Saturday, February 28, 2009

Last Day to become "February Parents"....

2.28.09:No news yet...but I'm as happy as I can get without our Izabella with us! Her Harley Rocker sits in the front room--where Dan put it when we brought it home--waiting for her to "ride". Can't wait. We're all in our front room--the real family room--the one without a tv--sipping our morning coffee and writing to loved ones and the girls are very happily chewing on their bones. It's my absolutely favorite time of the week....the calm before the we head into our busy weekend. I have a ton of studio jobs to get done...Dan is going to work on the shower again..and we have some errands to run.

I rec'd some sweet notes from friends and family and I so appreciate it. Including one from a new friend who is in China now with her gorgeous daughter--and her comment moved me so--thank you Anglea. As she so sweetly said they were--praying for us from the Izabella's homeland--that chokes me up! The thought our Izabella is alive and living in China right now--somewhere is such a deeply profound and sweet thought to me. I can see her face in my minds eye, and so yearn to know her and hold her, and laugh with her and discover the world all over again with her--through her special lense.

But, It doesn't appear we'll see Izabella's face with the february batches--but one of my new blog friends said they got their referral on a Saturday--so maybe--there is a glimmer of hope. And I was just thinking how perfect it would be to get a referral on a Saturday, as Dan is home and we can be together for "the call". But again, it's all in God's hands and all we can do is wait and pray. In the meantime, life is growing all around us-our friend Dawn just became a mommy this week (a little boy Ricardo Ray--cool name!), spring is around the corner with 65-70 degree days last week ( a little spatter of snow today), familes desparately waiting for the TA (ok to travel) to Travel to China got the green light--those waiting for final approval of their child from China--got their green light--another friend that go layed off a few weeks ago got "the call" for a job!...sooo many other wonderful things. So, how can you argue with all that..and the week is not over yet:)

You never know--like the dying professor says, "the tough times and trials on the way to realize your dreams are God's way of weeding out those that really want the dream and those that don't". I want it. Yes I do. Amen.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Huge WCP referrals--Is our little Izabella there?

2.26.09: A double batch of Waiting Children referrals arrived today at our Agency. They rec'd shared list children and specified Agency list children!!! The notice hit the blog this afternoon--I didn't see it--but my new friend Laurie saw it and emailed me! I couldn't believe it. So, I go no where without my laptop or my phone. We haven't rec'd a call yet and it's 8:33 p.m. Butterflies are roaming around my stomach everytime I think of the call. It was funny, a friend of mine--recently layed off from her job--emailed that she 'got the call" --she got the job. I said, GREAT, I want "my call " friend Shayna replied back "you will." Oh if I could be so sure. What I am sure of is--that God knows our Izabella and if she is a part of these files--she will be ours. So...that is my comfort. OK--I really want my phone to ring--I think that's ok. :) There are so many signs that the timing is good--and we are so, so ready for this little one. We'll see. Prayers are welcome.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


2.24.09:I found the photo above in a box of treasures from my dad, that my mom gave me after he died. This picture was in an old wallet of his. He carried it with him for a very long time--day in and day out--it was afterall his family (less one--my little brother). You can see how dog eared it is. It was taken in 1963, 5 years before my little brother Donald was born--Hee, Hee, I got to sit on Dad's knee.

