Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wonderful Christmas Time

I had a lovely but wistful Christmas. Shared my video from Haiti with my family. It was wonderful to watch it again and to have them share in my sweet baby boy. My mom had wrapped a gift that said to Julie and Elliott - our first Christmas gift! Inside was the sweetest little brown baby ornament and a little snowglobe with the letter e inside. I love snowglobes! So precious to have my baby recognized at Christmas. They all enjoyed my Christmas card too:) Wish I could figure out how to post it here.

Missing my boy. Waiting for more paperwork. Trying to finish painting and moving out some furniture to have Elliott's bedroom all ready. Missing my boy. Wishing he were home. Waiting is very, very hard. I am trying to keep busy. Doesn't really help, though!

Blessings,
Julie

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Baking

I had the appointment from you-know-where today and was in a tizzy. So what do I do when I'm in a tizzy? I call my older sister and ask her to come over and bake cookies for Christmas. We made sugar cookies and peanut butter fudge. We also made the dough for these delicious Chocolate Crinkles I found a new recipe for this year. I've also tinkered with it (of course) so they are a bit more dark chocolatey. They have to chill overnight so I'll bake them in the morning. It seems like we made more than that! My kitchen is a disaster and it smells soooooo good in my house.

I can't wait until next year to bake cookies with Elliott. I hope he likes to bake. I wonder what cookies will become his favorite? I've also wondered if he'll like hot chocolate with marshmallows. His cousins Danny and Travis love it so it will be fun to have the three boys together drinking hot chocolate. I wish I could send him a whole box of yummy Christmas goodies. I know we'll have lots of years to make Christmas memories and I'm looking forward to it!

Blessings,
Julie

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Such sadness

My heart breaks for this couple. It is the fear those of us who have children in orphanages far away that the biological family will return and try to take their bio child back. Please pray for them.

http://countdowntohomecoming.blogspot.com/

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's almost Christmas

and I miss my boy. I've been trying to focus on enjoying school and friends and family but not always successfully. Before I went to Haiti and met Elliott in person, I thought about him quite often but now that I know him, I think about him all the time. ALL THE TIME. I wonder what he is doing, I worry about his health (Elliott has just the usual illnesses of kids in orphanages- a cough, tinea, dry skin), I think about how fun it would be to have him here doing whatever I'm doing at the time. I am trying hard to get another paper filed that should have been filed awhile ago and very worried it will make things slow down.

So those are the hard things. Here are some of the wonderful things: remembering holding him in my arms while he slept. Listening to his giggle on the video. Looking into his eyes in the pictures. Remembering the feel of his little, tiny hand in mine as he would pull me along to show me something. Happy that he didn't want to share me with the other kids. Looking at bedding and trying to decide how to decorate my son's room. Thinking about how fun it will be next Christmas to share baking and wrapping and decorating with him. Absolutely grateful for the blessing of having a son. Being a mother is amazing.

Blessings to all!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving

What was/am I grateful for this year?

Being a mama is #1! The joy I felt holding Elliott is beyond anything I've ever experienced. I just felt so connected to him that at times I thought my heart would just burst with love and happiness. I cannot wait to have him home so we can be a "forever family".

My niece Jennifer and her husband Rob hosting their first Thanksgiving for the families! I was so proud of her and am so grateful to have her in my life. I love her and Rob so much!

Logan-the baby of Jennifer and Rob. I love seeing the world through his eyes. Everything is an adventure and life is to be lived full on. Logan is bright, curious, sweet, and smart. It sometimes feels a bit strange having a great-nephew and being a new mama! I can't wait for these two to meet!

Garrett. What can I say about the boy who has my heart? My nephew is smart and funny and helpful and kind and sassy and awesome. I have loved every weekend we have spent together for the past four years. He is Jennifer's little brother and I love them both so much.

My mom whom I too often take for granted and forget to enjoy her and appreciate all that she has done for me and my sisters. I love her very much and am glad she is part of my life.

My best friend/cousin Debbie and her family. She helps me keep my perspective, shares her love and her family, and helps me laugh at myself and at life! She has two beautiful children and a handsome husband, all of whom I also adore.

