Monday, February 27, 2006

Rainy Days & Mondays...

No, I'm not down (remember the Carpenters' song?). I like a rainy night. The rain started just before lunch today, so I wasn't stuck inside with my students all day long, but I might be tomorrow...

I received the application packet from Adoption Options today, and filled it out a little while ago. Tomorrow I'll make copies and hopefully get it FedEx'd to them. March is going to be a good and productive month for this paperchase. I just know it!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Isn't It Pretty?

After a stressful week of adoption related mishaps, I'm happy to be looking at the new header on my blog. It's lovely, don't you think so? I can't take any credit for its creation, however. All the credit belongs to a talented gal named Cheryl Flaim. I found Cheryl's company Northern Town Productions ( a couple weeks ago and asked her to help me out. If you're looking for some creative assistance with your blog header, contact Cheryl. She's amazingly creative and super affordable! Thank you, Cheryl!

Friday, February 24, 2006

New Day, Big Change

I talked with the coordinator at VDM today, and she was going to start looking for a new SW for me. I asked her to tell any prospective SW that I wanted to be DTC in June, and therefore have the HS done in approximately six weeks. She told me that was impossible. She said that VDM tells clients that they do HS in 8-12 weeks and that I should have known that. She said that information is on something she sent me - never saw it... I told her that wasn't going to work for me and that I would need to find another agency. I asked for my $500 application fee back, but was told that it's not refundable. I made the decision to work with another agency anyway. I wish I'd known what questions to ask before I wrote them that check. I could have avoided this whole thing and not wasted the month of February (or $500). The colleague at school who has adopted twice said it's better to have lost that $500, than to continue working with them if they can't work with my goal in mind. I know there are a lot of things about this process that I can't control and a lot of things that will keep me waiting, but I don't think a SW and a HS should be what holds me up.

So then, I called Adoption Options in San Diego county. I've heard good things about them from another AWAA family. They answered my questions to my satisfaction. They think it's reasonable to be DTC in June and that a HS can be done quickly. The application is on its way. I'm hoping to get things going with them in the next ten days, or so. I will be FedEx-ing EVERYTHING to them. That's a lesson learned!

I also talked with AWAA and they've heard nothing that would validate those rumors that got me going yesterday. Whew!

All this while correcting 62 spelling and science tests, teaching how to add mixed numbers, and conferencing with several students about their writing. How do I do it? ;-)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

What A Day!

So, after leaving previously mentioned SW (see below) a message about those rumors and my sense of urgency, she called back and took herself off my case. She said it sounded like I need an expedited home study, and her work load is such that she can't accomodate me. She is sending my file back to VDM. I'm somewhat relieved. Let's see what happens next.

THANK YOU ALL for your supportive and reassuring comments to my previous post. Since you're all ahead of me in the process, I truly appreciate your perspectives. You are good people!


Okay, so the SAC Yahoo group is buzzing with the rumor that China will close it's doors to singles seeking to adopt this summer. What?

This after a day in which I finally heard from my SW after she was called twice by her agency. She was in no rush to meet with me, and our first meeting is March 6. I told her that I want to be DTC by June, and she said something about getting it done right, that if I was DTC by June then I'd get a referral in six months and that would throw my timing off. I told her referral times were increasing, not decreasing. What planet is she on?

So I spoke with a co-worker who has adopted twice domestically. She told me to call VDM and tell them that I might not be well-matched with my SW, that I'm a linear thinker and goal oriented and that she seems very laid-back. So, I did, and they were really nice and understanding. They will look for a new SW, but they want me to keep the appointment I have with the current SW in the meantime.

When I got home and read about those rumors, I left both VDM and the SW voicemails with this new information and asked them to please understand my sense of urgency.

My heart will break if I can't complete this adoption, but I will be mad as aych ee double hockey sticks if someone screws it up for me.


Maybe I should file a missing persons report? The SW didn't call last night. I'm very frustrated! Grrr...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

What's Goin' On...

I thought I would have heard from my SW by now, since I knew who she was on Friday, but hadn't yet. So, I called VDM and put a bug in the coordinator's ear about that. She called me back and said the SW would be calling me tonight and that we'd probably meet next week. She asked me to be patient, and I think I am. But, I don't want to be passive and let someone else's passiveness slow down my paperchase. Right?

