Friday, May 30, 2008

Fun Raising Friday

I'm still looking for ways to raise the fun around here while we wait. Recently, I purchased a family membership to a nearby nature center. The best part about this is the reciprocal membership it offers at zoos, aquariums and museums all over the country (and in some other countries, too). We've already used it at the aquarium while on vacation and at the zoo last weekend. This weekend, we may go to our local children's science museum.

It's a great deal. We paid $60, which includes 2 adults and up to 4 children for a year.(another time when we wish we had more kids!) We've almost paid for it just by visiting two places and we have 11 months to go! There are two places in our town that accept this, so I know it will get plenty of use. I really like the science center, but it is kind of pricey, so we don't usually go there. Now, we can go as often as we want. Fun!

And fun is a great way to pass the time. What's fun in your family these days?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Can't Find the UPC code....

I just heard about this website called Apparently, you enter the UPC code or description of the item you are looking for and a price. When they find a website that meets your price, they send you an email. So, if you are wanting to make a big purchase, but want a good deal, they do the price shopping. You just sit and wait until you get an email that they've found it. That old friend of mine, delayed gratification...I could buy it now at any price, or I could wait for the right price and get it later.

Unfortunately, what I am waiting for doesn't have a UPC code and is priceless! However, it got me thinking. Reminds me how sometimes I see clothes that I like at stores, but I don't buy them. I wait for a good sale. I've walked by the same shirt 10 times in a season and thought how I liked it, but I'll wait. Don't you appreciate it more when you wait for it? Anticipation and all that...

So, our next child is surely going to be very appreciated because I have been building up anticipation for quite a while now! Certainly not the same as waiting for a good sale, a new car, etc. But, totally worth the wait!

What things in your life do you appreciate more because you waited a bit for them? My hubby comes to mind. I didn't get married until I was 27. In the perfect life plan I had laid out in my head, I was going to be married by 24 and have kids by 27. That didn't quite work out. However, I'm glad I didn't marry any of the guys I dated when I was in my early 20's. My life would be so different. I'm glad I waited for the guy God had picked out for me. (I can see God shaking his head now, thinking I might be catching on to something here!). How 'bout you? From a new shirt, to a great hubby...what's been worth the wait in your life? Leave me a comment.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Waiting Expectantly

My heart is so burdened by the Chapman family tragedy that I just can't come up with a "Fun-Raising" Friday post today. Steven Curtis Chapman's music has influenced my Christian walk for many years. About 4 years ago, I read an article his wife wrote in a Christian magazine about their decision to adopt. God used that article and other things to change my heart and lead us to adoption. Their foundation helped inspire me to start an adoption ministry at my church. I feel like I know them and I hurt like that child was my own relative. I know there are a lot of hurting families in the world dealing with loss right now. The Chapman's have hope, something many families do not have. I know that God will use these horrible circumstances to bring about a mighty good in this world. I eagerly anticipate watching how He will continue to use this family.

On that note, here's a link to a great article on anticipation and waiting.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

An Ocean of Blessings

This post brought to you from beautiful Nags Head, NC....

I've taken up waiting at the beach for a few days, and I must say this is the way to wait!! Funny thing just happened and I had to share. So, I forgot to pack my Bible (hangs her head in shame), but fortunately my friend brought 2 with her. She gave me one to borrow and I just headed out to the balcony to crack it open. I've been reading Proverbs, so I opened it up and the first page I see is a devotional about waiting. It even asked the question, "Did you ever consider waiting to be a blessing?"

Coincidence...I think not! Even in this amazing location, I still have pangs of waiting blues. I remember several years ago when we were waiting for our first daughter's referral. We had to attend a workshop in the Charleston area as part of our adoption education. My husband and I were out on the beach watching families with children and wishing our child were there with us.

Here we are 3 years later, watching our 4 year old build sand castles and run from the water, and we are now wishing our second child was here with us. You get one blessing, and you want another!

I've sent up my "thanks for the reminder" prayer and I'm going to enjoy every minute of this trip with my family. I know God gave us the desire for another child and there's nothing wrong with waiting expectantly for Him to fulfill that desire. In the meanwhile, I'm going to celebrate the blessings I already have. Especially the one that is covered with sand and singing instead of napping!

Celebrate your blessings today! If you need me, I'll be making sand castles.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

You're still adopting, right?

