Saturday, February 28, 2009


Yep. I'm restless. Don't know what to blog about as I have no adoption news at this time. Work is very busy and is keeping me awake at night thinking about it. Trying to be ready for the girl's homecoming and not knowing when it's going to be is driving me crazy. I want to be at home nesting, but we have work, BIG WORK going on and it's important for me to be there. So I'm nervous, frustrated, pacing...not in a peaceful place. It's a good thing I don't keep cigarettes in the house anymore.

Doing some mindless Internet cruising today I found this video which is fascinating and thought I would share it. I find the story of US Airways 1549 spellbinding. The main reason why is because I have a phobia about flying. I do it anyway because I know on some level that my phobia is not reasonable, and also because I like to go places. So I make myself do it. I have sat on tarmacs with tears literally pouring down my face out of pure fear as we readied for take-off. I have been on a flight with my sons where we inexplicitly dropped thousands of feet mid flight at 3500 above ground. My main memory from that was seeing the flight attendant stuck to the ceiling of the aircraft hovering above the drink cart and crashing down into it when the plane eventually stopped it's free-fall. (My boys still talk about that one and it was nearly 10 years ago) I was well into my phobia at that point so I can't blame that incident on anything. I am the happiest person alive as we go in for a landing (even though I know landings can be dangerous and I've been thru my share of scary ones) The only exception I can remember in recent history was my last flight out of Haiti where I was so distraught at leaving my girls that my grief overtook my fear. But I was still crying.

Anyway, this video is an animated version of the flight path of US Airways 1549 aided by the actual tower transmission. It is very well done. The very last frame brought tears to my eyes and settled me down today for just a minute. But then, as I've just said, when it comes to me and airplanes, I'm just a big ole crybaby.

***Update***go to YouTube and watch it on full screen...Whoa!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Yes sirree it's that time of year again!

I see alot of movies, it's an escape and one of my lesser vices. The only movie I have seen that is up for best picture is "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" which I thought was entertaining, but not all that great. I want to see "Slumdog Millionaire" but will have to wait, as LG is less than thrilled about seeing it, and we usually try to agree. Seeing movies together is one of the few things that I can do with my almost 16 year old son, and that means I see alot of blow 'em ups and beat 'em ups, which will come to an end for awhile when the girls get home. He did make me see "The Dark Knight" and I loved it. Heath Ledger was scary-great in the role of The Joker, and I'm sure he will win the award post- humously tonight, God bless him.

But mostly I think that over the past 10 years the movies that make it to the Academy are ---let me say---for the most part on the dark, dreary and overly intellectual side. And the ones that are not (Seabisciscuit, Walk The Line) are long shots. My life is not dark, dreary and overly intellectual. And when it is, I need an escape! (See paragraph one) I have weaned myself off watching the Academy Awards, even though I love movies. I don't want to hear actor's opinions on all things political when most of them barely completed high school, if they went that far. (The fashion, I have to admit, is still compelling) Call me stuck in another era, but here is one of my favorite movies ever made, for about a gazillion different reasons...

This is the long version of the intro, and I don't think I'd ever seen it before. It's awesome, a long panoramic of the Swiss Alps. I grew up in the High Sierra's, so I can sorta relate although we did not go running thru high mountain meadows singing unless we'd had too much to drink. Not that I would ever do that :)

But I digress.

All right, next scene is one of the most romantic in the history of cinematography, in my opinion. And Christopher Plummer was HOT.

The Sound Of Music won several Oscars in 1965 including best picture and best director. I remember going to the theater to see it with my parents, sisters, grandmother, aunt and uncle and probably a couple of cousins. I was enthralled. I was 7 years old and I was hooked. On music, romance, history and art.

And I promise you 40 years from now, I will not be writing a post thrilling over "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". Sorry. It just won't happen.

Two Cups Of Coffee

My sister emailed this to me and I thought I would post it. It's been awhile since I've seen it, and it's always a great reminder.

