Friday, November 26, 2010

The meaning of Maumma

Thursday Vinay's Grandmother passed away. We all called her Maumma. This means grandmother in konkani, the hindu dialect of Vinay's family. But I think it really means so much more. She was a beautiful bride who was wed in her teen years. She was an extraordinary mother to five children, three of whom were born before she was even twenty. She was a faithful widow, who lost her husband much to early. She was courageous to move across the world, and become a US citizen. She went on to valiantly battle breast cancer and win. She loved all of her grandchildren, and kept in touch with each of them no matter how near or far they lived. She was incredibly maternal to all who knew her. She will be missed by so many.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful for people like this

Words can't describe how this reaches me. I have spent the last year being so caught up in my own life. I needed this reminder. I am thankful for people like Dick Rutgers, who are devoting their lives to this country that gave me my child.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Me time

Today I am thankful for Liv's school schedule. Originally I did not want her to go to school 5 days a week, but now I see it is good for her. Not only was she ready to be her peers more often, she really enjoys school. It also has worked out for me. It gives me time to get things done, then give all my attention to Liv when she gets home.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I can breath!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today I'm thankful for leggings!!!! After a season where skinny jeans were in style, ughhhhh, could they be any more uncomfortable. I am happy to take part in the leggings trend.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Big time slacker!!!!!!!!!!!


I don't know why I thought I could do 1 blog post a day for an entire month!!!!! So today I am grateful that I am surrounded by people who love my imperfect self!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Gratitude


Lisa over at http://curiousgirl-lisa.blogspot.com/2010/10/gratitude.html, curious girl is doing a month long theme of gratitude so I decided to join in this years NaBloPoMo and TRY and do a post a day or at the very least a facebook post.
I have so much to be grateful for in my life but it all starts with these two people who I am lucky enough to call my family!!! Vinay and Olivia fill my life with so much joy and love everyday. I am so fortunate God brought us together and made us a family!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

15 years

Our family 15 years in the making!!!!!!!!!!!!!



15 years ago, late night in my dorm room a boy kissed me and forever changed my life. All the positive things in my life have come from us being together!!! Happy Anniversary Vinay!!




Here are some old pics thru the years!!!






My sorority formal 1 month after we started dating


Oh how young we look.



Summers spent at the shore with friends




My favorite picture of our wedding day





Our Indian ceremony!!!!


Monday, September 27, 2010

adoption update

I got some good news on the adoption front today. Oh how I hesitate to write about good news, because this adoption has had so many setbacks so far. But I will fight the pessimist in me and write about it anyway.
So far we have completed 2 steps since our paperwork went to Mexico
1) Everything has been translated into Spanish- This happened during August.
2) Our paperwork has been registered in the Central DIF office- All adoptions have to be registered in Mexico City, where they check the paperwork.

So now our paperwork is ready to go on to the Mexican state where we are adopting from. Here is where the good news comes in. We originally picked the state of Toluca, there would have been about 10 families ahead of us waiting to be matched with a child. This process will be be about a 6-8 month wait. Recently our agency is working with the state of Guanajuato, Spanish pronunciation: wanaˈxwato]). So we decided to send our paperwork there and wait for a match. Ahead of us on the list is only 1 family!!!!!!!!!!! We are still looking at a 6-8 month wait, but it could mean more like 6 months. So that would mean we could estimate getting matched with a child in March!!!
Here a nice website with some history and beautiful pictures of Guanajuato
http://www.terragalleria.com/north-america/mexico/guanajuato/