Mom and I shopped for more than just a used stroller this weekend. I've been looking for a new sofa and chair for the living room. My current sofa and chair are nearly nine years old, and boy do they show their age! The sofa, in particular, is very worn. Anyway, I can't believe how expensive furniture is! My decorating style is cottage or shabby chic style, so Levitz or Wickes just don't carry the sort of upholstered furniture that will suit my decor - although their prices are appealing. After a lot of shopping and pricing my options, I decided to have my pieces made at Salmo's. My sister has beautiful and comfortable furniture from there. I was able to find just the right sofa and chair style, and was able to select two Waverly fabrics that will work with the existing wall color and other pieces of furniture in the room. I'm very excited! There goes my summer school paycheck...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


I spent my whole afternoon working on two assignments for my master's program. While this program seems very manageable at this point, it's just so time consuming to write papers. And I'd rather be reading China adoption blogs and surfing the internet for cute baby stuff. But, without this degree, I won't receive a big, fat pay increase. It's that big, fat pay increase that makes having a baby affordable. So, I guess I'll stick to it. I'm almost done with the first class, then four more to go. When I'm done with this program I AM NEVER GOING BACK TO SCHOOL AGAIN - unless I'm the teacher, of course. :-)

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sarah's Sunday Baptism

This afternoon I attended the baptism of my youngest niece, Sarah, who is ten years old and in fifth grade. She decided to publicly express her faith in Christ today in front of several hundred people from her church at the Huntington Beach City Pool. Sarah gave her testimony before being immersed in the water (it was heated). I'm very proud of her for being brave about her faith and for being so grown-up. I love you, Sarah.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Bargain Shopping

Grammy bought Jillian a stroller today! We found this previously owned Eddie Bauer stroller at Children's Orchard for just $59.99. It's in great condition. This will be the stroller Grammy and PaPa keep at their house for the days Jillian hangs out with them. Grammy said something about walking around Disneyland with this... Fun times to come!

Friday, February 17, 2006

More Paperwork

After spending half the week worrying that my home study application was lost, today I came home to an envelope full of paperwork from that same agency. I've been assigned to a social worker and I've got all the typical paperwork to complete. No problem... I spent a half hour getting as much as I could done right away. The rest seems like it will get done as the home study progresses. I think it's time to have my mom come up and help me clean the house before the social worker comes to visit!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

She's Back!!!

Taylor has had a great day! She got me up at 2 a.m. so that she could go out for a drink. She was up and moving around on her own. Taylor spent the day outside with Buffy and seems no worse for wear. She's been following me around all evening - that's so Taylor! I can't pee without her watching me! And she always watches while I get ready for bed, then goes to her own bed once I'm settled in mine. She is such a good girl and she takes such good care of me. I'm truly appreciating her right now as I was so afraid that she wouldn't be here with me today!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Taylor (see below) was incapacitated by the time I got home yesterday. She was lame in her right, rear leg. I had to assist her in and out of the house. It was really distressing. I was concerned that she'd hit a rough patch and that the prognosis wouldn't be good. However, after a trip to the vet this afternoon, we now know that she is suffering the side effects of a rabies vaccination administered on Monday of this week. The doctor gave her a morphine shot to ease her pain, and he expects her to recover in a couple of days. Because of her age, I was prepared for the worst. I'm so relieved that she was able to come home today.

And more relief... Vista has received my home study application!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Introducing... Taylor & Buffy

This is Taylor. My sister and I found Taylor at the shelter on my thirtieth birthday. She's an old lady, now. I'm watching her change physically, and it's hard. She's been wobbly for the last few months, and today she's limping. I'm babying her and hoping she'll feel better tomorrow. She has the sweetest temperment, and in her heydey she'd fetch a ball relentlessly.

This is Buffy, my glamour girl. She'll be three next month, and I've had her since she was a wee thing. When she is good, she's very good, but when she's bad, she's awful. She keeps me on my toes.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Lost in the Mail?

I called Vista del Mar (home study agency) today to confirm the receipt of my application. They haven't received it yet and that concerns me. I put it in the mail last Wednesday. They are just up the freeway in Los Angeles - same county. When I called them to request the application, I received it the very next day. Should I be sending everything I mail via FedEx or some other trackable way?