How do you respond to questions about your adoption? We get a lot of the above question and others like, "Any news yet?", "Did you already submit your paperwork," etc. My answers go like this, "Yes, we are still adopting, we haven't heard any good news, and yes, we submitted our paperwork 2 years ago." Then, they proceed to ask why it is taking so long and I proceed to curl up on the floor, pound my fists into the ground and scream, "Why, why, why....I want to know why, too!!!".

OK, so maybe that last part is a bit of an exaggeration. It is hard to explain the situation without turning negative, though. Plus, I don't really have any answers. I don't know why we are still waiting. I know what the agency tells us, what the rumor Internet boards tell us, what little the countries tell us and I assume the truth is muddled up in there somewhere.

I'm trying to challenge myself to find a better way to handle these questions. At heart, I believe that it all will happen in God's time. People seem to want details, though. If you aren't directly involved in international adoption, you have a lot of questions about how it all works. How can I be a little more positive with my answers without going into some long story about the various reasons that could be causing delays?

How are you all handling these questions? Leave me some ideas in the comments!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Flowers for Mommy

When I started this blog, I sort of made an unwritten rule for myself that I wouldn't post on Sundays. I really want to treasure Sunday for the day of rest and family time that I think God intends it to be.

However, it is a blog about adoption waiting and it is Mother's Day. So, I'm going to give myself a little exception to the rule today. I just know I have readers out there who are a little blue today. Frankly, I have a little twinge of sadness, too.

Before my hubby and I decided that we were ready to start a family, Mother's Day was a great time to celebrate our Moms. I really didn't think too much about it. Once you actually desire to be a Mother, this day takes on a whole new level of importance. Something changes in your heart and you can't just coast through this holiday.

For those who wait for their first child, for those who have lost children, for those who have children and long for more, this is a difficult day. I don't have the cure for making it any easier. I just wanted you to know that I said a prayer for all the Moms who wait. You love a child you may not have even seen yet, but you are a Mother at heart.

If there are any flowers to be found on this weedy day, it is the support of a community of ladies who know how you feel. Hugs from me to you!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Fun-Raising Friday

It's Friday and no, I did not forget the "d" in my post title. I'm looking for ideas to raise the level of fun in my life. I'm guilty of getting into routines and not seeking out new adventures. Whether you are single, married, with kids, waiting for the first kid, etc, you can always use a little more fun in your life, right?

When I think back on my childhood, I remember few material possessions, but I remember lots of fun family memories. Our activities usually centered around family and were inexpensive. I loved going for Sunday drives, even if my constant chatter probably drove my parents (and I know, my sister) crazy! I still like to play car games to pass the time (and now I drive hubby crazy instead). I'm challenging myself to make fun memories for my daughter, too.

Last weekend, we took a drive to the country and picked strawberries. I did this last year with my daughter and she has talked about it for an entire year. This time hubby wanted to come, too. We had just started picking and the first few I threw in the basket were quite dirty. I heard a little voice say, "Mommy, these strawberries don't taste very good." Ooops, I didn't realize she would start eating them so quickly! Once I found a few cleaner berries, she had a juicy faced grin! Yummy burgers from a little diner on the way home topped off our day of fun. (Plus, I'm still enjoying those berries!).

Here's a challenge to raise the fun at your house and let us know what you tried! Not sure what's on the agenda at our house this weekend, so share your ideas! Having more fun HAS to be a "good thing" while waiting.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Distracted by Dust Bunnies

I've been having trouble coming up with witty and thought provoking blog post ideas. I've been busy with another way to pass the time while waiting--selling our house. As in the realtor is coming on Friday with a sign and the contracts, so I think we are seriously doing it! Of course, I know the selling market is bad. Unfortunately, we didn't pick a very good neighborhood 8 years ago when we bought our house, so we've known for awhile that selling it wasn't going to be profitable. Thankfully, the real estate market in our area is one of the only areas in the country that is holding steady. We'll just have to see how it all works out.

I've been working on cleaning out closets and finding every speck of dust in the house. (ok, more like ball of dust). If nothing else, I will have a sparkling clean house. Too bad it's not time for a home study update!

Selling the house is one of the things that we've put off while waiting for a referral. We've also shelved vacations, looking for new jobs, buying a different car, etc. It feels like you kind of put your life on hold while you wait. At least, we've tried not to make any major decisions. I guess we're tired of holding, so up goes the "For Sale" sign.

Have you felt like you were "on hold", too? What kind of things have you put off? Have you changed your mind and just started living like normal people who aren't "waiting" for some incredibly important phone call?

