Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Day In The Life.

Oh yeah. I have a blog. I must have forgotten! It's been a little busy here. For some reason. So here is last week...

Monday...I just realized this was last Sunday. But you wouldn't know that. Except that I just told you. But Monday was a school day and we made candy cane popcorn and then took it to our neighbors and friends and then went to Daniel's parents house for a special Christmas get together FHE while his sister was here from Colorado. Good day.
Tuesday...Here is the popcorn we made on Monday and passed out on Monday. It's Tuesday. I know. Short day for the kids with their sing along at school. Isaac had an orthodontist appointment and doesn't have to wear his retainer anymore. He wants to blow it up.
Wednesday...No school, no work. Daniel started his vacation through the end of the year. It's like Saturday everyday. We had Christmas caroling at a local assisted living center with our cub scouts. Then we all got warm clothes on to go to SL to Temple Square and dinner. My kids are wearing snowsuits and boots and gloves. It was below freezing and snowing. The baby dressed in only a sweatshirt with her little legs hanging out uncovered almost sent this mommy over the edge!!! We were glad the gates to the temple were open so we could walk all the way around it. Then we had dinner at Applebees. We were starving and cranky. Daniel likes to blame it on my Portuguese heritage. Whatever! The kids told us what they want to order for dinner next year!
Thursday...Christmas Eve! We went to my mom and dad's for festivities, nativities, gifts and dinner. Abbie (my mom) gives all the grandkids jammies. Aren't they cute?? Since we always seem to go camping in the freezing cold, I figure these will become camping jammies!
Thursday...Christmas morning! The hooligans woke up waaaaaayy too early. But we got up and went wild. This was a good Christmas! I suppose I should do a post about Christmas. Or something.
Saturday...My mom was getting rid of some stuff and this cool Tic Tac Toe with snowmen was MINE! My kids love to just sit and play! We had our Christmas Party with Daniel's family. We did tons of humanitarian stuff. This might just start a tradition. Good day!
Sunday...After church Ruthie wanted to bake with her new gift. So we did. It really didn't turn out so great. We couldn't frost the cakes. But she had fun eating the crumbly mess!
Another week is already underway. I promise to get the next one up quicker!
Maybe.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Make A Meal.

Okay. It's not really a "meal", but it will help your meal be more better! Ha! Do you make bacon on Christmas morning? Yes? Well, this will help with mess, clean up and so you can get everything else made.
Bacon!
On a jelly roll pan, or cookie sheet, place tin foil, shiny side up. Then put a cooling rack in the pan. Lay your bacon all over the pan. I guess you should lay it uniformly so it will all fit. I really hope you read through this first and saw that you need to preheat your oven to 450! Do it now if you haven't already. Then place the pan in the oven and let it cook. You can then make eggs, pancakes, waffles, o.j., etc, while the bacon is cooking. When it's done, (about 20 minutes) put bacon on a papertowel lined plate and serve. All you gotta do is fold up the foil and throw it away and just put the pan and cooling rack in the dishwasher. You don't have to scrub or wipe off the grease from the stove top!
YAY!

Have a Merry Christmas
and may all your bacon be yummy and your stove top be grease free!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

My kids would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas!
Go Here so they can!
You won't be disappointed!

And I thought I Was Okay.

But apparently I wasn't. I have been keeping busy and have had many little reminders that we are on the right path leading to the rest of our family. I have an incredible family and we are all healthy and happy. We do lots of fun things and have just put baby stuff out of mind. At least that was the plan until after Christmas.

Last night we went to Daniel's parents' house for a special FHE while his sister Lisa was here from Colorado. It was so nice. We were late because Daniel has a super long commute and had to eat dinner, so we missed the piano performances. But we got to visit and watch a beautiful DVD that Daniel's sister Shelba and her hubby made for their parents' 50th anniversary. Which was a little while ago. It was amazing!

