Monday, September 1, 2008

It's been over a YEAR since I have blogged....

Time flies when you are having fun - right?

Last I blogged I was bummed and wondering what would happen with our lives. What I should be doing and where we were going. As of next week, we have been in the Bay Area of Northern CA for a full year. Rich has been the Store Director of a Circuit City here in the Bay Area of Northern CA for over a year now and things have been moving along. The kids are in an awsome school and I happend to "fall" into a job at their school. It is awsome to be near them all day.

Nicolas graduated from Kindergarten last June.

Problem is, I am not, well, WE are not happy. We have a gorgeous, huge, expensive home we are leasing, we have all the amenities of living in a large metropolitan area with lots of things to do, my kids are getting a great education at a top private school, and we pretty much have no worries. Wish we were happy here - but we are not. We very much dislike being away from family. We hate having to work so much just to live our lives. Life is stressful!!!!!

We are looking at life differently these days. We are looking at downsizing our lives and our lifestyle. Now we are waiting for God to show us where we need to be. We are confident that we are not supposed to be here in this town, living this lifestyle. I am confident that I am not like the Jones's family and have no inspiration with keeping up with them!

I have been sorting and packing lately. I want to be ready to move so that when that time comes, we can go.

What is up with the 2008 Elections? No matter what - we will make history this year. Whether it is an African American President or a female Vice President, it will be historic. I am not sure what I am going to do this year. I am still on the fence!

Well, that's it for now - It's the first day of school tomorrow for us- Nic will be a first grader and the little ones will be back in preschool. Hayden will be in the "Bear" class and Grace will be in the "Bees" class.

Will update with first day of school photo's later in the week.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

My Babies!

These are my life - all are pictured but my husband (he was working that day).

Let me introduce you to my babies!

Nico - 5 next week

Hayden - 2

Grace - 2
(three months & one day younger than Hayden)

And, all three kids and myself!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Faith Busters

Why is it that some people who call themselves Christians judge people they don't know and think that is OK? I mean, I am sure I have done the same thing at times, but, for the most part I try to give people the benefit of the doubt.

I have faith. I believe in God. I am a Christian. I would NEVER send an anonymous e-mail to someone telling them they are sinners and they hope I come to Christ. They obviously don't know me, so, why would they judge me, judge my FAITH? This is an e-mail that obviously came from a member of a site that I am a moderator on.

I pray that God will guide you into a more Christian lifestyle. May you discover
that He loves you despite your many sins. May you one day embrace His love with
complete devotion. If not, may He have mercy on your soul.

Why is that OK? I know, it's a free world, free speech, blah, blah, blah...

But, it gives me doubt that FAITH and CHRISTIANITY are where it needs to be. Why do people use FAITH as a crutch? Why do some use it as a judgement tool?

That is not what FAITH is about. Faith in Christ, to me, is love, forgiveness, helping each other, support, believing, redemption, security, safety, life after death, and I could go on.

I don't believe it is to crucify, judge, hate, spite, or use against someone.

I will suffice to say, people can make a determination about me, they can think I am mean, nice, a bully, a friend, a confidant, even a bitch. You are allowed to have an opinion of me. However, you are not allowed to judge my walk with Christ or my Faith. That is not for anyone to decide but my Maker!

To the person who sent me the e-mail, you don't know me, you can't judge me, you can't cast the first stone or make me a crown of thorns, you can't take away from the the one thing that I have and hold on to on a daily basis - my FAITH. I won't judge your Christianiy. I won't speak ill will of you, I don't know you. But I will say I hope that you think next time you decide to cast judgement upon someone you don't know anything about.

God Bless!

Monday, July 2, 2007

What a mixed bag of emotions today!

I am ecstatic that Rich and I celebrated 18 years of a great marriage yesterday! Woo Hoo!

At the same time, I am stressed out with our current situation we are in - the life of not knowing what is coming next. We know Rich could be moved to Director of his own store ANY DAY and the thought of relocating is exciting, yet completely stressful at the same time. We need the money of him being promoted to Director, either that or I need to finish my child care licensing and bring in another child or two (on top of "K" who I watch for a friend 3 days a week). I don't think I can find a job that will pay for child care plus the extra we need. *Sigh* Plus, I really do love being home with my babies - most of the time ;-) .

Every time I pick up my child care licensing paperwork, or look in the help wanted ads, something happens with Rich's job that makes me stop....and wait.

Just last week, I completed that last page of paperwork and was ready to write an $80 check for my child care license and Rich comes home and says he has an important meeting he has to go to on Tuesday (tomorrow) in the bay area and he believes he will be told what store they are going to relocate him too. Well, I didn't really have the extra $80 right now anyways, so....I wait again!

I have been thinking a lot about my children's birth family. My kids are my life and they mean so much to me. I believe that their birth mom feels the same way about my kids as I do and I can't imagine (and never will imagine, I am sure) the pain they feel not being around their children. Must be a mixed bag of emotions for them. *notice the tie-in with my title* I know they chose for their children to have a better life in America. I know they love and care for their child, but know they don't have the resources and/or support to care for them by themselves.

There is a file at the hogar that is there specifically for birth families to come as they want, when they want, to see the files. Adoptive families are encouraged to send updates to the file for the birth families to view. Several times a year, I send updates and photos along with information on how to contact us and the intent we have at wanting contact with them. I am so hoping to get a call or letter someday saying that they too want contact. I have "some" information that I may be able to use to find them, however, I don't want to do that "yet". I have been told, as are most people to adopt from Guatemala, that most birth families do not want contact based on fear that their family member may retaliate or that harm may come to them. So, for the time being, I am going to hold on to the hope that one of them contacts me first to let me know that they too want contact and during that time, continue to send updates and photos to the file so that if their birth families can have that information.