I will call them again this Wednesday to follow up.

New Favorites

I had to take Taylor over to the vet this morning for a rabies vaccination. Carter's is in the same shopping center. I had never been in there before, but was delighted by the very cute clothes and the reasonable prices. I'll be shopping there frequently!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Jillian's Other Stuff

These are the other things I've picked up for Jillian in the last few months. The blanket is handmade, the doll is by April Cornell, and the book is Mary Engelbreit's Mother Goose. Shopping for this little girl is too much fun!

Jillian's Closet

I couldn't resist! I was at TJ Maxx and I saw these sweet little dresses. Wouldn't you know it, the label is actually Jillian's Closet. I had to have them. I went for the 12 months size. I hope they will fit her that first summer.

Friday, February 10, 2006


I've spent all evening trying to improve the header on this blog. I didn't really get it to do what I wanted it to. I found a helpful tutorial, but her html code (I think that's what it's called) was slightly different from mine, and so my results are different. I'm not exactly happy with it yet. You see, I have blog envy. Wandering Child and others are so cool. I want to be cool, too. What do I need to do to be cool, Bloggers?

p.s. Apparently the off-centered, pink dahlia on a lime green background in the header can only be viewed if you're using the Safari browser like I am. When using Explorer, it doesn't show up at all. Oh, well...


It seemed like this week would never end. I'm so grateful for a three day weekend - Monday is Lincoln's Birthday. I've got to get the roses in the backyard pruned, work on a couple of assignments for my masters program, and do the usual house cleaning and errand running. It's easier to fit that in over three days than just two. And I will exercise every day this weekend! The weather is great and I'm healthy, so I have no excuses for avoiding the gym or walking the dogs.

Have you been to Gwen of Shenzhen blog? It has a new name now, because they're adopting another baby - Madeline. I just cried when I read their good news - tears of joy. What an amazing thing for their family. That's the thing I enjoy about this blog community - celebrating good news. There's too much hurt and sorrow in the world and it's available 24/7 on cable news shows. But these blogs are like little windows to the good stuff. We all need more of that.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Work Weary

I love being a teacher. I really love it. It is what I am meant to do. However, there are kids that come along and they simply suck the life out of me. X is such a child. He has loads of emotional problems, and while I feel compassion for him and his collection of issues, I just wish he would give me one day of peace this week.

X treats others in my class poorly - calling them names, threatening them, harrassing them on the playground. I counsel him over and over about his poor choices. He turns around and repeats the behavior. My principal and I have spoken with his parents. Our team of specialists is working with me to address these problems, and yet the situation just seems to be deteriorating. Today he spoke of some very morbid things in class and I had to stop my lesson and send him to the psychologist. It's just so draining.

If you know a teacher, he or she deals with things like this all the time. Be nice to them, please!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

And More Progress!

The application from Vista del Mar was in the mailbox today. Now, that's service! I filled out more paperwork and wrote another check. I'm seeing a trend here - paperwork equals money spent. Oh, well... It feels so good to do something after all that waiting. I'll be sending the application back to VDM tomorrow, and writing my autobiography this weekend. One more step forward on this very long journey.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Today was a great day! I don't say that about Mondays too often. But this morning I contacted Vista del Mar, that's the agency who will be doing my home study, and they are sending me an application. Check! And when I got home this afternoon, that blessed Dossier Overview Packet was in the mailbox! Check! So, I tore the envelope open, figured out what needed to be signed and sent back to AWAA, and wrote them a hefty little check. Check! I feel like I've accomplished something, you know? It's such a good feeling.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Still Waiting...

For those of you kind enough to check my blog frequently, I have nothing new to report. Sigh... That dossier overview packet has yet to make its grand appearance. I did speak with my coordinator, and she assured me that it's on its way, and she emailed me a list of agencies for the home study. She also told me that she thought it was reasonable to be DTC to June. That made me happy.

So, I've been making inquiries on the AWAA Yahoo group about southern California agencies for the home study. I have to use one that's approved by AWAA, so I wanted to get some feedback from families who have already completed that leg of the journey. Two agencies have been recommended and I'm going to go ahead and call them next week and get some more information. I want to feel like I am able to accomplish something adoption related this month!