Then we got to visit with Santa (grandpa). And, of course, I had forgotten my camera. Duh! But as we were getting ready to leave, Daniel's sister Jennifer asked how I was. And she was asking sincerely and with her heart. So I told her it was hard and then I cried. I have had people ask me before how the adoption is going. While I have answered, and guarded my heart, they sometimes would be easily distracted by something far more interesting than me. So I continue to guard my heart. But a genuine interest breaks down that wall and I let my emotions go. I don't do it very often. But Jennifer's pure interest in ME did it. We talked for a few minutes more until I really needed to go. I cried on the way home and when Daniel was cuddling me, I told him that I had thought that I was okay. But I'm not. Well, I am. But I'm not. I know it doesn't make sense. But I get it. And that's what matters.

On a happier note, Daniel's sister Marylynne gave us some corn nuts. Oh the memories. Corn nuts. We used to walk to the Quick Stop when we were kids and buy cheap treats. Like Lemon Heads, Boston Baked Beans and Sixlets. Yummy. For like .10 cents a box. (I feel so old) I remember wanting to get corn nuts. My dad would get them and I thought they were awesome. I tell ya, I always felt a little skanky buying corn nuts. I have no idea why! Seriously. To me, it almost felt like a sin to buy them. Weird, I know. But last night...I got some corn nuts. I still feel a little skanky. But I am eating them. Just don't ask me about them at church!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Day In The Life.

Monday...Sam and Ruthie got their school box lids and swords and...um...fought. Then Ruthie actually got hit with a sword. This is Sam. Ruthie was on the couch crying. Do you ever have the urge to say "I told you so"?
Tuesday...I made some popcorn with candy cane flavored Kisses. It was yummy. Very sweet, but very yummy. I love all the yummy Kiss flavors. Halloween. Christmas.
Wednesday...The neighbor treat giving begins. I guess I should get started. That's on tomorrow's schedule.
Thursday...Cookie dough. Need I say more?
Friday...The kids did some snow night manuevers. On Saturday. On Friday, Daniel and I went to dinner and the temple. It took many trys, but we finally got a sitter and enjoyed our date night.
Saturday...Fog. Lots of fog. I went to an Activity Day activity to help. The leader will be having twins this week. I went to a baptism where a brother and sister were baptized after being taught by the missionaries. They were so bright and shiney!! Then a presidency meeting. It's the end of the year and there is lots to organize! Sam went to a birthday party, for which he was a little late. Mom needs a bigger calendar to look at!
Sunday...Church and choir and cute Primary kids. Tonight we had roast, mashed potatoes (from our garden), gravy and beans for dinner. Then we went into Ogden to see the displays. We saw Teacher Vickie, Sam and Ruthie's preschool teacher. We seriously can't wait until she will be preschool teacher to James or Mary or Sarajune. Then we came home for hot chocolate and watched the Grinch. The cartoon.
We have a busy week ahead. We'll see how the picture taking goes.
Have a very merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Blog?

What blog? Hey! Remember me? I think my bloggy bone got broke again. Or something.

Are you ready for Christmas?

I think I am. Just a few food items left to buy.

I have found it amazing that since I sent out Christmas cards (after many many years of "forgetting") that I have heard from many people who I have missed. Thanks to you all for reciprocating!

I also have realized that I don't have correct addresses for people. Oh well. What's a girl to do?

Ruthie is doing well. She just had sporadic tummy aches on Monday and since is only in pain when she is asked. Ha! So I don't think it was her appendix. But we keep an eye on her.

Did you know that bloggy isn't a word? It's highlighted on my spellcheck a majig. But I don't care.

I'll try to keep my eyes and ears open for a fun bloggy post. But don't quote me on that. I'm struggling with what to make for dinner tonight.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Day In The Life.

