Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Adoption Year in Review

I got knocked down with a viral infection that has had me in bed for the last 3 days. I don't do illness well. I have been laying in bed mad as a wet hen....thinking about everything I planned on getting done over this vacation. That is when I have not been sound asleep.( Yeah, that kind of illness.) Or watching "Colombo" reruns on DVD. (I like ole Colombo though. His attitude is so much better than mine under adversity.)

I have no profundity today. Maybe tomorrow, the first day of the New Year. I do have, however....

Our Photo Year In Review








No pictures this month.
But we did enter MOI on 7/23/08!



No photos this month

But we did have the birth parent interview, and no request for DNA!



(From the Dohrenwend Family)


Happy New Year, and for those of you still waiting may we all bring our babies home soon!

Friday, December 26, 2008


As I was going thru the busy whirlwind of the last several days I spent alot of time thinking about traditions, and wondering what other families do. Every year is a little different, but some things are enduring. Here are a few of ours.

New Jammies on Christmas Eve

Giving and receiving (!) handmade gifts
(For more of this, go here)

Christmas table settings

Seriously, I recycle all those fancy gift bags we get every year.
Is this tacky? Please say no.

Being from California, this is a must with dinner.

We usually go to a movie

We often go to world's busiest airport on December 26, someone is always traveling!
This time, we had to say good-bye again to our oldest
(I believe he was ready too. Enough of this family time!)

Perhaps next year we will have new tradition to put into place!

(I'm proud of her, last year she was not old enough, but that girl can dance!)

(New) Traditional posting of Haitian beauties!

What about you? What are your family traditions for the holidays? I would love to hear about them, don't be shy!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

One of Santa's Best Elves was up very late last night downloading photo's on Facebook. I *suspect* that this was a collaborative effort, and I also *suspect* that Ms. Santa is none other than the director of the Creche. I happen to know that she LOVES to give good surprises to people.(Lord knows she has to give enough 'bad surprises' and I KNOW she does not like that!)
It appears that they got multiple shots of every kid in both locations. Quite an undertaking! They also got multiple shots of sibling groups. It was difficult to chose a photo for this post, but when I saw this one it brought tears to my eyes. I fear my emotions are very close to the surface this Christmas season.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas @ The Creche

Thanks to our friend LH in Colorado, the packages made it safe and sound! She got some really great photos of the party. Here is what she said in an email to me after she got back:

"I hope you do get those girls home quickly, they seemed SO put together, I bet they will transistion nicely for you!"



Family Night

N is home until the 26th. I have not seen a whole of him and he has been busy catching up with his old friends as well as his dad and that side of the family. Last night the entire clan got together for dinner. I would have never imagined that we would be able to do that kind of thing and have it be enjoyable and no big deal, but that's the way it is. The little girl in the picture is PG and Em's (X and his wife's) little girl. She loves her brothers, and she thinks I'm OK, so she insisted on being in the picture. She turned 3 in October and wears the same size as my little birthday girl, who turned either 6 or 7 yesterday, according whether you believe the birth certificate or not.
Also, its freezing outside, but LG doesn't mind the cold at all. He as always been one tough kid. N is very thin and he gets cold. He has been a vegetarian for years, even a vegan for the last 2-3 years, but he finally gave it up this year. While I am proud of him for his convictions, I am not-so-secretly happy he is done with that, for a multitude of reasons. Hopefully he will put a little weight on. Anyway, the boys are very different in that N is pretty avaunt guard and loves to be edgy, and LG is very traditional and wants to join the military when he gets out of school. (I told him college first, and ROTC, so he can enter as an officer) That is just how they are.
I am trying still to talk N into going to school, and he is thinking about it. He really is only interested in Art, and I totally support that. He is good at it, and has alot of interesting ideas. I would like to see him take his talent and expand it at University. He loves living in San Francisco. I used to love the city life, but as I got older, I relished my country roots, and so that is what I have returned to, and I am happy with that. It will be interesting to see what happens with him, I don't expect him to get out of the urban life for quite awhile. Today I still have shopping to do. He asked me to take him so he can go get a new tattoo. LOL. Tomorrow we are painting the girl's room. Yes, on Christmas Eve. I'm taking advantage of him being home!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday - The Song

Happy Birthday to my little girl who is so far away from home today. I hope you have a wonderful day, and I pray that you know somehow that you are loved.


Sunday, December 21, 2008


Aves @ Call of the Phoebe has tagged me:

Here is what she said about me:
Smalltown Girl at Stumbling on Happiness, Another wonderful woman whom I have had the opportunity to meet and travel with. She is a constant source of strength and support.

Wow, that was nice! Thanks!
I have had the opportunity to meet the fabulous Aves! Even to travel with, internationally! She is a strong honest woman with an open heart. Fun, funny, smart, innovative, positive,loving, loyal, not afraid to speak her mind. Our oldest girls, who are still at the orphanage (not for long, God willing) are from the same part of Haiti, and they are great friends. I have a feeling that they will remain so Stateside, even with the distance. And so, I believe Aves and I will remain friends as well.

