Monday, March 30, 2009

I love faces...



3.29.09: After posting how awful I felt, I stumbled on this website I (heart) faces.


I've been reading a lot of digital photography sites lately-wish I had my little subject Izabella to photograph, but, since I don't I often take hundreds of pictures of my precious pets (we affectionately call our girls) and our dear friends daughter Zophia. I had a hard time finding a picture for the kids entry "pouting faces", Zoey is such a happy little girl or at least she is when there are visitors around. :) So I decided to lift my spirits, I'd look through my old photo archive and this is what I found to enter. I don't know if they will win any thing--but it did make me smile "a lot" and today--that's a winner.

In this photo, my sweet little montana (the dog that changed my life) is "sun-bathing" on a lazy Sunday morning. Can you tell she has no worries?

This one is of Zophia when she was 17 months old. It's adorable and made me smile.

It's Monday, and it' a dreary Rainy Day...

3.30.09: Well, the weekend came and wemt with no word. And to be perfectly honest I am weary and discouraged. I just read a post that was enlightening and so dead on, and I know this wait and all it's challenges are just to prepare us for bigger ones down the road. But, I am so weary. I want to take a day off and sit silently all day today. Now that is an odd thing for me to want to do. Infact, I'm beginning to wonder if this will ever happen. Perhaps all these hurdles are signs we're on the wrong path. Perhaps I should just be ok with the amazing beautiful life I have right now. I do appreciate it, always have. Who knows...for now..I'll busy myself with work and continue to pray to understand all this. Life goes on...and it will all be fine I'm sure, whether I understand it or not. Praying.

Friday, March 27, 2009

New Shared Referral List Arrived Yesterday...

3.27.09: Oh my...I was so excited to get an email from another waiting mom that the shared referral list had arrived! Then I began to panic--did our new updated application make it in for this batch? So I emailed our FC and she just got back to me (she's obviously been busy with priority one-building families) that infact our incredible and beloved SW got back to her in time and we're in with our new application! I can not tell you how amazing all that is--yet another work of God, praise the Lord. Our agency and our SW are so incredible. Although it does not in anyway assure us we'll see Izabella's face in this batch--it so gives an increased level of Hope and brought tears to my eyes this morning! It's a busy day--but--a GREAT one.

All your prayers and good wishes are so appreciated. We are so sure God is in control. And as long as we've waited--it will happen so perfectly. Just like every step of this journey--to our amazement and God's glory! Every night I close my eyes and pray with a deeply thankful heart for all I have been blessed with--the list is so long--and every night I pray for our Izabella out there. Last night was no different-but there has been a peace in it all the last day or so. Which is so welcome! Perhaps it was a clue that our application is in and it's all fine. All I know is there is HOPE, huge HOPE and I am so grateful for all the angels working so hard for us around the country and the world.

So with cell phones attached to our bodies--and fully charged...we wait.

Have a wonderful weekend all!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Our Magic Carpet Rides again...

3.25.09: We prayed about it, we slept on it, we signed it and it's off to our agency. In the end, this new application is much better. This magic carpet ride is moving again. So...again, we wait. God is good...so good.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Powerful Healing Impact of a Woman's Friendship...

3.24.09: I have been deeply moved by a special award in the blogging world. To be quite honest, I don't feel worthy of it, but one I am so honored to receive. This award doesn't offer a reward of money, or fame, it offers something deeper than that--much more meaningful--friendship. And in accepting this award--the best part is it gives me the chance to touch my some of the women I've met and come to love in this adoption blogging world with this award as well. Thank you Naomi for giving me this award-it touched me on a day that surely needed lifting-you and your journey have and always will be an inspiration to me.As God would have it--just a few days ago--I was forwarded an article from a very dear friend of 27 years in Minnesota. She found an article that cited some research done recently about the health benefit of female friendships. Personally, I don't have a lot of girlfriends, but those I have I cherish deeply-and it's fasinating to me to know these relationships that have been so dear to me, could also be keeping me healthier. :) A beautiful side effect for sure--here is an excerp from the article and a link to the full article if you'd like to read it:

"Being able to connect with women on various emotional levels can assist in lowering blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol.