Monday...This is the tree box from the tree that finally died last Christmas. It was brought upstairs for some reason and the kiddos made a slide out of it. Ruthie and Sammy started naming the slide positions. The Possum. The Lightening. The Stairs. The I Love You Side Slide. I think Sam is doing The Possum here. They crack me up.
And please don't mock my bare walls. We are planning to paint soon. Then I will dress my poor walls!
Tuesday...Ruthie's Chicken Noodle Soup was happy today.
Wednesday...Spaghetti for dinner. This plate was just a little worried is all.
Thursday...Isaac took some tape and made a little girl on the banister. He shaved her head several times and then put the "hair" back on. Funny guy.
Friday...Well, this isn't Friday. It's a Saturday picture. But at least there is a picture. Right? Mom got to go to the girl doctor. Oh joy. We also had our Ward Christmas party. So fun!
Saturday... Seriously? You want to know about my Saturday? Well, since you asked...
Ruthie and I had a 7 am hair appointment and the alarm kept going off and Daniel kept hitting snooze and thinking he didn't want to wake me up.
We woke up at 6:45...not enough time. So I called my sister in law Shelba and she was very kind and said to come at 8:30. The kids were now up because I panicked out loud.
We got to our appointment and got beautified and then took my nephew home all in a raging snow storm.
I had 45 minutes to take a shower, eat something and get dressed for a baptism. At least my hair looked good. The baptism was wonderful!
It went long and I had a presidency meeting that my counselor and I were planning to be early for so we could start getting some stuff done. Yeah right. We left the baptism right when our meeting was scheduled. Meeting went great. Got stuff done. My hair looked good.
Got home and we only had 10 minutes to get to the train station to get to SL to have dinner and see the lights at temple square. No one was ready. So we decided to drive.
We drove and stopped along the way to have dinner. Then decided to miss all the traffic backed up on the freeway. Ha! It was worse where we decided to go. And we just went around in circles. So we headed to Layton to see the lights there. And then got home early enough that I could get laundry done and sharing time prepared and didn't have time to clean the house! At least my hair looked good!
Daniel dragged the kiddos across the parking lot. Fun!
Sunday...Daniel, Ruthie and Sam built a snowman on Saturday while I was running here and there. We had gotten a snowman making kit from a neighbor so our snowman was awesome!
His head was off when we left for church on Sunday morning. Darn.
All day poor Ruthie's tummy was hurting. My rule is...unless you are exploding out one end or the other, you must go to church!...when we got home, she was doubling up in pain. We did a little research on Medmd and decided to just take her in. I took her at the peril of missing choir practice and being harassed! and was glad I did. The doc was concerned that she may be developing appendicitis. We are just watching her now. Her pain is still general. If it gets really intense and/or she has a fever, I have been told to just take her to the ER. So far the pain has subsided and only hits her every once in a while and isn't too bad. Sooo....
Daniel took the boys to grandma and grandpa's house to play and visit!
Oh! And my hair looked good!
Hope your week was awesome!
Remember Christmas is coming...the goose is getting fat!
Have a terrific week!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cute Christmas Giveaway!

You want something cute for Christmas?
Go HERE and enter!
You will not be disappointed!
Go HERE now!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Just A Thought.

As I sat on the table in the exam room covered only with a large paper towel waiting for my OB/GYN who I have been seeing for over 10 years now and who helped me get my cute boys into the world in one piece and who told me that if I had another baby Daniel's second wife would be raising my boys and who let another doctor deliver my first born while he jumped out of a helicopter with skis on his feet to celebrate his 50th birthday and who has told me that I will always have something to complain about when I come in and who shakes his head and snickers under his breath whenever he walks into a room with me sitting on the table with nothing but a large paper towel to cover me, it occured to me that he has never seen me with my clothes on.

Hmmmm....

Just a thought.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday.

This is what happened last night...

Daniel and I were in bed for the night. I had a sudden urge to kiss him. So I did. Well, I tried. But the blanket was over his face. So he moved it (quickly) and I really kissed him. Not just through the blanket. He said something about it being really late and he was half asleep and if he had known he wouldn't have taken melatonin. Whatever. I was just kissing him goodnight. So
he says, "talk dirty to me." Snort! Snicker! Oh my! So I did. This is my dirty talk...