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The night before pre-k

Dear Liv,
Tomorrow you start Pre-K. Tomorrow I will put you on a bus, wave good bye, and watch as you head off to school. School will shape the next 13 pluse years of your life. No longer will I be your main source of education, thank goodness. I must say I am sooo sad to see you go. For the last four years you have been my whole life. Where has the time gone, it feels like just yesterday you started to crawl. And wasn't it just last week that you started to talk. I could swear that last month was your first birthday.
I've been able to watch as you've grown into such a beautiful little girl. Every smile, every tear, and yes even every tantrum, I've had the pleasure of witnessing. But lately I've been noticing how you let go of my hand first, as we head to the park. And at a party you no longer call my name just to make sure I'm still close by. You are so curious about the world, you are ready to see it with your own eyes, not just through mine.
You are ready to show the world who you are. Your ready to meet people all on your own, and your ready to try new things without your mother looking over your shoulder.
So tomorrow you will go to Pre-K. I will put you on a bus, wave good bye, and watch as you head off to school. Just don't look back because I might be following the bus in my car.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Summer lovin happend so fast!!!!!!!!!

This summer we took a 2 week vacation down at the beach house!!!! Liv had a blast!!!!! We did so much but I only took a few pictures!!!!! Here they are in random order!!!

Painting shells with the neighborhood kids!!

Mommy and Liv. Liv got sooooo tan, I just got more freckles and wrinkles!!!


Daddy took us out on this boat for a ride we will never forget!!



Photo shoot before going out to dinner!!!




Ahhhh such fun staying in this little house!!!


Enjoying the rides at Point Pleasant!


My favorite picture!


We went to a work party, Liv had so much fun with the kids.


2 tipsy Dads and there cute girls.


Liv enjoying the party



A perfect beach day!!!




Liv loved the ocean this year.


We spent a week with these crazy people, their 3 year old, and 18 month old twins!!! We all had the best time!!



Total beach bums!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Anniversary

8 years ago today I said "I Do" , and I still do.











Thursday, July 08, 2010

Dear Dossier


Tomorrow I send you out on your journey to Mexico. You will make one stop in South Carolina to be reviewed, don't mess it up, and then you will be registered in Mexico City. For the past 11 months you have sat on my kitchen desk. Taunting me, reminding me, and keeping me focused. Sometimes you would get shuffled under bills, outgoing mail, and even Christmas cards. But still you stayed waiting patiently for your missing pages to come in slowly and complete you.


On bad days I would bring you out and stack and organize you. On really bad days I would curse you as I walked by and tried to forget about you. But still you sat waiting. Not to long ago you were so close to being complete, and you decided it might be fun to loose a page or too. I wanted to send all of you to the shredder. But I didn't, your missing page reminded me that I still have some fire left in me, your missing page also showed me what an amazing husband I have, and that he would do anything to make me smile again. I guess I should thank you for that, but I'm just not there yet. I'm still mad at you. Still I wish you luck on your journey. Please fall into the right hands. Please don't get lost on someones desk, and please please please don't even think about going near any water. May your pages find us our child.


P.S. So tonight I will sleep with you under our roof for one more night. If God forbid a fire breaks out, you will be the first thing I grab, after Liv of course.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Jai Ho

We are going to an Indian Wedding in July! So we decided to see what fit Liv. Well that led into many outfit changes, and even a dance party. Here is Liv rocking out her Bollywood moves!!!!

video

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The timeline

A few days ago I got an email from our agency. here is the timeline they sent:

For now, the general timeframe for Toluca appears to be:
1) Submission and translation of dossier in Mexico (2-4 weeks)-submitted to Foreign Relations
2) Submission of dossier to Central DIF office for processing and sent to State DIF (1-2 months)
3) State DIF office receipt of dossier to approval and referral(4-6 months)
4) Referral to travel and completion of adoption (2-4 months)
Overall time from submission of dossier to completion of adoption projected to be about 12 months


So this puts us at about a year till we bring a child home. I would expect a referral of a child around Christmas, and expect us to travel for pick up, sometime around next May.