And since stress wreaks havoc on blood glucose levels, healing, bone density and the aging process, friends are able to counteract its detrimental effects as indicated in a Harvard Medical School—Nurse’s Health Study. The more friends a woman has, the less likely she is to develop health problems as she becomes older. Therefore, more friends equal more joy!"....read the full article by clicking here.

I have posted before about the special community of women I have had the honor of getting to know as we moved down our journey to Izabella. At times, when I've been discouraged with the wait times--I have been encouraged beyond comprehension by these women. They have made me laugh, and cry with joy, they have inspired me with their will, determination and undying faith. It is a community that I feel so at home in. Although we have never spoken--they know when I'm not ok--they can read between the lines (literally) to understand the state of my heart and reach out to lend an ear, and the gift of prayer!

So, it seems this journey--had so many things to offer that I had no idea would happen and friendships like these are one of the biggest blessings. You hear about it, you read about it, but you can not imagine it until you experience it. It's like some of the most precious things in life--until you're willing to step out and open yourself up--you will never know the joys and rewards of that. This is definately one of those times. We are all riding, what I so affectionately call our "magic carpet ride of adoption". It's truly magical, and the women I've met on this ride are equally magical. I would encourage anyone who has not taken this journey to jump on board and take a leap of faith-we are all testimony to the fruits of that faith. It's not for everyone, but if you feel a tug to from the adoption spirit--I can promise you the rewards are not like anything you can imagine--they are far better than any imagination can dream up.

With that said--I'd like to give a "shout out" (I like that new saying--kind of like "groovy" in my days) to few of my precious blogging 'sisters". I nominate you because you have shown me and so many others--un-conditional love and compassion, because you are funny and so serious at the same time. You understand when noone else understands my heart--the heart of a childless mom that yearns to be a mom in the worst way--and is pretrified all in the same stroke of emotion. You understand the ups and downs of this process--and have offered up prayer in times of struggle and fragility. And most importantly because, I'd be proud to call any one of you my sister.

And sisters I nominate for their attitude and gratitude are:

Kelly: Has 2 sons and a daughter, still has room in her home and heart for a daughter from China

Laurie: Has a son and a daughter. Both adopted from China.

Janet: Mummy of four-two beautiful bio daughters, a beautiful son adopted from UK and a gorgeous daughter soon to come home from Ethiopia

Denise: Mother of 4 handsome and precious sons, and a precious daughter from China

Melissa: The newest mom in the group to a really special son from China

Petrie: (private blog) Mother of 2 daughters and a son from China

Angela: Mommy of 4 and recently brought home a gorgeous daughter from China

Tonya: Mother of two handsome sons and a beautiful teenage daughter and found room in her heart and her big heart for a gorgeous little girl from Chiina.

The next three women do not have blogs--but have been such a blessing to me through our July07 LID group:

Wendi: Mother of three bio children, recently a new mom to a daughter from the US and waiting on a referral to her daughter in China

Stephanie: Mother of 2 sons, one bio and the other from Russia and waiting on a referral from China

Keri: Mother of three beautiful daughters--2 from the US and one from China

This is one small way to say--thank you for all your wisdom, prayers and support over the last 20 months of this magic carpet ride!

In order to officially be the recipient of this award, here are a few things for you to do:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude!
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received your award.

God Bless you all and all my girlfriends who have been soooo amazing to me through this life long journey to be a mom. You are all my sisters in my heart--truly.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Another Happy Mail Day!!!

3.19.09: Yup! That's the truth! No kidding--i opened my mailbox and the ONLY beautiful piece of mail in there was from a package from a fellow waiting mom and new dear friend Kelly! No junk mail, no bills just this one very sweet package. I was so excited...I began tearing into the "very securely taped" package as I walked back to my house. As I approached the door I thought, "this is tooo good! Surely there is something really great on the horizon for us. Thank you God. 'TWO Happy Mail Days' in a week! Hee, Hee! No one is going to believe it! Ah...I should take a picture of it so I have evidence of it for anyone that doubts this small and very simple amazing event! Yes, I'll get my camera!" Ah....not...I realized that I couldn't do that--as I had already torn most of the package open! Darn! :) Oh well, I guess you'll just have to believe me!