My sisters Sheri and Karen. What can you say about sisters? They know everything about me from childhood. They remind me of my many foibles and idiosyncrasies (ie: using big words!!) from when I was young and help me remember to be grateful for all we had growing up.

My almost a grown man nephew Lucas. He is quiet and smart and kind and solid. He has a great sense of humor and I am so glad he is my nephew. We don't spend as much time together as we did when he was young. Amazing how busy teenagers are these days! I have great faith in Lucas and know he will be an accomplished and wonderful adult.

My dad. I miss him every day. When you've had unconditional, always there, solid as a rock love, its hard not to miss that and feel that loss. This is especially true of the holidays. He never even knew Garrett and how sad is that for my dad and Garrett? I love it when we tell Papa stories when we get together and keep his memory alive for all of us, even those who know him only through our stories.

I am grateful for a God who recognizes my frailties and loves me anyway. I have a hard time being a shout it from the rooftops person but I know that the universe is an amazing and wonderful place and am happy to praise God in my own way.

What are you grateful for? I'd love to hear from you!

Love, Julie

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Meet my son!

Back from Haiti!
What a trip. I absolutely loved meeting Elliott. We got to the orphanage and they brought him to me in the baby room. I will always remember seeing him in the doorway. He came in and he came right to me. It was really wonderful. He is charming, sweet, laid-back, wants me to himself, loves to lead me around, likes to be held, likes to jabber. When he is trying to repeat something I'm saying, he'll bob his head and tap his feet at the same time. He has a sweet laugh and his eyes are like pools of deep chocolate. I could stare at him for hours (and did, while he was sleeping). It was magical and amazing. I feel very much like a mom now, more so than I've ever felt before. The days were kind of a routine, meals and naps. He had preschool in the morning.

I was thrilled to be traveling with Marty and Daniela and their son. They were visiting their daughter who is a year and a half old. They were an amazing family and helped me so much with everything. It was great to have their support! Elliott and I will have to go visit them!

Here's a link to my pix on Shutterfly. Go down to the photo book and click on the single page view in the upper right corner. username: petsrgr8t@gmail.com password: Tootsie6 **OR TRY password: elliott09 You shouldn't need it but just in case! Hope it works!

http://elliotthaiti09.shutterfly.com/

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What a day!

I woke up very early, at my usual time today but as I had last looked at the clock around midnight, it was too early!! The cats were being their usual selves but it felt extra obnoxious. So I ignored them and went back to sleep. I had meant to be at the driver licensing office by 8:30 but decided to check my bank account. Ack!! Over $500 is missing. Are you kidding me? Right before I'm going out of the country? I called Bank-not-of-@merica and asked about my missing trip money. They don't know what I'm talking about. They want me to print out all my records and bring them in. Again, are you kidding me? Like I have time for that today? So I said no, I'd take care of it later. Got showered, dressed, fixed my hair and makeup for my picture and as I was getting into my car trying to protect my makeup in the pouring rain, managed to practically knock my self out, I hit my head so hard. Instant headache. Lump on my forehead (under the hair so it won't show in the picture-golly, I'm vain!) that throbbed most of the day. So I drove to get my license and went in to wait. And wait. And wait.

The rest of the day went better. Went to Costco, got some supplies for Elliott's orphanage, some snacks for us, and pictures for his bed. Now I'm working on washing all my clothes and trying to decide just what to pack. I have to be somewhat dressed for winter as I am leaving from Seattle but it was 90 degrees and 87% humidity Wednesday in Haiti. Hot!

I am just going to focus on one step at a time tonight and pray for sleep. I can't wait to see Elliott!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Waiting4Haiti

Oh boy, time sure plays funny tricks. Sometimes it feels like these last few days before I leave for Haiti are going so fast I am panicking because there aren't enough hours in the day. Then other times it feels like time is in very slow motion. I know Sunday evening is going to come very quickly and it will seem very surreal.

This time next week I'll have been with my son (I do so LOVE to write that) for three days. I just can't wait to kiss those cheeks!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

5 days until Miami, 7 days until Haiti

I am so nervous, excited, and scared. My brain is having a REALLY hard time shutting off and going to sleep so I'll update instead. I fly to Miami on the red-eye Sunday night, spend Monday night in Miami, and then fly to Haiti Tuesday morning. I am going with another family I will meet at the airport.