Yesterday was my parents 53rd Wedding Anniversary. My dad passed away in May of 1999 nine years ago, but I still call my mom on their anniversary. I know it is always a hard day for her--their love was soooo deep and so real and like I've said before did not die with his body. I can hear the sorrow in my mom's voice now, even almost 10 years after his death. I can still hear her whales of sorrow, as I guarded the door when she entered his room for the first time since he passed, I can still see them dancing in the kitchen, I can still hear my dad's spoon scrapping the bottom of his coffee cup as he stirs his coffee every morning. I can still recall the way he adored her and always demanded we treat her with "respect" and not like our "slave". I still remember us all piled in the back of our car with the windows down, mom and dad in front singing songs as we took an afternoon drive to cooll off from a hot summer day. I still remember my dad standing in the drive way of our farm house, waging a friendly bet with his friend, who had stopped by for a visit, as my brother rode his horse Star, bearback across the green field in lightning speed, as my dad timed it. I still remember my Dad hand turning/tilling a full acre of land to plant a garden to harvest for food. I still remember how he loved to tell a story! No matter how many times you heard it, you'd listen again--just to see how much he loved to tell it. I still remember him leaning in with a surprise sweet kiss on the cheek as I posed for a picture on the night of my first date--the junior prom. Ever so careful not to mess up my dress, hair or makeup. This ended up a tradition--that my brothers still bestow upon their daughters. I still remember the night I disobeyed him for the first time (and it was the last) and he told me he'd decide the punishment at a later time--he did and I was so amazed and impressed and respected his consistency. I still remember how proud he was of me when I graduated from college and how funny and happy he was the Day Dan asked him for my hand in marriage. I remember his extremely high tolerance for pain. His love of family and friends. How he cried the day he had to resign from the state police, because he couldn't support his family on a policemen's income. I still remember when he did CPR to save my life. When he rushed me to the hospital in his police cruiser and saved my life yet another time. I still remember him pulling into the drive way and backing up the old bronco to the porch to load up to head to the lake camping for the weekend. I still remember my dad putting on a black cape and dyed black mop at hair, and with a tray full of candy in hand-surprised us as we were watching Hee Haw on our floor model color TV-for Halloween--all because it wasn't safe to go trick or treating that year. I still remember him as the best pumpkin carver ever. I remember he asked me what kind of pumpkin I wanted and I said a "sad pumpkin dad, not a scarey one", so he so carefully carved a pumpkin with just one delicate tear on it's cheek. I remember how he used to call me "the kid" when I was ien my 30's. I remember so many, many things, all like they were yesterday...and I miss him so dearly. I know my mom and all my family does too. I so wish Izabella could know him--I try not to think about that often--but it's been on my mind a lot lately. Perhaps with the coming of their anniversary. I remember making (still have them actually) anniversary cards for my parents one anniversary. I drew crowns for them--and called them King and Queen. They are my King and Queen, and always will be. They are my Heroes And I aspire to have the same love and be the same kind of parent they were. Their love was not perfect in that they argued, disagreed and got as frustrated with each other as the next. But, they never stopped loving and respecting each other and they were masters of communication. And they're still in love eternally.

I remember the last time I saw him alive and will never forget the last words he spoke to me just moments before he passed--he said, "I love you, I love you, I love you." Yup, I love you too Dad and I'll miss you!" Until we meet again. Love, Your Daughter "the kid" forever.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

19 months, still no referral and Best of Show!

2.17.09: A short and sweet post--Yup, it's been 19 months today on this magical carpet ride. And what a ride it has been. I thank God from the bottom of my heart for every step of it, ups, downs and all of it. And it looks like Izabella was not in the last batch. So we continue to wait and pray.

And one really SWEET piece of news that I am so excited about! One of my clients High Heals, LLC (and has become a good friend too--what a blessing is that--she's featured in our 2008 review) started her own company recently and needed a logo, corporate identity, hand-out and exhibit banner for her big debut at a conference downtown. She called tonight to share the news about her day. She said the event was AMAZING and they really created a lot of excitement and enthusiasm.If you knew Liz--you'd know that's no surprise. And to tell me many people inquired and raved about her graphics--hee, stuff! At the end of the show--they were awarded "Best of Show"! I am so proud of our work together! And I have to say--like I told her--most of the time my work (especially my best work) comes from something outside of me. It just happens--and I believe it is truly Divine Intervention--The hand of God for sure! Her project was one of those projects.

It reminds me of one of my roomates in my freshman year of Art College. She was a painter--and I I loved to watch her paint. AND oh what an amazing painter she was. Her name was Sue O'connor and when she painted it was as if the painting flowed out of her hand and onto the canvas with such amazing ease and grace--I thought, "surely it must be coming straight from God through her beautiful talented person". When I design sometimes, it feels so similar. It's an amazing feeling, to step back and see what God has created through you. So, truly, this award is very special, in more ways than one.