Now if I could just get my hands on this last document Hopefully we can start at #1!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Guatemala

Like many adoptive moms, when I left Guatemala with Olivia, I left a little piece of my heart behind. The piece of my heart that embraced such an ancient culture. The piece of my heart that fell in love with a beautiful country. The piece of my heart that could not believe such poverty exists. The piece of my heart that will be eternally grateful to Liv's Birth Mother. The piece of my heart that aches for Liv's biological brother and sisters. That piece of my heart has been so heavy this week.
I just can't comprehend the devastation, and I find myself stuck to the computer for any bit of information. Here are three websites that I have been turning too.
http://mayanfamilies.org/News.aspx
http://luvsent.wordpress.com/
http://www.heart4children.blogspot.com/

Oh how I wish I could hop the next flight to Guatemala.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

She growing up so fast and all on her own terms

Liv finally moved out of her crib and into a big bed, all on her own. Just one day said, "Mommy can I sleep in a big bed". That night she slept on the daybed in her room, and she's been there with no problems.
Last week I signed her up for Pre-K 4, so in September she'll go to school 5 days a week, and take a bus!!!
WOW!!! Can someone stop time for just a little bit, this is going so fast!!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sharing the truth

It's so sad to hear the recent events surrounding the Russian boy adopted by an American and then sent back to Russia. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100409/ap_on_re_eu/eu_russia_adopted_boy.

Of course the media is swarming on this story and now it appears that Russia wants to end all adoptions with US citizens. In the past 5 years there have been almost 15,000 children adopted from Russia by American families. 15,000 children who are now in loving homes, instead of in institutions. Does the media cover that side of the story? No. Do they dig to find the true story of adoptions, domestic or international? No. Do they report on the true families that wait for a child to come home? No.

The Joint Council on International Children Services is asking that the truth be told.
http://www.carolinaadoption.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/Call-To-Action-We-Are-The-Truth.pdf

One family at a time, one child at a time.

Here is my Truth.

Believe it or not my adoption story began back in 1992. I was only 17, years away from having children. But at 17 I was diagnosed with Cancer. I waged that battle and came away healthier and stronger than I was before. Cancer did not take my life, but it did take away my chances of having my own child. Little did I know that infertility was going to be the best thing to ever happen to me.

Years later at 30, My husband, Vinay and I were ready to start a family. We both knew this was going to be a challenge, but we were up for it. So we filled out the mounds of paperwork, were fingerprinted 3 times each, completed 6 home study visits, wrote out our autobiographies, and were interviewed by a psychologist. And then we waited. Waited for the government to tell us we were eligible to become parents. That day came on April 21 2006. Our immigration papers telling us that we could wait for a match.

We were lucky we were matched with our beautiful daughter on May 16. An 11 day old baby girl far away in the country of Guatemala. Then came more waiting. Waiting for the birth mother to undergo a DNA test to prove that the baby she was giving up for adoption was really her biological child. We were able to visit our baby Olivia for 5 glorious days in June of 2006. Then we had to give her back. Yes, hand her back into the arms of a foster mother I did not know, for an unknown amount of time.

We came home to wait some more. Wait for the country of Guatemala to review our mounds of paperwork, our fingerprints, our home study, our immigration papers. They also interviewed Olivia's birth mother. Not a day went by that I didn't cry. I slept with one of her blankets. I drove my husband crazy. I drove myself crazy. A few times I wanted to throw in the towel. This was to painful, could this child I barely know be worth all this agony?? On Sept 27 at 6:31 pm I got my answer. YES, Olivia was coming home.

On October 12 2006 at 6:45 Guatemala City time. Olivia was placed in my arms to never be let go again. For that one moment the world stopped for me. That missing piece of the puzzle, the piece that cancer stole from me, was finally in. Our family was complete, my heart was whole.
The next day at about 4:45 Guatemala City time, I called my Mom crying. I was scared, I was nervous, I hadn't slept. I was a new Mom, scared shitless, completely clueless, and having a panic attack. My mom talked me through it. I was a parent now and there was a 5 month old baby who needed me.

