Friday, March 11, 2011

Last Post

Yes, this last post is just a reminder that we have now moved over to the new blog at:

Won't you join us over there and continue to follow along our journey? If you still need the password, please email me at

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I just cannot believe it

Everyday we are getting closer. It feels real, but sort of not. I have lived and breathed adoption for 2 years now. It just seems weird that it's actually coming close to happening to us. I have watched it happen so many times to other folks, prayed with them, cried with them. And I knew *one day* it would happen to us.

Someone pinch me. Is it possible I may be meeting my son this time next month? I just don't have anything to compare to what I am feeling right now. Happy, joyful, scared, anxious, fearful, excited. My husband kept asking how excited I was as he walks around with a permagrin on his face these last couple of days. I am very excited, but it just doesn't feel real yet. I lay awake at night and think of him always. I cannot remember now who said it, but someone compared their kiddo to a superstar, like you've been staring at these pictures and all of this stuff for months, what do you do when you finally meet them? I mean, what would Reece do if she met Justin Bie*er? Sorry, I'm all over the place today and I have no idea how to put this all in words!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Yup, your reading the right blog, EP Approval!!!!

On that day when I thought I could not bear the "no news" wait anymore. When I was literally outside sweeping leaves with a broom to keep myself busy (no kidding, ask my husband who was watching me like I was crazy outside our living room window), we finally get the email we've been praying so hard for....EP APPROVAL!!!

So your thinking, great, now what? Well more waiting of course! You didn't think it would be that quick did you?! Here is the breakdown of what still needs to happen:

Embassy Appearance: Where he will get his adorable visa photo done. Could happen this week, but by next week for sure.

Visa Physical: This is done at an outside hospital. They do these in batches every week. At the beginning of the year these were being done very quickly, but lately it's taken some groups a month to get an appointment. Let's pray that we get an appointment before a month! Our agency seems to think 3 weeks at the most for this. I hope she's her normal pessimestic self :-) She will let us know as soon as we get our appointment and I will pass along that good news!

Visa Interview: For the life of me I cannot imagine what kind of interview they do for a one year old. I think it's just something that needs to be done in person to make sure everything is in order. This is something they track at USCIS, so I hope they are getting ready for my weekly phone calls to see if this has happened yet :-)

Once this is all together, then we will get the all important travel call!! We will then have 10 days to book our travel and hotel and get our butts in gear to go get our son (not that I haven't been packed up since February)! Our agency is tellling us 4-5 weeks until travel call. I'm continuing to pray for travel call this month, but I am just excited that I can finally say with confidence that I will see my son next month! :-)

Also, just another reminder that I will be no longer posting to this blog after Friday. If you want to continue along our journey, please move over to:

All of our posts will be password protected, so please email me or leave a comment if you would like the password to follow along!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

When I get down

I get really down. It's no mystery that this adoption has definitely taken it's toll on my mood. I checked my email last night and was completely trying to hold my screams down when I saw an email from our agency. "This is it! This is the EP approval email we have been waiting for so long! Asher is on his way to coming home!" I collected myself enough to manage to click the email.

Imagine the drop in my soul when I realize they are telling me that our fingerprints expire on April 11th (do not even get me started on why fingerprints expire) and they are suggesting that we get these redone because we may not be traveling by then. Not traveling by April 11th. I just read those words over and over again. And I cried. Again. I cannot fathom not having our travel call by April 11th. I have no idea what is taking so long with this batch of EP's we are in. We had our hopes so high for traveling in March and realistically that is probably not going to happen. I am trying to be positive. Reading my scripture for support. Putting on my smiley face. It's all about being graceful in the wait. Understanding that it WILL happen. That I have no control over this. But then I have to remind myself that it's ok to be sad and disappointed about it. It doesn't mean that I don't believe any less. It doesn't mean that I am throwing a pity party for myself. I don't have to beat myself up for being sad. It's ok.

So, I am letting myself feel this disappointment so that I can just move on. Point blank, this sucks. Yes, I am thankful that Asher is being taken care of. Yes, I am thankful for how far we've come. Yes, I know that there is an end in sight. But today, I'm just morning my boy. It physically hurts that we are not together (migraine from hell last night).

Just so you know, I'm feeling better today and praying for a more positive week next week. I was told 5 weeks at the most for EP approval and Monday will be 5 weeks of waiting for us. It's got to happen next week. I'm taking hope in that.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Price drop!!

As ladies, don't we just love those two words? No seriously. I do. Things have changed a lot around here the last few years, and for the better I might add in the finance department. We started our family very young (as in I graduated from college almost 5 months preggers with Kyleigh), so we never really had a "nest" built up you wouldn't say. Tack on 3 different student loans, car payment, mortgage, credit cards, groceries, utilities, etc. and it was a recipe for disaster. We spent a couple of really hard years just floating through all of it. But, we made it through and live to tell the tale. Once I got into a decent paying job, things seemed to level out a bit, but it doesn't mean we were any better really with being responsible with our money, we just had more of it to spend. Again, we would put things on our credit card or eat out just because or I would feel the need to "treat" myself to that pedicure every week or so. When I started working from home, things changed a bit and seriously took a turn when I started toying with the idea of quitting my job and staying at home.

I took out my highlighter one month and just went through and organized our expenses for a month and I couldn't believe how much we spent on just eating out alone. Yes, I worked late a lot and was so overwhelmed at that time with everything going on and eating out was SO much easier, but still. You just get a bad feeling in the pit of your stomach when you sit and break things out like that. It's so easy with debit cards to not really see where your money is going until you get that monthly statement. A change was going to have to be in order if I was seriously considering quitting my job and staying at home. We had already begun a year ago to only use our credit card for online purchases or emergencies and cut up any other ones we still had. We cut out eating lunches out. Cut out eating dinners out 3-4 nights a week. Cut out shopping at the mall just because and really started looking for deals.

