Friday, November 28, 2008

So Much to be Thankful For

I always look forward to the beginning of the Holiday season, but this year it has been extra special for us. Last year we were waiting for Max Rup's passport. We had been waiting for it since October 2nd. I wanted my baby home for his first birthday, and was thinking that it was not going to happen. . .

Last year I was not with any of my children on Thanksgiving, but it was still a wonderful day. We were boarding a plane for India to get my son. This year Thanksgiving is also Max Rup's first "Gotcha Day." We've had him in our arms for one year. It amazes me because I remember it like it was yesterday, but it also feels like he's been with us forever. We expected to deal with adjustment and attachment issues. We saw none. He just simply fit.

This year we had a quiet Thanksgiving with Dan's parents. We watched our video footage of ISRC, which Max Rup was not interested in at all. It is also very close to Max Rup's birthday, so we celebrated that as well. When asked who's birthday it is he says "Max Woop" When asked how old he will be "two! (very loudly and exuberantly) When asked what he wants for his birthday "happy cake!"

Grammie made sure he got his "happy cake" and he really just wanted "happy frosting." He continues to be my smallest and loudest child by far. We all love him to pieces.

I am obviously most thankful for my amazing immediate and extended family. I don't know many families these days that are as close as ours is and who truly enjoy being together. I also have the three greatest kids ever and I'm thankful for their good health. I am thankful that this year we will enjoy the entire holiday season together, relaxed, and enjoying the preparations. I am thankful that this year I am so much happier in my job than I was a year ago. I know a lot of it was from the stress of waiting. When I went back to work I felt so refreshed and ready to deal with whatever came - I'm glad what came was positive change for a place I'm proud to work for.

These pictures were taken at our neighbor's house. We love to visit Peggy and all of the animals. The boys LOVED the turkeys. And yes, they did become someone's dinner yesterday. I love that we occassionally have the peacocks (in the picture above) in our backyard.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thoughts on Birthmoms

Tomorrow is Max Rup's first "Gotcha Day." I know some folks don't use this name, but I find it sweet and simple and endearing. I didn't want to call it family day since we were a family before Max Rup, and we're a family while waiting for Mehrunissa. OK, back to the subject.

Today I worked on Max Rup's lifebook. I'm a gal that needs a deadline, and Gotcha Day as well as his birthday kicked me into gear! As I began putting it together, I started to get really emotional thinking about the amazing young woman who made the hardest decision of her life to put Max Rup in our family.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I had never thought about her before,in my career I've spoken to birthmoms about their sacrifice, spoken to women who have made other choices for their unborn children. I have read the literature, and have lways had a healthy amount of respect for birthmoms,but I got really emotional about it tonight.

I have this perfect little boy. He is so happy, playful, smart, funny - just plain amazing - but she doesn't know that. It's one of those things about international adoption - there is no openness. When we began this process I thought that would make it easier on us as parents. I think I was wrong. I would give anything to be able to meet this woman who gave my son life. It wouldn't even need to be that. I wish I could just somehow let her know how wonderful he is doing. That he is loved tremendously and will always be taken care of. I also want her to know that we will not let him forget her. He will know that she made a very brave decision because she loved him.

So, Tuhina, if by some miracle you are reading this - we share an amazing little boy who destroyed my keyboard the other day my dumping orange juice all over it and then rubbing it in. He's very thorough :)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 14, 2008

More Cute Stuff

Just some cute happenings that I don't want to forget as my kiddos grow.

- Maddie voted for Obama in the mock election at school. I asked her how she chose him. "He's brown like Max, so I figured that was a good thing."

- Max was hugging Maddie on the couch the other day saying, "Maddie Pretty" over and over.

- Myles, "I love that you're my Momma."
The same night I told him that he could not have another brownie, that it was almost bedtime and his only choice was water. I was giving Max a nebulizer treatment, and Myles comes in with chocolate everywhere. I asked him if he had taken a brownie. He grinned his big, dimpled grin and said, "Oops, sorry." I put him in time out, and he kept on saying, "But I said sorry, and I'll hug you!" I'm telling you, that grin he has is going to get him out of a lot of trouble. I have such a hard time resisting it.

- Max thinks his name is Mickey for some reason. Every time without fail, Maddie says, "Rup, what's your name?" "Mickey." He also sings happy birthday and then requests cake.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


The woman that makes the elephant's name is Erin. Her etsy id or whatever is sewsewsuckurtoe. She's lovely.

(Had a few requests for it already, so thought I'd post it).

Homestudy #1

Done. And so painless. Our caseworker is this lovely lady who has been through the process twice herself. Lots of personality and she didn't mind my chatty kids or animals. She was actually quite interested in our livestock. It was just nice and relaxed and easy.

One more visit next Tuesday and then hopefully a quick write up and we can settle in for the long wait on the I-800a. She was optimistic that our wait for the official referral would be rather short. We are still hoping for our little girl, but just don't know. If we aren't able to pursue her, then we don't have a gender preference, and are quite open as far as special needs and age, although we're trying to keep our birthorder. We're along for the ride. It certainly worked out well for us last time.

This picture is the kids after we finalized Max. These elephants were made by a lovely lady on that loves all things India. Everything inside and outside on these elephants are from India, and the kids loved 'em. We wanted to do something special for all of them that day, and these elephants were perfect. I've already told her we'll need another one for our next child.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Quick Update

Hey all. We made our appointments for our Homestudy. They will all be done on the 18th. Then our worker will write it up (hopefully quickly) and we can file our I-800a. This is the document that has been taking quite some time for USCIS to process, so it could be a long wait for that. I love that they are "centralizing" this to increase efficiency. It only took us a few weeks to get this clearance last time. Now it is taking between 3-5 months. Very efficient :)

While we are waiting. . .

I am moving ahead with the Pampered Chef fundraiser. Another adoptive mom has agreed to donate her commission from our sale to our fund. She will write the check out directly to our agency. Her commission is at least 20% and could be more depending on her total sales for the month.

There are two ways to order. You can go directly to her site, browse, and place your order. I also have hard copy booklets and order forms. Items will be shipped to me, unless you specify to ship them elsewhere - so if you're "from away" please don't hesitate to order, just have the items shipped to your address instead of mine :)

If you are interested in ordering, just click on the link on the top right hand side of the blog. Thank you!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Starting to Fundraise for Mehrunissa

When we adopted Max we were able to do so without any fundraising or grants. Since we are still attempting to pay off the debt we incurred from the last adoption, we are looking for outside help to bring Mehrunissa home.

Since November is Adoption Awareness Month, we fingured it was a good time to kick off the fundraising. We are starting off with something pretty hands off. It is the creation of a site where you can shop at a vast number and array of stores and a percentage of your purchase will go toward our adoption. It is just like purchasing on line from the stores, but you click on them through our site. Please check it out:
Meagan, I expect you to do all of your walmart shopping online now. That should cover half of our cost :)

We will also be doing a pampered chef sale soon where the woman will donate her commission to our fund. You won't have to come to a party, you can even order online. I'll post more information on this soon.

Please use this month to celebrate adoption. Adoptive Families has a lot of great suggestions for celebrating this month.