OK it gets better! Inside this special "happy mail package" was the perfect thing for this weary waiting mom's heart. It is a Music CD, made special for me entitled, "Waiting for Izabella". As you can see below--she beautifully customized the cover to the CD with the most precious little hands photo! OK, it brought tears to my eyes and such grateful feelings to my heart. So THANK YOU my sweet friend. I will always cherish it--as will Izabella--we will think of you while we enjoy the songs with dance and sing along when she gets here. As we play it, I will share with her about your friendship and how it touched me, supported me and calmed my nerves during the wait for her to be delivered to us!

And the final really cool thing is--This is the CD from Kelly's Blog Giveawy--soI'm a winner!--I am a WINNER in more ways than one. When I entered her "giveaway" I not only didn't expect to win, but I had no idea in fact, I would win and the timing of this CD and the immense joy and soothing it would bring my heart at this time. God is so good. I bet He knew all along! It's loaded on my computer and will be sync'd to my ipod pronto!

I am listening to it now--and I have to ....this upbeat song by Aaron Shust (I will wait) is playing...

When I am wounded You heal my broken bones
(I will wait; I will wait for You)
And when I sing You fill my heart with joy
(I will wait; I will wait for You)
And when I fear the unknown You give me peace
(I will wait; I will wait for You)
And when I call, You always answer me
(I will wait)


Oh my--just as I'm posting this--uploading the photo--"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" starts playing, which has to be my absolutely favorite song--it simply knocks down all my strong defenses and melts my heart into a puddle of dreaming...and possibilities...yup...tears run down my face in an instant! ....sometimes we have to let go of all the "stuff" of life go...that holds us down...and just let the tears run...and your heart sing for the possibilites of your dream, coming true...cause it just feels good and right to do so."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another Bump...

3.18.09: I'm as Irish as I can get--my mom's family is very Irish, her maiden name is Flynn and her mom's maiden name is Howland (also my mom's middle name as in Ireland the first born daughter takes the mothers maiden name as her middle name--cool tradition). I didn't wear green clothing, nor drink green beer, although I always say, I'm always irish with my green eyes. :) It was a very strange day. We rec'd notice the process for the WC referral program is changing and we need to do more paperwork. It's requires nothing we haven't already done--and it sounds like it will be a good change, but, it requires yet more soul searching and more decisions. We will do it and we will get it done! But, it hit me so strangely. All along this process--we have taken every suggestion, or idea so seriously and did it all and more, education, consultations, reasearch, prayer, support..etc. And I was so at peace with where we were, believing God was in charge (and I still think he is) and that all we needed to do was continue to learn as much as possible, pray and prepare, prepare, prepare in every way. So all I could do is ask "Why?" "Why do we need to make more decisions about the health status of the child God has planned for us? I don't know what that is, not to the extent He does So all I can do is pray some more for wisdom and guidance--and see this as His way of moving us another step closer to Izabella!" We have a conference call about the changes, I'm sure there are things I don't understand that will be explained. But, in the end--it has been another test--and we came through it with flying colors. This next challenge has yet again reinforced our committment to growing our family--and we will get through it. I know it's a small step, and some might think I'm being a little overboard with my reaction--but seriously after 20 months (yesterday) of waiting, every little bump feels like an earthquake. As I emailed in a note to my "family coordinator"--"We are sooooo ready for her, more than ever!" Of course there are still lots of things to do before we actually travel to China and bring her home--like a room to put together, like more piles of paperwork, more education, packing and all the ups and downs of waiting for all the "A's"...but all those will be different then now--we'll know her face, her name, and even some things about her personality as translated from her caretakers in China. So...we'll do it...it will be fine. But man, yesterday was a tough one.

May God Bless you all this week. Everyone is facing huge challenges these days--and I am acutely aware of that. Ours is no different. I pray for everyone that you all have wisdom, strength and peace as you navigate your own personal daily challenges. Love and God Bless Everyone!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunrise!

3.16.09: This photo is the sunrise this morning--which I would have missed--had my husband not called me to tell me, "did you see the sunrise? You must see it--go upstairs and look out the window" I did and immediately headed out to our deck to try to capture this amazingly beautifully perfect FULL sunrise--it doesn't show here--but it was a brilliant red hot orange color! He shared with me, "it's the best part of getting up early--seeing the sunrise." I love that! He's so sweet!