Tonight I got my hair done because being even blonder will help me fit right in...NOT! But my roots were driving me crazy and I was vain enough not to want our pictures of our first meeting to have roots in my hair. Gack! Just writing that sentence down makes me seem so shallow:) I do have other things on my mind, like what the heck to pack. I got a passport holder that goes around my neck, a travel bag for the shower, and some bug spray with DEET. Yep, DEET, the stuff that's really bad for you. But it's that or get malaria from the mosquitoes. I tried some on my wrist to make sure I'm not allergic and this one doesn't even have much of a smell. Now I'm trying to decide if I want to check the weather reports, as its still hurricane season.

Besides all the packing questions and making sure I have everything I need, there's the what is going to happen when I see Elliott for the first time? Will he cry? What is he going to think when this white lady he's never seen before wants to hold him and tell him she loves him? Will he laugh and play with me? Will he get some idea of just how much he is loved? How much I think of him, every day, every hour? Will he know that I believe God has brought us together? Will I overwhelm him with my own emotions? Will he feel the healing he has already brought to my heart after 20 years of wanting a child? What the hell am I going to do when I have to say good-bye?

Only time will tell. And if you read this, please send a prayer our way for us to connect and have a wonderful time together. Please say a prayer for my safe journey. I am grateful, oh so grateful, for this amazing and joyous experience. Blessings to all who read this! Peace be with you!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Elliott is 2 today!







Elliott's birthday is today. I've been just a whirlwind of emotions. Looking forward to all the birthdays we will have together. Wondering what his birth was like. I know it was at home. Happy to have a son whose birthday I can celebrate. Desperately sad that he's not here to wish him happy birthday, make him a cake, shower him with presents, and hug him and tell him how much he is loved. Thankful that we are in Parquet, I never thought we would be here so fast. Thankful that he is only two and I'll have lots of time to read to him and help him get caught up. But I'd rather have all these lovely, mixed emotions because they mean I'm almost a mama.

Please consider donating to Elliott's orphanage. Here's the URL:
http://chances4childrendonations.blogspot.com/

We are having a food box drive but checks are always gladly accepted!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Haiti, Here I come!

I'm finally going to Haiti to meet my son! I am so excited! I'm really nervous, too. I've been reading through blogs of other adoptive parents and I know that I can't expect too much at first. I'm a stranger to Elliott, after all. It's funny, because I look at his pictures all the time and he is on my mind all the time. My heart is so full of love for him and he really feels like my son, yet he has no idea who I am except for some pictures. I am excited to meet Elliott so he can know me. And I also just cannot wait to hold him and kiss those cheeks!

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Big Boy



It's been forever since I posted but I was feeling like I had not much to say. Elliott's dossier is in IBESR now-yippee!! We moved to step two rather quickly. This is the step that can take quite long-two months to over a year. So let's pray for quick movement and smooth sailing.

Elliott is twenty-two months old now. He weighs 22.5 lbs. He is almost 28 inches tall. He is learning to feed himself. I've posted some new pix-he is looking so much more like a little boy and not a baby.

Sometimes my heart just aches to bring him home. At night I think about all the things we could be doing right now, reading him a book before bed, nighttime kisses, waiting to listen to him fall asleep. Then I plan out a typical summer morning for us, Elliott waking up and running into my room, climbing on the bed and saying Mama, Mama, wake up! And I'll smile at him and say Good Morning, Sunshine! (My Aunt Sandy used to say that to us when I would spend the night and I loved it.) Then we would wander out to the kitchen and fix breakfast and plan the rest of our day together. Sometimes my daydreams are all that give me hope.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July

I spent the 4th of July with one of my favorite families; my cousin, her husband and their two precious sons. Their neighborhood out in the country does a bang-up job of shooting off fireworks. This year we got to enjoy the view from their new (and beautiful) front porch. We talked about many things but what was especially nice was to talk about Elliott/Dimy and hope that he will be with us by the next 4th of July. Here are some of our thoughts:
  • Will he like the fireworks or will the noise scare him?
  • Has he ever seen fireworks before?
  • Won't it be fun to see him play with D. and T.?
  • Will he be home by then? I hope and pray!
Please pray for speedy paperwork processing and for Elliott/Dimy to know how very much his mama loves him and that there are lots of people who already love him as well.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

An update




I have a few new pix of Elliot/Dimy. Here's what the mom who took the pictures had to say about him:
"Dimy is one chubby happy baby. He reminded me of a teddy bear. He was gone for appointments for most of the time that we were there, but we were able to spend some time with him and snap a few pics of him at meal time just before we left. He is super happy and smiley and he’s huge."