Here company High Heals, LLC works to raise money for non-profits--if you'd like to see the logo design--or learn more about her and her company go to I did not design the website, but I did design the logo. Her banner is really sweet too! Stay tuned for information on the award on her site. :)So exciting. Thanks Liz!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Our 2008....

2.16.09: While i was building the movie for Zophia's Birthday yesterday. I ran across this video I had put together after the new year--as a year in review. I didn't realize I never took the time to post it. I LOVE IT, cause it features all the things we did this past year and oh what a year it was and most importantly, it features many of (but not all--unfortunately I don't have pics of ALL) of the most important people in our lives and Izabella's life soon to be. I got teary-eyed watching it last night. So I wanted to share it here with all of you--since many of you follow our blog.

Thank you for all you are in our lives, for all you do for us. You are each and every one a HUGE blessing. Here's to an equally amazing 2009.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A princess and A train...

2.15.09: Yesterday was Zophia's 3rd Birthday--we love the Zmollek's and Leahy's. This year's party was so fun, Zophia is so serious about all her gifts and it was cute. She loved her dress up trunk of stuff. And she was an adorable princess. All the kids there were so sweet. I loved seeing Shayna's Mom and Gramma. They prepared a beautiful meal for everyone complete with homemade ice cream! Can you believe that. They are a beautiful family and we are honored to be a part of this celebration every year. Here is Princess Zophia.

Zophia wanted Dan to help her put her Thomas the Train together--and it was adorable. BTW-when we walked in, Dan said to Zophia, "come give me a big hug! And she RAN over to him he picked her up and she gave him the biggest princess hug." She loves him. She's a pretty special little girl.

A little movie of our day...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy "Heart" Day Izabella!

2.14.09:Valentine's Day has had a funny twist in my life. I was single until 39 and remember only a couple valentine's days that I had a "boyfriend", so most valentine's days were a bit depressing for me. But my friends and family often would make a special effort to show me "I'm loved" if even not by my "soulmate" yet. I still have the vases the flowers were in (in one case if was a coffee cup and I still drink from it and smile). The best Valentines Day of all time for me was my first Valentine with my dear husband Dan. I was soooo surprised. It was if, I was experiencing the fun of the day for the first time ever! He worked so hard at all the details. Dinner, Cards, and then as we sat in his FORD explorer after dinner in the parking lot, he reached into the back seat of the car and pulled to the front a little package with a big V-day balloon attached. (I know, seems like I should have seen the big balloon, but it was dark and I was so not expecting anything. I was just happy to have a weekend with him--he lived 4 hours away at the time. Inside the little box was a precious heart necklace and he wrote the most beautiful card that said "I give you my heart forever". I cried and shook with joy. I still recall it as one of the most precious moments with him. Of course the next heart necklace he would give me was 10 years later this past christmas, with Izabella's name on it--and a spot for her birthstone--when we know what her birthday is! Soooo special.

So, on this Valentine's Day--I am struck by something unique to our family, something I had not thought or dreamed of before-- It seems God was saving the really special memories on Valentines Day--first with my soulmate, my lover and my best friend--today, this Valentine's Day we wait the arrival of our special 'heart child". In so many ways the word "heart" takes on special significance for our family. We are hoping for a child with a corrected heart defect to love and give a home and love to--hence our "heart child". She grew in my "heart" not in my body. And she is so LOVED already and has since decades before she was concieved. The spirit of adoption was concieved in my heart at the tender age of 13 and 36 years later--I am waiting patiently for God to deliver that child to our family. Now that's worth celebrating!

Izabella--whereever you are--I pray your heart is healed, healing or going to be healed soon. I pray that God give you the comfort, strength and courage to hang in there. That he place in your heart the love we feel for you even before seeing your face. That knowing that gives you strength and HOPE. Especially HOPE, as you have given us so much of that precious gift called HOPE.