I wish I could say that those first few months as Liv's Mom were perfect. That I'd waited so long to be a mother, that each moment was glorious. They weren't because this is real life. Liv was a real baby. A baby who teethed, and woke up at all hours of the night hungry and crying. A baby who fussed and wanted me to hold her all the time. And I was a real parent. A parent who missed sleeping through the night, and spending her Sundays on the couch watching Lifetime movies. A parent who missed her freedom and her social life. A normal parent and child getting to know one another. Learning each others likes and dislikes. Even today almost 4 years later we are still learning about each other. Building day by day a relationship and bond that although is not perfect, but is perfect for us. Are there days when I think, "Wow life was sooooo much easier before Liv"? Of course. But there are so many more days when I can't believe how lucky I am to be her Mom. How lucky I am to have waited such a short amount of time for her. How lucky I am that our adoption went so smoothly. How lucky I am that she is mine!!!

And that's the truth!!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

All about pets!!!!

Olivia has a always been a stuffed animal girl. She loves anything soft and cuddly!! Baby dolls go ignored in our house. Barbies, she wants noting to do with them. Lately she has really been into her puppies. She feeds them, swaddles them, sings to them, and yes sleeps with about 20 of them!

Here she is feeding her puppies




And loving on the big puppy!!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

All I ever needed to know I learned from Liv


Sleep surrounded by things you love. The more crowded the better.

Every story should end with "And they lived happily ever after".

A hug from your Mom can make everything better.

The hardest word to say is, "Sorry".

Sometimes you just need a time out, even if you don't want one.

A genuine smile can get you very far in life.

Many friendships can be formed just by playing a simple game of tag.

Sometimes good music can completely change your mood.

Never miss an opportunity to splash in the puddles, shoes can be replaced, memories can't.

When in doubt, just stand back and observe.

Every once in a while an ice cream sundae can replace dinner.

The world is a little less scary when you have someone to hold your hand.




Wow I learned all this in 4 short years, can't wait to see what she'll teach me next.








Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The blog post that hurts my heart

I've had this post saved for some time. I look at the pictures, get happy and sad all at the same time, then I decide not to write and hit save instead of publish.

Here are the pictures from our trip to the orphanage in Mexico. We were only able to spend a little bit of time there, but I find myself thinking of these children often. We decided to go to
La Casita Children's Home right outside of Cancun. We were only able to bring one other couple with us, but next year we hope to be able to bring more volunteers and give more donations to the children.
The way this home works is that it is a place for parents to bring their children if they can no longer care for them. Usually it is financial difficulties, or an abused Mother trying to keep her kids safe. There is also a very large underage prostitution problem, and some of the children are a product of that. Sometimes the kids parents do come back for them, however that is not the norm. I just can't imagine being so poor and destitute that I would have to leave my child, in hopes that I find work, to protect them from violence or with the thought that I will never see them again. How painful must that decision be for a parent to make. It breaks my heart.

It also breaks my heart that we are a loving family that would love to adopt any one of these children, but government red tape is not allowing us to do so. But that is another post that I can not get into now.
So here are the pics from our great day.
Our group. The head of the orphanage, Chad our hotel manager, Me, Vinay, Dave, Maribeth, Karen, and her brother.

Karen made lunch for all the kids. Maribeth and I helped serve.

The kids loved the hotdogs!!!


Chad, Vinay, and Dave chatting with the kids.

My favorite table the little ones.

Karen also made a cake, the kids loved that.



Vinay and Maribeth serving the cake.


Then some of the older kids played some songs for us on the recorder!!!

So cute!!

Us enjoying the show!!


One of the teachers brought over this little guy,Manuel, he shook Vinays hand


Every time I look at this picture I tear up. All of the toddlers had a glazed, detached look in their eyes. I'm sure these kids have seen horrific things, that combined with being abandoned, must be just devastating for just a small child. I had not realized that Vinay was able to make little Manuel smile. I look at this photo whenever I question if another adoption is the right thing for us.

Me holding Ferdinanda (age 2) and Vinay with Mauel (age 3).


Present Time!!! Maribeth giving out some bouncing balls!!!


Some of the girls patiently waiting in line for presents.


Vinay showing some of the older boys how to throw a football.



I got to play with some of the kids in the courtyard. Love their little uniforms!!

All of us with the kids

I can't wait to go back next year.