The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 CUPS OF COFFEE

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle,
When 24 Hours in a day is not enough,
Remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in
Front of him. When the class began, wordlessly,
He picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar
And proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the
Jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open
Areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full..
They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full.
The students responded with an unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee
From under the table And poured the entire contents
Into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.
The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided,
"I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
The golf balls are the important things - God, family, children, health,
Friends, and Favorite passions -- things that if everything else was
Lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and

The sand is everything else --the small stuff.

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued,
"there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff,
You will never have room for the things that are
Important to you.


Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play With your children. Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

"Take care of the golf balls first --the things that really matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired
What the coffee represented.

The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked".
It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem,
there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I Miss Blogging!

What does blogging mean to you???

For me, it's a means of expressing myself, and sometimes a means of communicating, regardless of my mood. I still keep a private handwritten journal that holds material that rarely makes an appearance on these pages. Take me at my word: this is the stuff you DON'T want to see! It's not that I'm not being real here. I'm pretty transparent, and I think blogging (in my case) is one way to see the 'real me'. I don't however, see any need to spill my guts on the Internet! Or necessarily post my conversations with God. That stuff is mostly private. Almost ALL of my adoption stuff is on here though, and I find I don't write as much about it in my journal, as it is HERE.

That said, I rarely write about my work life at all, (boring) and guess what, that takes up so much of my time!!!

I am struggling a little with all that my job is demanding, (which is extra right now because of the new additions) and the pending arrival of my girls. I'm a little overwhelmed. It's not that I can't manage it, because I have managed extraordinary things in the past, and many people (mostly women, I notice) manage big things at the same time. I'm just saying, I'm a little overwhelmed and am having difficulty finding my blogging voice. And I miss that outlet. I miss it when I don't blog much.
I may do a whole series on "Overwhelm" at some point, but what I notice is that when I teeter on the edge of this condition, just one more thing going wrong threatens to send me over the edge. Can anybody relate to this? It can be a big thing or a little thing. Here was my thing this week; the heat went out in the house (Big thing, BTW). And contrary to popular belief, it gets cold here in the winter, especially at night. This week it's been in the 20's. I have also noticed that I'm getting better at not letting 'overwhelm' overwhelm me. If I just take it one problem at a time. So, I plugged in the space heaters and we bundled up for a few days until yesterday when I could wait for the repair man to come out and look at it. He got it going again (yay!wow, amazing how much you can take things for granted!) but said the furnace was on it's last leg and was not sure how long it was going to hold. I hope it holds for another month or so, 'cause coughing up for a new one is not something I want to do right this minute!


As many of you may know, Carnival is going on in Haiti RIGHT NOW, and so everything has literally ground to a halt in terms of adoption. The Embassy may be open for most of this period, but I'm not sure how much they are able to accomplish with everything else closed. Our equivalent in the States is Mardi Gras, but that will be over next week. Fat Tuesday is Tuesday, and that is the last day of 'blowout' behavior, Ash Wednesday is Wednesday, and the first day of lent. (I notice as I write this that 'lent' rhymes with 'repent'. LOL I am not Catholic, I'm just an observer!) I think in Latin culture, including Haiti, Carnival is different in that it is more elaborate AND lasts longer. Tara Livesay says it goes this week-end AND next week-end. And she is there, so I take her at her word!


I love books and just received a large order from Amazon. (I've put them on my book shelf to the right) I usually read several books at the same time. Wierd, I know. Right now it's taking my mind off the fact that this is a period of no progress in Haiti, which is causing me some anxiety. I have to say "Adoption Parenting, Building A Toolbox" is the best adoption book I have read on the subject so far, so if you are adopting and you're not reading it yet, you are missing out on a huge resource. (Click on the book on the shelf and it links you to Amazon)


I got an emotional twinge this week when my high school sweetheart contacted me via Facebook. I have not seen or heard from the man in over 30 years. He was a wild one. In a good way. In someways we were (and still are) polar opposites, but in other ways, very much alike. As my sister said " Well, how about the important stuff??? Is he married? I always thought he was the best looking guy in school" Answer(s): no he is not, and yes he was. And he still looks great. And sounds exactly the same, LOL. Anyway, he's on one coast and I'm on the other :)