"Hey baby...did you see how awfully scummfully filthy the laundry room floor was when you came in tonight?...(reach out and rub his elbow insides)...and if you think that's dirty, you should look at the toilets...I did wipe the outsides down with Clorox wipes, but the bowls!! Oh baby!...(snuggle up to his neck and breath on it)...and the walls in the family room...I may put off painting just a few more weeks so we can really enjoy the dirty...(kiss his ear)...I can't tell you how many times I've picked up used Q-tips from the bathroom floor...earwax...sexy!...(kiss his cheek and really get going)...now, let's talk about the garage..."

Yep. He fell asleep pretty fast.

And I need to put toilet bowl cleaner on my shopping list.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cute Quips

Yesterday after school, Ruthie was looking at her cookies from the cookie party Sunday night. She picked up this little heart cookie and said, "Mommy, take a picture of me and my cookie." So I did. Then she said, "Now you can put it on your blog!" So here it is.

Last night at dinner, Ruthie wanted seconds and when I put the food on her plate she said, "Thanks mom. You're a light saber."
This morning, Ruthie asked if she could watch Madeline. As I was putting it in, she said she wants to have an orphanage someday. She wants to have lots of babies who she will feed, and dress and play with. Then their mommies and daddies can come and get them. This is a drawing of what her orphanage will look like. It will have enough rooms for 6 babies, an office for her to do her orphanage work and a big play room. The lines going to each window are stairs that lead to the babies' rooms. The middle window is her office. I love the large flowers and the bright sun! Her orphanage will be a happy place!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Day In The Life.

Monday...Isaac was excited to get 30 minutes of Wii time for fulfilling a task at school. Yippee! Tuesday...My new frames came! Since Ruthie had to get glasses, I figured it was a good time to update mine. And our dad left town for the week!
Wednesday...Advent making day. The kids spelled their names with the dominoes.
Thursday...Our dad has been gone for 2 days now. Boo hoo. The kids made snowmen and volcanoes with the dough that I made more cinnamon rolls with. Yum.
Friday...Do you ever get to Friday and realize you've been wearing the same shirt, sweat shirt, jeans and slippers every day that week? Well, I was going to lunch with my friend Crissy, so at least I washed them Friday morning. Besides, I still needed to wear them again on Saturday. Daniel got home tonight! Yay!
Saturday..Ruthie's new glasses!!! Yay! Isn't she so cute?! Her glasses rock and she loves them. We also got a new Christmas tree and decorated.
Sunday...Abbie's Annual Christmas Cookie Party. That's Abbie with all the cousins. We had lots of sugar hyped fun!
Bring on the Christmas time cheer! Oh, and have a great week!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Smell? What Smell?

So last night when the kids and I got home from Old McDonald's, we could smell the yuck in the laundry room. Or kitchen. I'm just not sure... I have been searching for days!! I washed all the rags and kitchen towels. That helped. But then the smell came back. I always take garbage out and even searched the underbellies of the kitchen sink. Who knows? So today I remedied the problem. I baked!

You see these? I just whipped up a batch of yeast dough. Then put butter, sugar and cinnamon in each cup and then 3 little balls of dough in each cup. Then I put more butter, sugar and cinnamon on top. Then I baked them.
There was so much butter that it all overflowed into the oven. So I really can't smell the gross stuff anymore. When they came out, I put icing on top. Ruthie and her friend, Jonathon, thought they were yummers!! "You are a really good cook, mom!" was one of the comments.
Actually I just got this off of one of the things on my Google reader. Have you ever gone to Pioneer Woman? Oh...the chocolate sheet cake and now these, I love her.
This obviously wasn't my first. Or my second. But I won't say any more than that.
But I can't smell the grossness anymore. I may have to bake something every day.
But Daniel will be home tomorrow night. Then I'll put him to work.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bored?

I think I must be. All over my Google reader, I keep seeing Advent Calendars. Must be something about the beginning of December. So I thought, hmm, I could make that one! Really. Plus Daniel is out of town. I'm bored.