Finally, my gripe for the day. You didn't think I would blog a full day without a gripe, did you? Well, here it goes...

Why do people get upset at you when they are the one's that choose to not follow the rules and do what is right? I mean, HELLO????

Friday, June 29, 2007

WOW Moments...

I have had many of those this last week. WOW moments...

First of all, there is too much going on in my head, too much to write about to get to tonight, but, I wanted to throw a few things out there for further discussion/writings. So, here it goes...

When my husband and I decided to look into adoption, we researched several options. We had been married 14 years with no children and had fallen into a pretty productive and lucrative lifestyle. We were successful in our relationship and our careers. Where am I going with this? Well, the way we got to where we were was by planning, scheduling, and researching everything in our lives. So, when we decided to adopt, we did just that. We planned, researched (till the cows came home) and scheduled everything.

Now I know. I know that it doesn't matter how much you plan, how long and how much you research, and how much you schedule with adoption - the outcome is a child (or children in our case) and it wasn't until they were home and we became a family that I realized that there was nothing that we did that could prepare us for parenthood - especially adoptive parenthood.

Here we are now, I no longer am working my 50+ hour a week career, we are living paycheck to paycheck, and although we try to follow a schedule - well, all I can say is, we try.

So, one of my gripes tonight is this...

I think we did a great job preparing ourselves for adoption. I do think, however, that we were failed in preparation of adoption by our adoption agency/social workers. There are so many aspects of our adoption that were missed, that were "looked over". I feel that the adoption world, especially the international adoption world is successful in making the adoptive parent the "focus" of the adoption. As I read the forums and the several e-mail discussion groups I am a part of, I consistently see "I", and "me" and "us" and it is always the adoptive parent who is upset or has been mistreated, or is not getting information, or is having issues with their adoption. I have been constantly blindsided with the fact these last few weeks that hardly anyone is focusing on the child or the children involved. Let's not forget about the child, the innocent child who has no say or seemingly no rights in the adoption process. Let's stop worrying about what we as adoptive parents are going through, or what our agencies or attorneys or our own emotions are doing for us. Let's just focus on the child, and the needs of the child. By doing that, adoptive parents need to get ourselves healthy, and prepare ourselves as well as we can mentally prior to getting that child home. If we cannot be in the right place when the time come to proceed in adoption, and bring a child into our homes when we are not prepared health wise, mentally and financially, does that mean we fail the child? In a way, I think, yes!

I see so many adoptive parents complaining once their child is home about attachment, about sleeping problems, eating problems, behavior problems and I can't help wonder if some (I am only saying "some") of those issues are stemming from the unprepared adoptive parent.

Don't get me wrong, I am not scolding adoptive parents nor am I excluding myself from this group of adoptive parents. Quite the contrary, I see this or have seen it in my life and I am seeing it more and more in the adoptive community.

Is it because more and more agencies are merely looking for a buck and not worried about what happens after the children come home? Why is it that it seems that the dollar, the agencies, the aparents, the outsiders are the focus during the adoption process and why is it the child isn't always the focus? Not every situation is that way, but it seems to me that it is heading that way more often within the international adoption community.

That was much more than I wanted to get into tonight, but there it is....

More tomorrow...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Why Antigua Family?

All of my children were cared for from the day they were relinquished by a hogar that is located in Antigua, Guatemala. We visited each child once and then traveled a second time to pick up that child. All in all, I have spent over 6 weeks in Antigua. It took me a trip or two, but I fell in love with the city of Antigua. Not only was it the place where my children were placed in my arms forever, but i love the architecture, the culture, the laid back way of life and the wonderful people of Guatemala. It is such a different way of life.

What is amazing about Guatemala is that despite the poverty, the malnutrition, the lack of bare necessities - for the most part, the people of Guatemala are happy. They are truly happy, you can see it in their eyes. The women truly care about their children and they do everything together and go everywhere together. It's such a simple way of life. Live, love, laugh. The kids are laughing - dirty and barefoot on cobblestones, but laughing, joking with their buddies, but those smiles are infectious.

I try to remember my experiences in Antigua every day. Makes a difference in my life to remember that it doesn't or at least shouldn't make a difference in my life what material things I have, or if we can afford to order dinner out again, or wonder how we are going to afford the family vacation I am planning. That doesn't mean that it isn't important to work hard and provide for my kids, both Rich and I do what we can - but, we also have made the effort to remember what comes first in our lives. I have my family, we are all healthy, safe and we have each other. I was complaining yesterday about how small our home was and how we have out grown our home. Rich said to me, "No, our house is perfect, it is filled with our family and it is filled with love, that's all that matters." I obviously still need reminded.

Monday, June 25, 2007

This is my first blog. A blog about myself, my husband, and my kids. It's about everyday life, adoption, love, craziness, stress, and anything else I feel compelled to write about.

I am the mom of three wonderfully busy kids whom I love with all my heart. A son who turns 5 next month, a second son who is in the midst of his terrible two's and a beautiful daughter who is also two and has decided that the only thing she is willing to share is the terribleness of also being two. My kids became a part of our family through international adoption and they were all born in Guatemala and home by 6 months of age.

I am also a wife. I married my best friend, my high school sweetheart. We have been married 18 years next month. We share this life, the craziness of it. We were child free for the first 14 years of our marriage and within 3 years, we had a houseful of three kiddos - changing our lives forever! I wouldn't have it any other way!