Did you see it? I hope so. :)



It's suppose to be an amazing 70 degree March day here--and we're planning on grilling on the deck tonight as well as a spin on his new motorcycle. We're so blessed.

Blessings to everyone today!

PS-Yup you got it without me saying it--I so hope this beautiful sunrise is the start of a day that will be the beginning of the rest of our lives with Izabella. But, if not, it's a beautiful start of a day--and I'm grateful. Truly.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Mail Day!

3.15.09: Oh My Goodness--this doesn't happen often! I went to the mailbox on Saturday and unlike most days there was nothing but "happy mail"! The best and most precious of which was an amazing SQ-Wish from my brother and soon to be sister-in-law (how good does that sound?!)--Izabella's Aunt and Uncle! Besides the fabric (as you can see being absolutely precious and very meaningful) they included a little dragonfly story that is so fitting for our lives. My heart took a leap and a smile grew on my face as I read the story about the beautiful and brave dragon fly that made his journey to new life. How he never forgot those he left behind, that too would find their destiny in their turn. Although, he really wanted to go back and tell them all that this place they thought was the "end" was truly just the "beginning"! Sweet.

Don and Dodi--I don't think you know it but when I think of your house up on the hill you built -- I think of that beautifu little pond you had there. And I remember so vividly spotting several BEAUTIFUL dragon flys fluttering about the pond grass. I thought for sure I took a picture of them--but I can't find it anywhere--perhaps it's just embedded in my memory. So...truly this is a very special Sq-Wish indeed! If I can find the picture I'll post it. And I love dragon flys-don't think you knew that either. Hmmm....God works in mysterious ways.

Your Sq-Wish will bring much good luck, blessings and good to our izabella--that's for sure!

AND--you sent 4 squares!!!! So very excited about a that! I'll need them! And all the most wishes and good luck! Thank you for your enormous generosity and all the thought you put into this very special gift.

Truly--I am so touched--And most special is the fact that this is the first Sq-Wish from my family-or Dan's for that matter! So...all these first! How cool it that! I love, love, love it! Can't say it enough.


You all can see how gorgeous this Sq-Wish is--but in my eyes the beauty is much deeper than the fleece. :) I will have fun telling Izabella about Don and Dodi and that sweet story "about the dragonfly that could and did" and about the beautiful dragon flys they have in Vermont at a little pond, at a special place.



The other "happy mail" was a couple checks for work I've done in my studio. I call it a pay-day mail run! So all in all--it was a highly unusual occurance and one I am sure is the beginning of something very special to happen to us. All signs point in the direction of our "call" coming. :) How soon? Who knows--but the ground work is laid. And we're so ready.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Izabella's Sq-Wish Quilt--Calling all Squares!

3.7.09: I've been getting the itch to put Izabella's Sq-Wishes Quilt together, go here to read about it and see some of the beautiful and very special squares we've already recieved. I'm thinking this project will help time pass as we wait, and be yet another special thing completed before her arrival. However, I don't want to put it together until we have sq-wishes from some special family and friends who have told me they are on a hunt for the perfect Sq-Wish for Izabella. If you don't know what this is here's a little background:

Chinese 100-Wishes Quilt Tradition--In parts of China (specifically Northern China) there is a tradition in which family members and friends of expectant parents give them scraps of cloth or old clothing, and with this scarp of clothing a card with their good wishes.The fabric is then made into a quilt (called a "Bai Jai Bei"in northern China), which will wrap the child with the energy of good luck and wishes. The cards with good wishes are kept in a book, so the child has a map of sorts to each square—indicating who gave this wish. This is also a visual way to show the child how many people loved them even before meeting them!

Since I'm not much of a sewing girl, and I wanted her quilit to be "SOFT" and love those tied-fleece blankets--I have decided to do Izabella's Wishes Quilt in fleece rather than the traditional cotton. Early on I tested tying each square together then tying them all together, but, I think the knots are going to be uncomfortable. So, I think I will sew it together like you would a cotton quilt--then tye the front and back together. It will be soooo unique an so sweet! The fleece I already have are so sweet!

CREATING A SQ-WISH It's easy. (A Fleece Fabric Square plus a Card Wish ):

1. Choose any Lightweight FLEECE fabric that you like-any design or color. You may use a piece of old fleece fabric that is special to you, or a new fleece fabric that inspires you feel inspires good feelings, good luck and good wishes.