So I went to the basement and got some felt. And then I started just doing this... Then I started doing this...You know, sewing little pockets. Then I made all the 1s. They were the easiest. Except for the holly. Then, amazingly, I made all the other numbers. I just did tons of 0s and cut a little around them to make the 3s 6s 8s and 9s. So, you know. At least I know what they are. So I'm officially advented! Our 1 was getting "Night At The Museum 2" and watching it for movie night and 2 was going to McDonalds for dinner. I need to get some papers in the rest of this week. Then, because I have nosey kiddos, I will only be putting in the rest a few days at a time. That's called smart parenting! In case you were wondering.

Now I wish Daniel would come home so he can figure out what died in the laundry room!

Oh, and I need a dowel and ribbon so I can hang the thing!

Monday, November 30, 2009

JOY!

In our scripture study last night we read 2 Nephi 2:25. It reads, “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have JOY”. Simply stated, we are here to experience JOY.

I have been wracking my poor little old brain for some brilliance for the last day of National Adoption Month. There are soooo many more subjects to discuss. But none felt right. So I thought that the simplicity of JOY would do. I hope you will agree.

When our Heavenly Father's plan was presented to us in the Pre Mortal Life, we knew many things. We knew that we would have the potential to be just like our Heavenly Father. We knew we would have a body. We knew we would be exposed to sin. We knew we would have a Savior. We knew we would be able to choose. We were taught many things. We knew we could return to live with our Heavenly Father again.

But I wonder if we knew the challenges we would each personally face in this life. Did I know beforehand that I would face the challenges I have faced in my life? Did I know I would develop Diabetes and how it would effect my whole life? Did I know I would lose my brother while he was so young? Did I know that it would be so painful to just get my family here? Did I know how my heart would hurt so much?

I don't know. I do know that I accepted His plan. Just as each of you did. I know that I was sufficiently prepared in the Pre Mortal Life and that I was given a firm foundation in my younger years. I know that as I go through the trials I face, I am strengthened and that the end goal of returning to my Heavenly Father is that much more important to me.

So where does JOY come into play? Adam fell. We all know the story. He fell so that men might be. We would not have been able to participate in the plan if Adam and Eve hadn't partaken of the fruit. They did. Boy am I grateful! Men are that they might have JOY. JOY! Do you feel the power behind that word? Not just to survive. Not just to get through this life. Not just to be happy, even. We are here to have JOY.

JOY is associated with Christmas time. JOY to the world. JOY in the season. I think we get what JOY means. It's an intense or elated happiness. A source of great pleasure. To rejoice. Look around you. What do you see? A messy house? A mountain of dirty clothes? Dirty dishes in the sink? A stack of papers you must get through today? A list of phone calls to make? Your warm home? Your full kitchen cabinents? Your scriptures? A picture of the temple? A picture of Christ? The beauty outside your window? Your spouse? Your children? Your JOY?

JOY. Despite the challenges and trials I have faced and will continue to face in this life, I know who I am. I know that I chose to be here. I know that I have to work to get the best things in this life. I know it is all worth the pain and sacrifice. I know in whom I trust. As we get ready for the celebration of our Savior's birth, it is my hope that we will each remember to have JOY! Afterall, that's why we're here!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Day In The Life.

Who's ready to go back to school?? Ruthie is. The boys...not so much. But we're doing it anyway! Yay! Here's our last week!