When I was first looking to adopt, her blog was such a source of inspiration and information. I learned so much about adoption and other people's experience reading her blog, which I did, (and still do) every day. I am so excited that her younger daughter Ve arrived home from Haiti last week!

here are the rules to receiving this award:

You have to pass it on to 5 other fabulous bloggers in a post.

You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions in the post.

You must copy and paste the rules and the instructions below in the post.

On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them.

My Five Biggest Addictions:

COFFEE: A true addiction. Nothing happens in my life without coffee. It is something that I relish every morning, that first strong initial hit of flavor. I savor that first cup, first thing, with either one cream or a tad of non-fat milk. I have a few cups, and then I am pretty much done for the day. I am not a person that drinks coffee all day long. Occasionally I will have an afternoon cup. I have access to all kinds of coffee in the work that I do, but I am not a coffee snob. I like Starbucks (French Roast, my favorite) as much as I like good old fashioned Folgers or Maxwell House. I will occasionally put a shot of espresso in my cup of coffee, but other than that, I could care less if I ever drink another cappuccino, mocha, or latte again in my life.

THE WRITTEN WORD: I have been an avid reader since I learned how. We did not have extra money floating around when I was growing up, but my mom did let me belong to a book club. Oh, getting those books was the highlight of my month! I did not have to try hard in grade school to say at the top of my class, and I often had one of my paperbacks disguised inside one of my textbooks, reading as the class went on. (Sorry Aves, it's true!) I read mostly fiction until adulthood. Now I read mostly non-fiction. It's just much more interesting to me. I still occasionally pick up a good read (fiction) but if it's good I can't put it down until I finish and will often stay up all night to do so. I also have journaled since I was about 9 years old and my mom gave me a locked diary. I never thought I would be doing it publicly, but here I am! I LOVE to blog, but the really personal stuff still goes in a private journal. It's fair to say I write more than I talk.

FABRIC: I love fabric. I have more than a closet full. I love to sew although I don't have time to do it much anymore. I plan on starting again soon. I don't love the process as much as I do the finished product, but I love the act of being creative. I love looking at fabrics, and imagining what should be done with them. I think that sewing for two little girls will be fun!

APPLIED ART: I love to paint. Walls, furniture, fabric, and images. I love color, and I love playing with color. In gardening and flower arranging, beading, even food. I never tire of learning about colors and textures and how they work together or apart. I also love photography. I tend to love other people's photography more than my own. Oddly, for my love of color, I often like B&W better than color when it comes to photography, but it depends on the subject matter.

MUSIC: I love music. The right music transforms me. The right music expresses my feelings better than I could say, or even write. Sometimes the right music brings to the surface things I did not even know I was feeling. I like most music except really vulgar ugly stuff. There seems to be alot of that out there right now. I thought it was me getting older, but I have had students I like and respect tell me it's true. Modern music in this day and age is not so good. Or inspiring. Even my 15 year old prefers to listen to classic rock. I love my MP-3 when I'm cleaning house or on an airplane. I also love to sing and I love to dance. My whole family is like this, so I blame it on heredity.


Janet, at Adopting T-n-T
She is my fabulous friend here in my home state who has helped me in this process in so many ways. Getting my dossier completed. Practical advice about adopting, about traveling, you name it! She has a huge heart for the children of Haiti!

This Mama, at 3+3=6

I have yet to meet this fabulous family, but they are taking on the challenge of a lifetime, filled with love and wisdom. Hubby just returned from Haiti and meeting the kids for the first time. Awesome stories!

Steph, at Adopting Gyrlande

Where it all started for me. Steph was the liaison for the orphanage I am adopting from, and a good friend to the director. She has been extremely supportive of everyone in this process, having brought her daughter home 2 years ago. I have yet to meet her, but on one of my future jaunts back home to Northern Cal, I hope to!

Sarah, at The Nelsons
A woman I have not met in person but who is in the same "group" with me at the Orphanage (our paperwork, is roughly in the same place). She has a beautiful family and has always been so supportive and helpful, to me as well as to others.

Jennifer, at Journey to My Ethiopian Children

My newest blogging buddy, adopting from Ethiopia. She has two older children, and is hoping to adopt two more from Ethiopia. She is a single mom, and lives in Northern Cal in the city where I graduated college. So we have alot in common, and maybe someday we will be able to meet!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cook's Holiday

Me and my Hostess Team

Sadly, this is a post about what's been going on at work, because it has been whats taking much of my time and energy. Every year our department does a two day event at Christmas called "Cook's Holiday" (the internal, unofficial name for the event is "Cook's Nightmare") in which thousands of faculty, staff, and retirees descend upon us for a holiday feast. It's a good time for them and alot of work for us. This year was, however, I think the best one evah! It went smoothly, and last night when I got home, I fell in the bed exhausted with my feet propped up on pillows!

Trying to get the chefs to settle down for their official picture

Three chocolate fountains!

Buffet Lines
String Quartet


The View From the Top

(Can you believe this is a Dining Hall???)

"Ave Maria"

daily scripture