Note: If it is a new piece of fleece—please DO NOT WASH it.

2. Fabric Square
--Cut two 12" x 12” squares from the fabric.

3. Card Wish--On a 3"x5" or 4"x6" card attach a small piece of the fabric (so we can to match which fabric goes with which wish) and write your wish on the card.
Your wish can be your own original writing or a favorite poem, quote, or anything else you like. Please sign your wish and include a picture of your family, your city, state and date of your wish on the card. Or you can mail the fabric squares to us--and email the wish. I will then print it and put it in her book.

4. Mail the fabric square and wish card to us. If you need our address—please email me at ljcotaa@mchsi.com. You can email the wish card and photo if you'd rather. I will print it and put it in her book for you.

That’s it. We have had wonderful support from so many people during this process, and we thank you very much for all that support, and amazing gift of prayers for us and our Izabella-- as well as for your participation in this project of creating a beautiful gift of meaningful wishes for our little Izabella.

Funny--I just jumped over to Izabell Sq-Wish Blog and a little "God's Wink Moment"...my last post on that blog was on March 5th, 2008!!! Hmmm....so close to 1-year ago today! :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hep A & B...

3.5.09: YUP..it was totally in God's plan for me to get my shots today! I love how God works. I've been having migraines pretty regularly lately and I just push through it and keep going until it finally goes away. Well this one lasted 4 days and last night, Dan decided to take the day off and take me to the doctor. He kept telling me I needed to go and I kept telling him it was probably homone related and there was nothing the doctor could do anyway, I just had to push through it. And I must confesss--I really hate going to the doctors. And especially hat shots, so I've been procrastinating this very important part of our journey. So...with Dan taking the day off--just to take me to the doctor--I had to go. I wasn't happy about this at all, I have a totally full schedule at my studio--and no time to waste in the doctors waiting room--and did I mention I hate shots and doctors?

While we were waiting, I asked Dan if he had a Hep A & B shot. I thought he had, but couldn't remember when and didn't know how long they last. He pulled out this immunization sheet from his wallet (amazing what a man can carry in just a little wallet) and he had the full series of shots in 2007 through his work--so they were free (yeah one less expense. So-Izabella's Dad is all set with his Hep A & B and ready to travel to China. So, it was just me that needed the shots. COOL. Long story short--I asked the nurse about them--and she said, "we can do them for you here". I said, "well let's do it then". Little did I know I was also going to get two BIG shots for my Migraine (which worked wonders and I feel myself again). So with the Hep A & B--Yup that's 4 shots. One in my hip, one in my right arm and two in the left. I can't tell you how much fun my husband had watching me get picked like a pin cushion. It's usually him that's getting all the stuff done to him while I watch. So...my dear Izabella, your mom has had her first set of shots--and I have to tell you they were the easiest shots I've ever gotten. Cause it was one more milestone, one more step in the direction of bringing you home!

Monday, March 2, 2009

When Love Takes You In...

3.2.09: This video is a music video by Steven Chapman. For those of you that don't know Steven Chapman is a gifted christian singer songwriter and he himself adopted (correction..thanks Kelly) three little girls from China. I've heard this song, what seems millions of times, since the first day I jumped online to begin my research for an agency. It always touches a deep place in my heart--and if possible--tells the story of the spirit of adoption feels. It has even moved me to tears when it as used as the background to a "gotcha day" video. But today--it moved me to tears for my sweet Izabella. I can't even explain the place it took me this morning. This adoption journey is definately not an easy one--but at is very deep core--the miracle of what is about to happen to us is like no other. It is one saved and created just for us--and it is so special can not be explained in words or timing or any human thing. It is simply to amazing for words. And I am so blessed. She will be perfect...our perfect miracle..in all it's reality of good and bad. As I enter yet another month of waiting--I am encouraged by others who also wait--we must be happy for the wait (as Naomi says better on her blog) cause it is in that wait that God is creating His miracle for us. Or as my dad says--"you can't put the butter on top of the bread--until the bread is baked--first things first". javascript:void(0)

It occurs to me--everyone can relate to this song--whether you are adopting or not. Everyone has been taken in by "love", when they thought it would never happen. It is one of the miracles of life--Love.



Have a great week everyone.