Monday...We were invited to get H1N1 flu shots for FHE. So we did. The kids got to make "turkeys" with toothpicks and gumdrops. The kids also got to play a new game (to them) on the Wii. There were quite a few families there for the event. We got to go get ice cream cones after we got our shots.
Tuesday...We love to just sit and play dominoes or Uno at any given time. Ruthie and I got into a rousing game of Mexican Train Dominoes minus the trains. We fudge the rules sometimes. This was also the last day of school for the kids this week!
Wednesday...Making rolls for Thanksgiving! Mmmm. The kids and I went to lunch at McDonalds and rented Up. Cute cute cute movie. I was not prepared for the emotional ride at the beginning and loved the message!
Thursday...Thanksgiving with my family. We also celebrated the November birthdays, which included my baby girl. It was a wonderful day!
Friday...Actually, this was Saturday, but I know if I just keep that to myself, no one will know the difference! Daniel got the hubongo sized butternut squash from our garden (which was currently residing in food storage) and cooked it up. It was like eating warm cantelope. Hmm.
I took Ruthie to the eye doctor where we learned she has an astigmatism. We are waiting for her glasses to come at the end of this week! Boy, will she be cute in her purple glasses!
Saturday...This is one of the papers from my kids. It's from today's sharing time. Ruthie wrote "Der (dear) mom. I love you. Thank you for all you do." You have to start at the bottom and move up.
Sunday...And this is Isaac's paper. "Dear mom, Thank you for me! You make me food you clean my clothes you teach me the gospel and you are the best mom ever. Love, Isaac" The best is "thank you for me!" I'm glad he's grateful. He was a lot of work!
Hope your week was wonderful!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Joy...

First of all, none of this would even be possible without my Daniel. Without him, I wouldn't be who I am or have what I have!
I love you!
I love Isaac's smile. He has become more independant lately and I am really trying to be happy about it! He also has been doing more "stuff" to help his brother and sister.
Monday night we went to a neighbor's house for H1N1 flu shots for FHE. I know, a shot in the arm is no FHE activity! So Tuesday right before dinner, Sam asked if we could please have FHE tonight! He had a lesson and activity for us. How could I say no to that?
The other day I started whistling a Primary song and Ruthie started to sing it. I tried filming her without her knowing it, but all you could hear was the whistling. So I had her just sing it.
video
The original words where she seems to slow down are "to live and learn here in families" She says "to live and learn and remember" I think I like her version better.
God gave us families...Loving spouse, independant, helpful, wanting to have Family Home Evening, spontaneous singing families!
I am so grateful for my family and the power that will bind us together for eternity!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Red Thread.

Warning: Long!

A year after Ruthie's adoption, I got a phone call from a ward in a nearby town asking if Daniel and I would come and speak in their ward. At first I was a little weirded out. He didn't know us. He said that a woman in his ward told him that he had to get us to come and speak about our miracles and something about a spool of thread. It took me a minute. But then I realized what he was referring to. And after we spoke in his ward, we found out that this woman was a friend of a couple in our ward who told her about when we spoke about the Red Thread Connection and the miracles we had experienced. Seeing it's National Adoption Month, I thought I'd share that talk with you. My original talk will be just normal red type. And any thoughts I'd like to add will be in () with black type.

We are here to talk about something very important to us. Adoption. And more specifically, International Adoption. Our boys are ours through the miracle of biology and our daughter is ours through the miracle of adoption.

There is an ancient Chinese belief that says...”An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break.” It's really more than just a nice saying. In our experience it is very apparent that there is a RED THREAD connection. It is explained with more familiarity in Doctrine & Covenants 132:46 “And verily, verily, I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens...” The RED THREAD connection is an ETERNAL CONNECTION.

Our Eternal Connection didn't just start when we got married in the temple or decided to adopt. It's Eternal, it has no beginning and no end.

When I was 12, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I learned very quickly that my chances of having a large family biologically were slim. I knew I would need to be fine with a much smaller family when that time came.

When I was 18, I was living and working in Southern California. One night I was watching a late night news program about Romanian orphanages. It showed the conditions of the orphanages and talked about the reasons the children had been abandoned. They followed a few American couples who were going over to adopt. As I watched that program, I felt the tug of the Red Thread. I knew that one day I wanted to adopt internationally.

10 years later the Red Thread connection brought Daniel and me together. (finally!) The night we got engaged, we talked about a future family. I mentioned to Daniel that I wanted to adopt. He said let's do it. So we got married. We knew that biological children and adopted children were part of our Red Thread and we were ready to do both to get our family here.