I wish he would smile for the camera! Only one pic from when he was really little is he smiling. Oh well, it was lovely to hear about him and see new pix. I'm also not sure what appointments he was going to but I know that they have to take the babies to Port-Au-Prince to do legal paperwork sometimes so I'm hoping that means his paperwork is going smoothly. I haven't heard ANYTHING from C4C or the creche since late May and am really aching to know how far we are in the process. I still need to send in my paperwork to the FBI so they can fingerprint me although since I've been a teacher in two different states, I've been fingerprinted many times already. The redundancy of the paperwork is a bit trying.

I miss my little guy and think of him all day. He is never far from my thoughts. I want him home so very badly!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summertime...

And the livin' is easy...or so goes the song. I'm one of those weirdos who don't really like summer vacation. It's too long! I like structure and routine. I like school! I wish we had year round school with two week breaks and then a five week break in summer. It's an anachronistic schedule that no longer serves us well, especially the students I serve. I'm a Title I teacher and so I teach reading to struggling students. They would be so much better served in a year round model. It really is better for all the kids. There are some very innovative programs out there and I hope we start moving towards a better model for our kids.

No new news on Elliott/Dimy. Children are coming home from the creche and new babies are being admitted so that means more and more children are moving through the Haitian adoption maze. He is never far from my mind, though.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Life

I am finding it a bit easier to think of "my son". It is starting to feel more natural. I carry pix with me wherever I go and show him off. I am on a forum for families adopting from the same creche (orphanage) and was sent a story about Dimy that just melted my heart. A little girl was in the crib next to him and her parents were leaving and saying goodbye and she was crying. Dimy reached over and patted her on the head as if to say "it's ok". I have heard from quite a few families who have met him and they all say he is so sweet. I can't wait to meet him!

My computer was acting up last night and so this is a continuation of last evening's post. I was on the forum again today (surprise, surprise!) and one of the other moms posted that she was in Haiti right now to pick up her son and she would go and check on Dimy! Then she posted again and said he is WALKING!! Yeah! I was a little worried since he wasn't walking two months ago. Dimy came right up to her and let her hold him and kiss him. She said he sat down next to another baby and was rubbing that baby's back. I love these stories about him. I am so excited. And to hear about him being so caring to the other children, that is so awesome in so many ways. Attachment can be an issue for many of these children and this shows that he can care for others. I also love knowing that he observes the world around him and reacts in a loving way. I feel so very, very blessed. I really just have so much love in my heart for him and it grows every day.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

We are a family!

Good, great, exciting, surreal news-baby Dimy is mine and I am his! He is 19 months old and so cute. i got the paperwork last week and its taken me a week or so to write about it because it has taken awhile to sink in. I'm getting more comfortable saying "my son" and I really think he looks like an Elliot so I am calling him that as well. I wish I could go pcik him up tomorrow but it will still be a year or so before I can bring him home. I manot sure if I'll be able to go and meet him this summer or not. My dossier has to be in IBESR (like DSHS here) before I can go. I'm just so anxious to hold him and talk to him and let him know how much I love him and what life will belike for us.

I am rearranging my condo and making a room for him. I've started knitting a baby blanket, just a really simple patterna nd three colors-chocolate, blue, and green. I am also moving and painting all kinds of things here and will probably need a good part of the summer to finish everything I want to accomplish.

So now I wait again but knowing my baby is waiting for me makes it so much better!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

And now we wait...

That's the royal we-I'm including all my family and friends. I FINALLY have all the glitches fixed. I had to send five documents to the state to be authenticated (they have to certify that the notary is a real notary) then off to Chicago again so the Haitian consulate can register the documents. This is the same path all of my other documents have gone down. I got them back and sent them to Chances for Children office in Portland, OR. From there they go to Haiti! So I can only pray that they pick me and will let my little boy and I be matched forever.