Faith, Hope, Love. And the greatest of these is LOVE.
In my studio--I am honored to design the announcement of some very special moments in the lives of families, friends and sometimes aquaintances that end up being very special to me. I call these cards "meaningful greetings". As they all have such special meaning to the families that send the message (card) and those that recieve it. One of these families is a couple I had the honor of meeting when they gave me the honor of designing the announcement of the adoption of their son Ty. Ever since then I've done all kinds of special announcements--including the second adoption of Ty's biological sister Schipper! How special is that! They are simply precious people and the most loving, caring parents. Just last week, I did a "LATE family Christmas card" for their family. My studio has been swamped so it was done later than I had originally intended--but it just so happened to be the month of "LOVE". I thought HOW PERFECT for this family. So, as I prepared to do this card (they always leave the creative to me--then they add their beautiful words to it), I was looking at this amazing family picture, and was reminded of one of my favorite verses (and was read at our wedding) from 1 Cor 13:13 that says, "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." So I encorporated this verse as the main element of design in their card. AND I suggested how perfect this was for they are a family that truly was conceived in the heart of LOVE, God's love, not of their bodies but of their hearts. It's such a beautiful picture. As are so many adoptive families. Infact, I think they should make this card a tradition. AND I think it might have to be a tradition of our family--when Izabella arrives.

An V-Day side note--Dan gave me the most beautiful flowering plant basket (I love flowering plants rather than cut flowers) last Saturday. It was AGAIN a huge surprise. So I gave Dan his V-day gift too. And so it was, we celebrated our love for each other V-Day a week early. I said to him, "there is a reason for this". Sure enough, an 8 inch snow storm dumped our green lawns after a week of 50-60 degree weather. I must admit it was a beautiful snow. And I was appreciative I could watch it floating down to coat our neighborhood from the window of my studio--instead of the "beige box" I used to be trapped in every day! This morning I awoke alone in my bed--as my husband had to go in and plow roads at 2am and is still there and expects to be there most of the day. So...thankfully...we had our v-day exchange early--makes for a less stressful day...We'll celebrate this V-day with a Zophia--as she turns 3 today and is having a birthday party. She LOVES to dress up, so I bought her a princess dress up chest. When I brought it home, Dan asked what it was, you should have seen the look on his face when I told was the sweetest smile and little twinkle in his was adorable. Happy Birthday Zophia. I'll post pics later..she's a cutie!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

February Referrals...February Parents...

2.10.08: Our agency rec'd a group of little ones to place with AWAA families! I'm soooo excited. I know God is in control and not me--and so very ok with that--but oh this news is precious! I am praying so hard for our Izabella's file to be in this group! Oh God, if it is meant to be, let our little Izabella's file be in the hands of the ever so capable hands of AWAA. I pray no matter if she is or not. That all these children find homes in God's speed. I pray that our Izabella, where ever she is, that she know we love her sooo much. If this is to be, let it be. :) Please put these children on your prayer list, as AWAA begins the process of matching these beautiful children with beautiful waiting AWAA families.

As I sit here typing this post, I am reminded, yet again, I am so blessed to have such an amazing agency. God truly did keep us right in the palm of his hand with the miracle of the merger in November. We always felt so blessed with GOL, and couldn't imagine another agency that would be able to take such great care of us and our families journey. But I am regularly impressed with how great they are at keeping us abreast of all the details. A special prayer to them, as they process this group of litte ones over the next few days. AND thank you AWAA for the hope you brings us right now it is so wonderful. I am so grateful for that hope.

For those that don't know what this means: CCAA (Chinese Government Agency that handles the adoptions of Chinese Children) releases files of waiting children that need homes every few months to our agency for placement with AWAA families.They also release the files of waiting children to what is called the 'shared list". The children on the "shared list" are available to all families waiting around the world, that are approved to accept a waiting child. But the children on the "agency specific list" (like the ones released today to AWAA) are placed by our agency, with our agency WCP families. This is what I mean by a miracle. In order for an agency to get an "agency specific list" they must be approved by CCAA. It's amazing--we are so very fortunate to be an AWAA waiting children program family. In more ways than one. :) It will take the agency several days to match and contact the children with families. So... if we don't get a call in the next few days, that means Izabella was not in this group. So we wait for the next group of files which could be as soon as the end of the month--which will be a "shared list" group.