After we got married, I was given medical clearance to have a baby, and within a couple of months I was expecting Isaac. Pregnancy is a wonderful thing! But it just didn't get along with me. Both of my pregnancies, 2 years apart, were very much the same. I had hyperemisis and bed rest. This was due in part to my Diabetes. (But not all of it was the Diabetes. My body just does not like being pregnant) Both pregnancies threatened my life and the threat was greater the second time. The Red Thread connection brought us our 2 healthy boys and we knew that the biological thread was complete.

A few months after Sam's first birthday, the Red Thread started tugging at our hearts and we knew it was time to start getting ready for adoption. Now, every time we talked to people about adoption, the same country would come up. We had already started leaning toward that country, but the way that it came up from other people when we talked about adoption was uncanny. With research, prayer, fasting and temple visits, we knew that this country was where we would get the rest of our family.

We soon found an agency and in July of 2003 we began what is called in the adoption world, “The Paper Chase”. There is literally a mountain of paperwork involved in adoption.

By Fall of 2003 we were paper ready for the INS. To adopt a child internationally, you need INS approval to bring the child into the US. There are a lot of legalities to conform to with international adoption. We knew we had a long wait ahead of us for the approval.

While we were waiting, we were informed by our agency that the country we were going to was looking at closing most, if not all, of it's adoption programs. They were hoping to be able to keep at least a few agencies licensed who had a good adoption record. (Our agency was one that had a perfect track record in that country and we were pretty sure that we would still be able to have our adoption facilitated by our agency) Many agencies and individuals had been going about adoption by illegal means. By the end of December 2003, the country had completely shut down ALL adoption programs. We were at a dead end.

We saw 3 options at that point:
1.Leave our agency and find someone who would get our baby from that country illegally. Not an option for us. (the man who spoke after us that day in our own ward said that he learned something new everyday, including finding out that a very nice person will seriously think about breaking the law)
2.This is Heavenly Father's way of telling us that our earthly family was complete. Well, we still felt the Red Thread tugging at our hearts.
3.Find another country. Our second country choice had just had a revolt within it's borders and the government had collapsed. Sooo.....
The Red Thread was continuing to tug at us. But we were at a dead end. We didn't know where to go or what to do.

One day, not long after getting word, I was having a melt down. (Hey, that sounds familiar. My melt downs must be eternally connected to adoption) Daniel came and comforted me by saying, “Many times the Lord will lead us to a dead end to get us to something better. Maybe the baby wasn't here yet. Maybe we aren't ready yet. We have done all the right things to know what to do and where to go. The Lord will lead us to the right place. It's just not the right time.”

We knew we needed to keep going. Daniel called our agency and talked to the director about what our options were. I could only hear Daniel's end of the conversation. And I didn't like what I was hearing. China. You mean he wants us to get our baby from a communist country?! I was NOT happy. But, of course, we did the usual. We prayed, we fasted, we researched, we went to the temple. I wasn't feeling anything. Daniel kept asking me what I wanted to do. One night while getting ready for bed, I said, “Okay, let's do China. If it's another dead end, we'll deal with it.” Daniel said, “Finally!” (It took a long time for me to be comfortable with this decision. I think until after our paperwork went to China)

We called our agency and got the information on what paperwork we needed to do. We got our INS approval rather quickly, too! Our paperwork got to China in June 2004. At the time, the “wait” was 7 months. (If only....whimper) As we waited, the wait went down to 6 months.

But 5 ½ months later, (this was the shortest the wait for China ever got. After we got our referral, the wait started to lengthen...) December 2004, we received our referral. It had beautiful pictures, a sketchy medical report and an inaccurate developmental record. She was in foster care through her Social Welfare Institute in her province. She was born November 5, 2003 and was 13 months old. She was born the same time our original country's adoption programs were shutting down. (Obviously the Lord knew where she was and we were going to the wrong place initially) Her name was --Li Qiu. Her surname (which I won't put here, along with other identifying info) was for the SWI, her first and second name were translated to Autumn Thunderclap. We knew she was ours because we already had our Spring Thunderclaps! Next we are hoping for a Light Summer Breeze or at the most a Light Rain. (My mom enjoys telling me that nurture is everything and that I should never think I will have a Light Anything when it comes to a baby. Of course, she's being funny...) There was a paper on which they wanted us to check one of two boxes. We checked the ACCEPT box and sent that back to China so we could wait for our Travel Approval and Consulate appointment.

