Mr. C will never be forgotten; Gabriel will know that he was loved and cherished by them just as he's loved and cherished by us.

Miss B and Mr. C - wherever life takes you know our thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you for choosing us to be Gabe's parents.

An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet,
regardless of time, place, or circumstance.
The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.
- An ancient Chinese belief

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's just easier

In our every day life it seems easier to overlook the wretched things the go on and stay comfortable in our air conditioned, well-fed lives. I know that's how it is for me.

It's easier to turn the radio station when their asking for pledges for a feed the children campaign.

It's easier to change the channel when the 700 Club is advocating for sponsors for orphans.

It's just easier to forget that there are an estimated 147 million orphans in the world; children who are hungry, scared and alone. Children who go to bed without a hug good night from their daddy. Children who wake up without a good morning kiss and smile from their mommy.

It's easier to see this picture and click off my blog.

Meet Teri Lynn. An orphan in Eastern Europe who aged out of her orphanage at 4 1/2 and was transferred to a governmental institution. The picture on the left shows an orphan alone and longing for a family. The photo on the right shows an orphan bruised, battered and changed; a little girl that needs a lot of hope. And a miracle from God. Click here to read more of Teri Lynn's story. Adeye from No Greater Joy is a God-given advocate for orphans and is trying to find Teri Lynn's forever home.

It's easier to pretend that orphans like Teri Lynn don't happen; that the orphan crisis is not our problem and that 'you' can't make a difference. But just because it's easier doesn't make it right and doesn't make the situation any less horrible.

But one person can make a difference. While one person can't do all the work, everyone can do something. Advocate for an orphan, donate to an orphanage, give up your coffee for a week and feed a child in Africa for a month. Support an adoption or an organization like Reece's Rainbow.

It would be easier to continue living our quaint American life and keep thoughts of starving, neglected orphans at bay. But just because it's easier, doesn't make it right. And many times when you choose the harder path, you reap imaginable benefits.

The Bible mentions defending the rights and caring for orphans more than 40 times. It's definitely not a coincidence.

Right now, I'm working on not choosing the easier path in life; the path where my heart is changed and my spirit is stretched.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Another Ohio tradition

One of the things that we just have to do when we visit home is go to the Cleveland Metro park Zoo. At 23 months Gabe has been there more times than most adults. I just love the zoo. This time all the animals weren't doggies though; Gabe could identify the giraffes and zebra's. Besides seeing the fabulous African Elephant Crossing, Birds of Prey, giraffes, zebras ,ostriches, kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos, we also did some of the more adventurous things!

Everyone went for a train ride through the Australian Outback...

and the big boys went on a camel ride. I'm thinking Gabe will go for a camel ride next time when he meets the age 2 requirement.

We found the petting zoo and chased after pet sheep. We even went into the Aviary and fed birds. If you know me, you know how much I hate birds... I just love the little boys that wanted to go in there too much to chicken out!

And one last photo before we left. Four hot, sweaty, tired boys with their Nonny.

The only time we may not go to the zoo is when we visit at Christmas... and by then it just might be cool enough in Texas to visit the Houston Zoo!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Another First

Matt and I had been toying with the idea of getting Gabe's hair cut the past few weeks. Besides a little trim we gave him after bath one day, he hasn't actually had a hair cut yet. I'm okay with no hair cut because I love little boys with longer hair. Not pony tail long, just a little longer than normal.

But after just about every person we saw said "looks like it's almost time for a haircut" or something along those lines, I figured we'd just go for it. My mom was taking my nephews for their haircuts, so Gabe and I went along for the ride. When we arrived at Fantastic Sams I changed my mind; Gabe did not need a hair cut yet because I was too nervouse. After seeing how calm and sweet the stylist was that cut Sam's hair, I decided to go for it.

A little was taken off the sides, front and back and his wispy ends were removed. Not too much was snipped off and he didn't really seem to mind the whole aspect of getting his hair cut. Obviously it was hard for him to sit still but he really did great. Once he had a comb or water bottle in his hands, he was happy as a lark.

Gabe and his cousins after their hair cuts. What handsome boys!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Just 2 things

This is going to be short and sweet. Really, it is! Gabe doesn't believe me either.

First, Leah from Methodist Mission Home came out on Wednesday morning to finish our new homestudy. She thinks that she'll have it done today! Leah is just that fabulous and knows how frustrated we have been with all the miscommunications; she is definately the silver lining in all these hiccups. AGCI will have our new homestudy in their hands by early next week. After they approve it, they'll mail us a copy and we'll mail back all of our dossier paperwork back to them.