Thanks for the break. Look out dust bunnies...I'm coming to find you!!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Monday Money Musings

I have a confession to make. I've developed an addiction over the last several months and it's a habit I don't want to break....... COUPONS! Coupons and CVS have become my newest entertainment. I was always a bit of a frugal shopper and used coupons when I had the time. At the beginning of the year, I decided to kick it up a notch and start really comparing my coupons to the various store sale ads and see where I could save. I have gotten lots of stuff for mere pennies and have started a nice stockpile. I don't think I will ever pay real money for salad dressing, rice, mustard, marinades, Hamburger Helper or canned tomatoes again! (That's my coupon binder above and yes, I know I'm crazy. Below is some of my CVS stash).

CVS is something I've recently started and it is so fun once you get the hang of it. Last week, I got 4 toothbrushes, 3 toothpastes, 4 deodorants, 2 packs of razor refills, 2 hairsprays, 4 Pepsis, 2 hand soaps and 1 greeting card for $3.45 and I earned more ECB's than I spent. (ECB's is the CVS money they give you back and you can use on your next trip). We sure are smelling good and have nice fresh breath here at the "good waiting" house!

The point of this confession is that one good thing we can do while waiting is use our money resources wisely. Most adoptive families find it a financial strain to come up with the funds needed for adoption. Fundraising is a good idea, too, but let's focus on how we can better use the funds we have and save money. I like to say that my hubby's job is to make the money and my job is to save it!

Another side benefit of my CVS addiction is that my linen closet is obviously about full of shampoo, bath soap, etc. I know I will be able to get more for free or close to free. I plan to use the extra as donations to local charities. I might make little spa type baskets for some of my girlfriends or new moms. While saving for our adoption, our family can't give much beyond our church tithe. This is a great way to be able to give.

If you want more info on how to start the CVS shopping, visit She has a link on the right hand side of the page, called "CVS 101" which is very helpful. She is one of my favorite bloggers and has saved me a bunch of money!

Happy Savings!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Coasters and Canoes: How to Encourage Your Spouse

Today's topic is how to encourage your spouse during the long wait. A special shout out to all the great single parents out there who adopt. This post won't be much help for you, but come back again!

Here's how things typically go at my house (we'll call it the good waiting house and my hubby shall be Daddy Good Waiting (DGW). During the wait, I am riding a roller coaster--a big one, with lots of loop-de-doops and sharp curves. It started out kind of fun and exciting. Then, it made me kind of nauseous. Every one in a while, the coaster comes to a stop, a bunch of people get on with me and the operator asks me for more money. I'm sick to my stomach, but I've ridden it this long and I'm not about to get off. Eventually, I get kind of numb and just keep hanging on, round and round, up and down.

During the wait, DGW is paddling a canoe on a wide, serene lake. He isn't distracted by the other people on the lake. He enjoys the scenery and the fresh air. He paddles slow and steady, carefully maneuvering around obstacles and keeping his eye on the destination. Perfectly even strokes keep him headed in the right direction. He has a clear view of the rollercoaster from the lake. He wonders why I'm still riding that crazy contraption when I could be paddling.

When I hit the top of the rollercoaster right before the big drop, I see DGW down there paddling away. I try to wave at him, let him know I see him there, but no time for that---here comes another big drop and loop-de-doop!

Do either of these scenarios sound like anyone you know? I'm amazed at how often this scene plays out with adoptive couples. One spouse is calm and patient, while the other one is following every yahoo group related to adoption looking for a bit of good news. You may have reverse roles in your house--or you may switch roles back and forth depending on the day.

My question is: How does the canoe rider encourage the coaster rider and vice-versa? While thinking about this post, I realized that I don't do a very good job of encouraging my spouse. Just because he isn't talking about the wait very often, doesn't mean it isn't hard on him, too. After all, even a serene canoe ride causes your shoulders to hurt after paddling for a while. Maybe we could take turns paddling. That seems like a better idea than riding the coaster together!

I'm going to tell DGW that I really appreciate his strength during this wait. I'm going to make sure he knows that he doesn't have to always be strong and patient. He can vent to me anytime he wants. I'm also going to try and stay off the coaster. Now, I'm not saying I won't sneak a quick ride in every now and then, but not every day!

What are you doing to encourage your spouse while you wait? Which one are you, canoe or coaster? I love to read your comments!