By the middle of February of 2005, we had our Travel Approval in hand and our boys safely at grandma and grandpa's house and we were on a plane headed for Beijing. We spent a quick day touring the important cultural sites of the land of our daughter's birth...the Great Wall, Tienanmen Square and the Forbidden City.

The following day we flew to the capital of our daughter's province. We had to wait another day....blah! And then on February 16, 2005, we packed a diaper bag and boarded the bus with 7 other couples and went to the Civil Affairs office where we finally, one by one, had our babies brought into us.

They handed Ruthann LiQiu to me and we were both crying...me-due to sheer joy to finally have my daughter in my arms, and Ruthann-due to sheer terror going to someone who looked, smelled and sounded so different from anything she had ever heard or seen in her short 15 months of life. We finally had her in our arms. The Red Thread connected! She was legally ours that day.

5 days later we traveled to the Guangdong province to the city of Guangzhou, to await our appointment at the US Consulate and to receive her VISA.

We flew home just a couple of days later and Ruthann became a US citizen as soon as we touched down on US soil. We got our boys and were amazed at how the Red Thread had connected us to a perfect addition to our family from the other side of the world. All 3 kids took to each other and we were officially a family of 5.

Now all we needed was to get to the temple for the crowning event! On April 9, 2005, all 5 of us entered the temple to have Ruthann sealed to us. In the sealing room, with our boys sitting next to the altar, Daniel and I knelt across from each other once again and Ruthann was sealed to us “As If” she were born in the covenant. She was Eternally ours! And she had access to ALL the blessings our boys do. The Red Thread connection was finally complete. In the temple that day, with our 3 children, we felt a very real connection to Eternity and the Celestial Kingdom. And that's what this is all about. Being with those we love the most. For Eternity.

The Red Thread has started tugging at our hearts again and in January (2006) we began the paper chase for our little Sarajune. I know the Red Thread that connected us to Ruthann will again connect us to our next baby. Though the thread may stretch and tangle, just as it did in our journey to Ruthann, I know in the end we will be blessed with our OUR baby.

When you look closely at our family you will see a trans racial family. That's okay, because we are. But if you look even closer, you will see that we are a HAPPY family. We are a happy family because we are an ETERNAL FAMILY with access to ALL that our Heavenly Father has.

I am forever in debt to the woman who gave my daughter life and placed her in a public place early the next morning to be found, and 15 months later to be placed in my arms. I look forward to the eternities when I can meet her, put my arms around her and thank her for her sacrifice.


Whew! As I read through this yesterday, I was again reminded of the power of the priesthood and the sealing power that connects us as eternal families. That Red Thread has been twisting and turning and going in directions we never dreamed of. But it is taking us in the right direction. Our family will be complete here on earth and for eternity. We just have to wait for the Red Thread, or the Eternal Connection, to join us together! Finally!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Make A Meal.

Did somebody say Cookies? No? Well, now that somebody did, let's talk cookies. My cookies.
Mmmm...
Jennie's Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies
In a mixing bowl put 1 cup shortening, 1/2 cup white sugar and 3/4 cup brown sugar.
Beat until light and fluffy.
Mix together 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp HOT water, pour it in the mixing bowl.
Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda and 2 1/4 cups of flour.
And since 1/2 a bag of chocolate chips leaves 1/2 a bag of chocolate chips to die a lonely death, put the whole bag of chips in!!
You won't be disappointed.
Put spoon sized scoops on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for about 9-10 minutes.
And you thought there was something extra special that went in!
I personally think it's the 1/2 tsp of hot tap water that makes them great.
Enjoy!!