The only thing we're waiting on for our dossier is our Texas background check. I'm not sure what they have to check seeing we've only lived here for 2 months. Hopefully that will be back soon!

Once our homestudy is returned we can also reapply for our USCIS fingerprinting appointment. This is taking so much longer than anticipated but little by little we're getting closer.

Second; if we're friends on facebook you may have already seen this but if not, here we go. There is a sweet, brave, strong, courageous little boy only a few months older than our Gabe who needs a miracle from God. Whether his miracle comes in the form of healing on earth or complete healing in heaven, all I know is he needs our prayers. So does his mom. As I read her blog my heart just aches in a way I never imagined it could; holding her baby boy and knowing there's little she can do to comfort him. Seeing Trip, reading Courtney's words... makes me hold Gabe a little tighter, a little longer and with a little more fervor.

Please join me in praying for Trip, Courtney and their family.


And whatever you ask for in prayer,

having faith and [really] believe, you will recieve.

-Matthew 21:22

Thursday, July 21, 2011


7 hours didn't seem quite as long as it sounds when you're waiting for the most anticipated movie ever made. Maybe not the most anticipated movie ever made for everyone but to die hard fans this event was the culmination of 14 years of Harry Potter adoration.

Eating pizza, limiting beverage intake, taking pre-movie pictures and talking (lots and lots of talking) caused the long wait in line to seemingly disappear. In what seemed like no time at all we were standing up waiting to be let into the theater. Running to our seats wasn't completely necessary this time but we did it anyways! And the seat of champions were ours.

Snape, Snape, Severus Snape - oh how we love you. And hate you.

Me, Samantha and Sarah

Meg, Me and Sondra

Me, Meg and are usual in theater, pre-movie picture

(please note cute baby bump on Meg!)

Our whole group in the Seat of Champions!

Sam, Sarah, Jen, Sarah, Meg, Me Sondra

The movie never slowed down and was action packed plus full of emotion. If you haven't read or watched any Harry Potter just know that the second part of the movie is all about confronting death. It was good to hear Sondra and Megan sniffle through out parts as it reassured me that I was not the only one crying. I even cried when I saw it the second time on Sunday with my nephews, Caleb and Ethan. The movie was just that good.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was an absolutely phenomenal movie. It was legendary. It was epic. And now it is over.

I was blessed to be able to share these extravaganza's with my closest friends. And I can't wait to be able to share the adventure of Harry Potter with my children, at the appropriate ages of course!

I will always love Harry Potter and all it ensues. Harry Potter will always evoke strong and powerful memories about life, friends and the battle of good and evil. Like the last words of one of the most adversarial characters, Harry Potter will hold a special place in my heart. Always.

Monday, July 18, 2011


We apologize for interrupting your regularly scheduled programming....

Public Service Announcement:

If you ever see a child who is smiling, laughing, bouncing in their stroller and being all out adorable, you do not need to ask if said child is tired. The usual signs of a tired child are whining, eye rubbing, yawning or being still.

Just because both of a child's eyes are not both wide open does not mean the child is tired. Unless both eyes are closed, it is safer to assume that the happy child with one eye open wide and one eye opened a sliver is just that, a happy child. Not a tired child. The disposition of the child is much more pertinent in the determination of a child's need for sleep.

For your own safety and the sanity of the child's mother, do not ask if child is tired, ready for bed, etc. And eventually, young children grow up and become aware of comments made about them. While curiosity is not a sin, making comments is unnecessary.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Regularly scheduled programming (i.e. pictures) will return as soon as we have a faster Internet connection!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


November 19, 2010 may have been legendary but tonight, well words can't even begin to describe the awesomeness of the night to come. Epic, glorious, Herculean maybe?

In 8 short hours I will be meeting with the loveliest ladies I know to spend the next 7 hours eating pizza, catching up and preparing for the madness that midnight will bring.

Emotions will be high: laughter, breathless anticipation, anxiety over the end, wide spread smiles and even some tears.

A 14 year culmination is coming to an end. And even Gabe had to get in on the action!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Gabe may be coming a great traveler but he has not yet traveled to Memphis. A brief stop in Nashville, yes but no visit to Memphis yet!
After arriving in Ohio yesterday to visit family and friends and to, well, see the end of an era, we were ready for some fun today. Fun we had at Memphis Kiddie Park in Brooklyn. Seriously, if you have children between the ages of 3 - 8, it is the perfect place to take them. Inexpensive, too!

Gabe 1st amusement park ride with his cousin Ethan!

Oldest steel rollercoaster in the US and by far the boys favorite ride

Gabe's 1st carousel ride... he would not get on a horse!

More rides and a big blue balloon!

On our way out