So, that's the week in review. Seemed to darn boring to write about it as it was going on. Or maybe I just could not find my voice, due to overwhelm. It is nice to have heat again, that's for sure!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Several of you have commented or emailed me about the header picture I put up last week of the girls. It is surely one of my favorites of the two of them together. It is the picture that I had in my wallet the day I filed my I-600 at the American Embassy in Haiti. If you remember, I was not planning on filing anything on that trip, but miraculously, it got done anyway. I had a copy of this picture in my wallet and just handed to them to attach to the file. The picture itself is about a year and a half old: it was before the girls lost their baby teeth. I figure that since our next step is the Embassy for visa approval, I'd put it up for luck, good will, and (if I say so myself) sheer cuteness!

Not much going on this week. I came down with a bad cold and was pretty sick, although I did not miss any work. Today is the first day in 4 that I have even felt decent.

Earlier in the week Sarah posted something that has stayed on my mind, and I wanted to post at least part of it here too, so that I won't forget it. I find myself going back and reading it over and over. This is a prayer that is linked to their agency yahoo group. I don't have an agency group, so I'm borrowing this from them!

"Father, we thank you for all that you are doing through the people, situations, and circumstances that are beyond our control. Father we thank you that Satan's mountains are only made of smoke. And today, Lord, we cry out to you to move the heavenly forces on our behalf and release these children from the clutch and grasp of the enemy so that they may come home. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, we bind the demonic forces of darkness. Where there is darkness, we call upon Your light oh God. Where there is confusion, we pray for Your Divine Spirit of clarity, wisdom, and knowledge. Father break these chains of darkness Lord. We don't have the power in and of ourselves but You have said that when Your people call upon Your name You will hear them and answer their prayers. In place of the chaos in this system we call for Your peace and organization. Where there is inefficiency we pray for Your spirit of efficiency. Father, most of all we want to thank you. Thank you that You have seen our families as fit to conquer these demonic forces through surrender, prayer and trust in You. Thank you that this is where You have placed us today for Your purpose and plan that is far greater than anything we could imagine. Father I thank you that You see beyond our desire for a trouble-free life, You see the internal construction of our spirit taking place. We surrender to Your plans and Your timing. Thank you Father."


I do pray for my girls everyday, but I also pray for my friend's families. This week especially Mrs. King and her family, as well as Sarah and her clan could use your prayers as well, if you are the praying kind.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Little News

I received a little bit of news on our files last night. One of the girls passports came back in error (this is not uncommon) and had to go back for redo. It sounds like the orphanage director is going to try to pick it up today, and she hopes to submit their papers to the Embassy later this week. Getting closer....

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Photo Tag

This is a fun tag I recieved from Jennifer, who is adopting Ethiopian twin girls!


1. Go to the 4th folder where you keep your pictures on your computer.

2. Post the 4th picture in the folder.

3. Explain the photo.

4. Tag 4 fellow bloggers to join in the fun

Lo and behold, who should show up in my #4 folder @ 4

This is Ve, the daughter of Aves, who came home from Haiti in December 2008. The photo was taken at the orphanage on my second trip to Haiti, December 2007. I was with my son, LG, my daughters in Haiti, and M & M "S" family, who just brought their son home less than two weeks ago. We had just arrived, and were leaving the kitchen to go into the courtyard. When we opened the door, there she was and I recognized her immediately. I remember thinking how very tiny she looked. You ought to see her now!


Aves, Casa de King, Steph G's Mom, and Janet.

Can't wait to see what you have in store for us!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Three Ring Circus

As aggravating as the process of adoption can be, I have to say that in the crazy 3 ring circus that is my life, it has been the lesser struggle in comparison with the other two rings. Many times it has been my grounding and my sanity. And as I get perspective on the other two areas, as I get farther away from those problems, which dominated my worldview for years, I realize also that the pain of the adoption wait will fade in time, as long as I don't replace it with rebuke and bitterness.