It's Mother's Day coming up-wouldn't that be a lovely present?I have ignored Mother's Day for about six or so years, ever since my hysterectomy. I am planning to hang out with my family this year. We are going to the zoo, if it doesn't rain, and then to Jennifer and Rob's for dinner. It should be fun! I love the zoo.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dossier COMPLETED

Wow, I think this has been the most stressful two weeks of my life. My dossier has over 100 pages! I got everything back from the Haitian Consulate in Chicago and then had to copy everything eight times. It all had to be sorted into the perfect order and the copies had to be as well. My friend Cheryl from school went through the originals and the first copy to make sure it was in order. We found three errors! I had looked through those papers so many times. So then I got it sent to my adoption counselor in Montana. Overnight express! She then looked through everything and found two papers I hadn't done correctly and she needed them today! So I scrambled around and again, people were beyond helpful and I got the papers done. I have to send the originals to a different person who will then send the COMPLETED dossier to Haiti. I should know if this little boy is mine within the next two weeks.

I can only thank God for the blessings I have been given these last two weeks. I have been abundantly blessed by the kindness of strangers and friends these last two weeks. I have often joked with God that I don't need a brick upside the head to pay attention and listen, but sometimes God still has to whack me a time or two. If I ever had any doubts about adoption or this baby, they are completely gone. When God makes everything go so smoothly it is up to me to give thanks and understand the messages God is sending. Faith has gotten me through these weeks and months and I am grateful to be able to rely on my faith to get me through whatever is to come.

Some big thank you's to:
Cheryl, Jessica, Debbie, and Jennifer for listening and encouraging me.
The people in Washington state's Apostile office for returning my documents the next day.
The Haitian Consulate.
Pam and Lorraine at the ISD admin office.
My adoption counselor Cyndi.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Boy? A BOY!

This must be what it feels to find out you are pregnant but it's very early and you don't know if the baby will be OK. I MAY have a baby! A baby boy! I know, I've always wanted a girl but when my adoption counselor called and told me about a two month old baby boy it just seemed right. The first orphanage I was going through remembered me and asked for me. I had switched orphanages because my adoption counselor recommended I try Foyer de Sion because Chances 4 Children had all their children matched and it would take much longer to get a match through them. I hustled and sent papers off and the papers came back super fast and the dossier is complete! I am sending a slew of papers to the Haitian consulate in Chicago. I am sending the I-600a form off soon as well.

So back to the baby boy...I cannot believe how wonderfully right this feels. I believe God has made this happen for me for a reason and I was supposed to be open and ready for a child, boy or girl. I am absolutely over the moon happy! I can't wait to be a mom. This makes it feel even more real. I won't know for a week or two if this baby boy is definitely mine. Once he is I am going to be planning a trip to Haiti as soon as I can. I've got names and colors to think about and my cousin gave me her changing table. I will have to get some boy color yarn to make a blanket! Please keep me and my baby boy in your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I can't wait to be matched! ALL the documents are completely done. I am so anxious to have a picture! I have dreamt about her for so long and really wonder what she will look like.

School is great but I've noticed that it is a much more fun now when other people have babies at school (you know what I mean!). When I first came back I couldn't even go to a baby shower. I would just buy a gift. Now I can actually go and have fun! There are so many cute babies from our staff. I love listening to the moms talk and just soaking up all the wisdom and the funny stories.

I am going to try posting some pix of me and the kitties. More later!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Just waiting

I now have every piece of paperwork except for one. I am dying to get this show on the road! I want a baby so much. I have bought a few things to keep my spirits up in anticipation of getting the baby. Oddly enough, they are for me. I bought a chest of drawers and a queen headboard from a wonderful unfinished furniture shop that went out of business so had some great deals. I will buy a queen mattress as soon as the kids move out. I want to have a big bed so the baby can sleep with me at the beginning. I was planning to paint them but the wood is so beautiful I think I'm just going to put a finish coat on it. I also bought a 7 ft bookcase. I will use my other bookcase that is long and very open to put in the baby's room and use baskets for her clothes and stuff. It really does help to be making plans and creating spaces for her.

I plan to get some pix up of the kitties and the condo soon.

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