This is so fun. :) Every night when I close my eyes--I see her--and pray...oh I I drift off to sleep.

Whatever happens I know this for sure...over the next few days...there will be families that have been waiting for years (some for a lifetime) to become we WILL have FEBRUARY Parents! That is soooo sweet!

2.11.09: I didn't want to make a separate post about this--as it relates to this post so perfectly. As I sit here this morning--reading the sweet prayers and comments from my sweet blog friends, catching up on everyone and getting my day started. I am overwelmed with the very special smell of my Dad. He passed 10 years ago, but ever since, on very big days or special event days, I am struck with his smell. I am surrounded by it this morning. I have come to believe this is his way of wrapping me with his love, when I need him. I was overwelmed with the smell of BOTH my grandparents the afternoon before I met my sweet husband Dan. It was so prevalent that I turned down the radio in my car and just quietly drove to Grand Island, NE hoping the smell would linger longer. I'll never forget it. This is so comforting to always puts a huge smile on my face. I know some don't believe in these things-but it's impossible for me to deny the reality of these moments. I can only imagine they are truly gifts from God through the loving relationships we have here on earth. Love is an amazingly powerful and beautiful thing.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

SWEET Sunday.Twin Boys. Twin Girls. Birthday Parties. Sunday Mornings.

2.9.09: I'm feeling a very good this morning. We rec'd news our friends Jeff and Allison had precious baby boys on Saturday morning at 1:30am! And when we arrived at the hospital to visit, we discovered in the room next door our neighbors Kevin and Molly had just given birth to twin girls on Friday! We then attended a surprise birthday party for a friend who is always throwing celebration events for eveyrone else, and got an event put together just for HER last night. Her hubby and her little sister coordinated it and she was SURPRISED! It was a very special night. She was beaming. So after all this new life, and celebrated life...this Sunday morning I've been feeling so blessed. I can't believe how blessed I am with a beautiful husband, two un-ending loving dogs, our families, precious friends, neighbors..I even with all that have the hope of having my long awaited family of my own. Oh how I hope, that happens soon for us. God is Good!

This picture, is not posed, it's precisely how my husband sits every Sunday morning as he reads his morning paper. As I looked over at him this morning, feeling so blessed, watching the morning sun beam in through the door, I was drawn to this sweet, simple image of his not so little, all grown up "feet"...I had to take a picture...he is so good to me...and I love him immeasurably..I really don't know why I'm posting this picture except I was compelled to do so, perhaps there is something about it that I will understand later. But...I know's the simple things in life, that touch us in the deepest places.

Have a great week everyone.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

super bowl fun...

2.3.09: We went to our friends house to watch the super bowl, grill chicken wings and hang out with our friends. We didn't really are who won--as my team is the Chargers and Dan loves the KC Cheifs. But we had decided we wanted the Cardnails to win, cause Kurt Warner is from Iowa. So the game was definately up and down and we were disappointed they lost it in the last few seconds. But seriously, as much as I love football, I love visiting with my friend Shayna and playing with her daughter Zophia more. Of course the boys were annoyed we weren't (Shayna payed better attention to the entire game than I did) listening and watching so closely. But I really had a great time.

Here a couple adorable pics of my hubby and Zophia--he's the best. And one of Zophia and I doing a "girlfriend pic" was so fun. She's a cutey. I will also try to upload a sweet little video clip -- I didn't realize was taken until just now--and it was a memorable moment for me...just didn't know it was captured on video. It was when Zophia noticed my "gold heart" Izabella neckalce! She's a sweetie...enjoy...:)

Zophia finds my Izabella Heart...I'm sure Zophia and Izabella will be great friends...