It started out as a tool to see if our family could afford one income, but it became so much more. I just couldn't believe how much money we wasted before we started using coupons and shopping smarter. I swear I would not be able to sleep at night if we spent money like we did back then! I feel guilty for buying anything without a coupon now! Of course you can take it too far and get obsessed with couponing (there are some crazy folks out there online!), but for the most part, we have saved an incredible amount of money on everything from groceries to clothes to toiletries and diapers. In fact, I've not paid full price for any pack of diapers we have for Asher and after over 18 months of buying diapers, we are pretty stocked up!

I wanted to share a few tools I use with everyone. Below are just a few sites that I check out for coupons and deals. Depending upon what stores are in your area, you might find a site that works for you! We also get a Sunday paper and have signed up for several coupon sites (groupon, etc.) which lets us get deals for half price! Hope you guys enjoy!!!

I have signed up for email deals on the following sites:

If you have a favorite restaurant or clothing store, sign up for their emails. I regularly get coupons for Old Navy, Gap, Children's Place, Kohl's and restaurants like Friday's, Quiznos, Ruby Tuesdays, etc. I want to say at least once a week I get a coupon from each of these places!

I also do some online survey taking. You are in no way going to get rich from this, but the points sure come in handy around Christmas....and when you have to re-buy all of your baby stuff years later! We haven't paid full price for any baby items we had to buy for Asher! I rack up the points from survey taking and cash them in for gift cards for Amazon, etc. Several Christmas presents were bought this way this past Christmas and I'm hoping between these and the twice a year toy mark down at Target (look for this in January and marked down 30-75% off!!), our Christmas will be paid for in full and at half price :-)

So pretty much now we either buy it on sale, with coupon, on sale with coupon (which we LOVE) or we just don't buy it at all. I've learned to be patient and wait things out (oh the patience I've had to learn these last couple of years!). Hope these sites help some of you guys out and happy deal hunting! I know my coupons for Old Navy are about to be used to get some much needed Spring clothing around here :-)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

An ongoing reminder

So I am incredibly excited to see some warm weather this way. I am one of those folks that their mood is affected by the weather and just this weekend has made the biggest difference to be out in the sunshine. It brings a much needed smile to my face. I mean, I smile all of the time...and I have plenty to smile about.

I have two beautiful daughters to call my own, a seriously wonderful husband, shelter and plenty of food, great friends and family. Our family is healthy and all of our needs are met. The only thing missing now is our son. I smile everyday because I feel so thankful and sometimes overwhelmed by all of it.

It's taken me a lot to understand that it's OK for me to be happy and to let myself feel joy. Sometimes I would feel guilty and sorrowful about other folk's situations and not allow myself to feel happy or sometimes I would let old ghosts from the past haunt how I felt about things. And the's so much easier than I thought it would be to really focus on the negative (meaning we still don't have Asher home and have absolutely no answer or information as to when that might happen) than to remember all of the positives of this.

I've learned a lot of lessons and sadly I'm so stubborn I've learned most of them the hard way. As much as this hurts everyday to not have my son home, I'm ultimately thankful for the wait. At some point, I quit putting on my "poker face" of everything being OK and realized that it really was. All of this wait is for a purpose. Maybe mine, maybe Asher's, maybe someone else's. But either way, I know I've learned so much about how my mental outlook affects my life, about how I depend on my husband and my Savior for support, about how I portray my situation to others.

I feel like I've posted on this so many times, but this is a process if I'm being honest here. I've learned adoption is and just being a Christian is. I do not wake up every morning always with unfailing confidence. I continue to make mistakes even when I am trying my best. I need constant reminders that I do not need to depend (or stalk!) information or updates from others or be anxious about how long things are taking. I cannot worry about how or why things have slowed down. Worrying gets me nowhere. What I can do is to remind myself that even though I have no information and I feel completely out of control here, that is OK. It's all being taken care of. The only thing I need to do is be still and wait and have patience in the good things that are in store. I need to push out those old feelings of anxiety, fear, stress. I need to replace them with joyful expectation and faith. I need to get off of the Holt boards and go play in the dirt with my kids. I need to let it go and have real peace with it. I really needed this reminder after last week and I continue to pray for all of my adoption buddies that are waiting on referrals, I-600 approvals, EP approvals and travel calls. I hope we all see movement this week, but if not, that we find peace in whatever comes.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I am going private in the next two weeks...

We have come so far in this adoption journey and I want to be able to share pictures and updates, so in two weeks on March 11th I will release a new blog. Everyone will be able to access the blog, but you will need our password to view the posts as they will be protected. I have left information such as Asher's timeline and our basic family information for everyone to see as I found viewing other blogs during this adoption process has been incredibly helpful. It's bittersweet to make everything private, but I know we need to protect Asher's privacy until he is an official US citizen!

The reason I am posting this now is I am going to compile a list of folks and their email addresses so I can send you the new blog address and password to view. I have made so many great friends through this process along with so many of my already wonderful friends and I hope that you all will continue to follow us along this journey!

On adoption progress note...I wish I had EP approval news to share, but I don't. It's been a really disappointing week between Asher's birthday and no EP approval, but we are staying strong in knowing that it's all in God's hands and we will be united with our son soon!!