Last year I wrote about leaving a relationship to embark upon the adoption journey. I also wrote that there was a coda to that story; the more appropriate term I believe is 'whiplash'. And I still don't have enough perspective to write about the rest of that episode of my life. The relationship in it's entirety lasted nearly 6 years. It's impossible to be embroiled in something that long and not have it become part of your worldview. The grief from that separation and the rest of the story have been at times absolutely debilitating. I realized my rational mind could tell my logical self that it would not give into grief, but I also knew that until I went thru it, I would fester. And anyway, for the most part, the grieving was pretty much involuntary. I read that this kind of grief is the most similar experience that an adult can have that is in proportion to adopted children grieving for their past lives. Huh. I find God to be very efficient. In this He prepared me for my girls as well as helped me rid a man in my life who was wrong for me. I am thru the worst part of it. I know this, because I have some perspective. When I was in it, I had very little. I knew what was going on, but I could not apply reason. In wound analogy the scab has gone away, but the scar tissue is still delicate. That is miraculous enough. There have been many times thru many months that I thought the wound would never even scab over, much less heal.

The other issue has been about my workplace. I know that most of you smart people reading this understand that extra-marital affairs in the work place can destroy lives, careers, business and families--- and not just of the individuals directly involved. Apparently my boss and my office-mate-colleague did not understand this. Or more likely did not care. There are many painful layers of abuse here, that affected not just me but an entire department, and I will not go into it on this forum. (In fact, if I ever write this story, it will be a novel and it will be under an assumed name!) This went on for 3 long years and while it was at times amusing, sometimes it was downright scary-dangerous and mostly a huge weight on my shoulders. Why? I knew too much and had no place to go with the information. I prayed and prayed that this situation would resolve and it finally began to ease when the boss was forced to resign under some mysterious conundrum that I'm positive he brought upon himself in direct relationship to his extra-marital activities. After he left, I realized how damaged I had become, because I had been in survival mode for years. Survival mode is not a good way to live life or do your job. I looked inside for my famous work ethic and I could only sense it hovering dreamy-like above a barren interior landscape. It was difficult to acknowledge this. My new boss has given me a renewed lease on my career life by moving me into a new and challenging position where I am also supported by those that should be supporting me. It is sorta hard to get used to after all the trauma, but I'm starting to remember what it is supposed to be like. I'm starting to get the hang of it. And I have a terrific boss now.


In the midst and in the aftermath of all this, I am scrambling around trying to get ready for my girls to come home. Those two other crazy rings I just described have rendered me physically and emotionally paralyzed many times in the recent past. Those two rings have literally put me thru hellfire, yet oddly I feel purified and on the road to recovery.

Those two other rings, and the resulting circumstances have led me to confront evil, manipulation, slavery, idolatry, mental illness, deceit, greed, corruption, frustration, friendships true and false, selfishness, self-worth, humanity, tenacity,politics, compassion, forgiveness, faith, courage, gratitude, joy and God himself.

Of course it has provided me with some extremely valuable insight. What I also know is that the serious rings are ever-changing, and new scenarios replace the old ones. I know this because I am living it...but I won't go THERE right now! I'll just end this with one of my favorite stories....

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

"One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego."

"The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

"This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Monday, February 2, 2009

My Girl In Haiti Turns 9 Today

On your birthday,I’m thinking about how much light and sparkle

you freely dispense wherever you go,
how your sunny smile
lights up any gathering.

Every birthday marks another year

of you radiating positive, happy energy,contagious happiness

that infects all who come in contact with you.

May your next birthday find you the same--glowing from within,

beaming bright joy on everyone you meet.

I feel blessed to know you.

Happy Birthday little darling. It goes without saying that it hurts today to pass this milestone again and not have you home. It hurts to see you grow another year older by yourself. It hurts because I wonder if you even know it is your birthday today. It hurts because I was hoping to buy you a shiny new bike for your birthday.

I do know there is a silver lining in all life's trials. Most things of value demand difficulty. And you, my darling, have suffered much more than I have, and yet, look how strong and full of hope you are! May we all learn from your example.

Happy Birthday, Little One

May Your Homecoming Be Soon!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Adoption Fatigue = Obligitory Cute Animal Post

My little man had to go in and have his "manhood" adjusted on Friday, and he has spent the week-end recovering. He is completely back to his normal bossy self, but he was pretty out of it on Friday night and it was hard to see him like that.

Today I stopped by the feed store to get one of my other dogs a skin allergy supplement and the Eukanuba Championship was on their TV. The Pembroke Corgi was competing for best in show, however the dang Pointer won. (Pointer??? You've got to be kidding me!)

Anyway...found some footage leading up to that, in this video the Corgi places second in the Breeder's Exhibition. However, she placed first in her group previously which is why she was completing in 'Best of Show'

(site would not allow me to embed this video, hence the link)

The Corgi shows up about 3/4 of the way thru this film. My dog would never make it in show. When they go to look at the teeth? Forget about it! Touch the butt? You better really forget about it! If you watch this, you will see she does not stand for it well either. Anyway, the vid is kinda long but you serious dog lovers will like it. Some beautiful dog breeds in there.

OK, next video is short, but fun to watch. Agility!

And for the cat lovers, here is something I saw the other day that just cracked me up. Riding the Roomba!

All right, fellow adoption warriors, that took my mind off of my cares for at least 10 minutes. Maybe it will work for you too!

April Celeste Housel Harding

I have been in somewhat of a funk this week because I found out on Monday that my cousin passed away unexpectedly. We were not close, as I was 17 years old when she was born, and getting ready to fly the coop. But I do have many fond memories of her as a little girl. She was a really little girl. Tiny. She was actually a miracle baby, and born with some congenital heart problems. We don't know what took her, it could have been that. Lately she was experiencing some bad headaches, so much so that she had to leave her job. But this was totally unexpected and tragic. This was also my uncle's only natural child (he has two step children he adopted) and he adored the ground she walked on.

Greenville native and life-long resident of Plumas County, April Celeste Harding passed from this life suddenly Monday morning, January 26th, 2009 at Plumas District Hospital located in Quincy, CA.

Born April Celeste Housel on April 23rd, 1976 in Sacramento, CA to California natives Stephen and Marilyn (Hinton) Housel, she was raised and educated in Greenville graduating from Greenville High School as a member of the "Class of 1994". April went on to attend Heald College of Fresno where she obtained her certification in Medical Administration.
Returning to Plumas County April went to work for Plumas District Hospital rising to the position of Supervisor of Admitting. She was forced to leave her job after ten years of employment with the district due to health reasons.

On November 2nd, 2007 April married her childhood sweetheart Casey Harding and the newlyweds settled in East Quincy, CA.
April was a passionate reader and especially enjoyed the Harry Potter novels. One with a quick wit about her she enjoyed talking and sharing with others. April could always be found helping others in their time of need.

In passing April leaves her loving husband; Casey of East Quincy, CA, parents; Stephen and Marilyn Housel of Greenville, CA, step daughter; Molly Harding of Quincy, CA, brother; Donald Housel of Kawanee, IL, and sister; Starla Allred of Sacramento, CA.

Here is what my cousin Mark wrote in the online guestbook.

" Steve..Marilyn..Starla..Don...April was such a blessing in the lives of all she touched..Memories of the lil girl in the Marcus Allen jersey outplaying the boys at football to a recent one of her winning a game of horse with Mickey Carter all showed her spirit and wit...She would want us all to "Raider up" and remember the good times..."

I had to laugh at that one. We are a family of girly-girl tomboys.

Last but not least I think of grandmother who ADORED that child. I don't think I ever realized how much they favored until I saw this picture of April and compared it to the one I had of my grandmother, circa 1920.

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