Monday, March 29, 2010

Just another Manic Monday.....

So, I didn't do very good at blogging last week. Mainly because I had three days to organize the bunny/Easter portraits (which went GREAT, by the way!). So now it is Monday, and it's time for...drumroll, please....Mommy's Manic Monday!

What you see above is not a house wrecked by a tornado, hurricane, or other natural disaster. It is, in fact, the desk that I am sitting at as I type this post. The rest of my house surprisingly looks pretty decent (for today...during naptime), but my office is a WRECK. And walking down the stairs a few minutes this rubble made me chuckle, so I decided it was "blog worthy". Let's see....where to start. Well, I have been editing the before mentioned Easter portraits, so I have been spending quite a bit of time at the desk. You see the tower of blank cds, the cd sleeves, the labels. There is a stack of ca$h in there somewhere that is my profit from the portrait sessions that is due to go to the bank tomorrow. My video camera is in there from where I actually got to capture 2 minutes of Houston's life on video last week. Poor kid. I have hours upon hours of video of the first two kids. And then you may notice the 7 and a half pairs of shoes lined up on the desk. They are there to remind me to post them on Ebay, as Houston has outgrown them. I will do that once (and IF) I ever find the other half of that one pair. And, oh yes, the hanger hanging from the desk. That is courtesy of Hannah who I told to go hang it in her closet this morning. I am assuming this is as far as she got.

This room will eventually get cleaned. And someday, the rest of my house will STAY spic-n-span. But I imagine that day is a long way off. An older mommy friend of mine gave me some wise words, "My kids are grown so now my house clean. But it sure is quiet."

Gotta go. Hootie decided to throw all three of his pacies out of his crib, and is cutting his nap short. All I hear is "Mammmammmammaaa". Gosh, I love that sound. Yes, cleaning the desk will have to wait.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Easter portraits!!!

I am going to do some Easter portrait sessions this weekend. I have some precious, live bunnies that will look so sweet with your little ones! I will be doing these at Hazel Path Historic Mansion in Hendersonville (across from Wendy's on Main Street) on Friday and Saturday (26th and 27th) mornings from 10am to noon. Sessions will last about 5 to 1o minutes, no appointment necessary. I will contact you next week to pick up your cd of 8 to 10 edited images. You will have all rights to the images, and can reproduce them as you please. Cost is $20 per family. Hope to see you there!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Two months waiting!!!!

Well, as of today we have officially been on WACAP's waiting list for two months. The agency gives you an estimation of 10 months you will wait for your referral (or information/picture of your child). They say this to everyone whether you are adopting a newborn, older child, boy or girl. Ten months is their answer. Girls take longer to adopt from there. However, we are requesting a little girl 9 months to 3 years, and we recently were told that there's hardly anyone waiting on the list for over 24 months. So, we will see. When people ask "When?", my standard answer is "November or sooner". But, we have two months under our belt already!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Big news from Ethiopia and time for a YARD SALE!!!

So as of last week, our adoption process has potentially changed. The adoption "world" was a bit shocked last week when news broke that Ethiopia has become a "two trip adoption country".

So here is what that means:

*Before last week: When the time comes for us to receive a referral (November or sooner, is what we have been told) we would review the information, photos, medical info about a child (MACY!) and then accept or decline the referral. We then sign over our Power of Attorney to the WACAP (our agency) representative in Addis, Ethiopia. That person then goes to court on our behalf and then Macy legally becomes a Humphrey. This all happens before we have actually ever laid hands on her. Then the WACAP people book an embassy appointment for us, and we travel to Addis, pick up Macy, go to our embassy appointment, and fly home. Easy as that.

*Now: We will accept our referral, and then be required to travel to Addis to visit with Macy for several days, attend court, fly home WITHOUT OUR BABY, wait for the embassy appointment to be scheduled, then fly back in 6 to 8 weeks for the embassy appointment and to bring Miss Macy Humphrey home.

"Why", you may ask, is this change happening? Apparently some not-so-ethical agencies (NOT ours) have been matching parents with children while providing false information. Once they pass court and travel to pick up their child, they discover the child is younger/older than what they were told, or has some kind of disability that they were not aware of. The parents are then refusing to take the child back home with them, and this of course, is hard on everyone involved.

So, this could be a good thing for one reason:

We will get to see Macy before she becomes our child. However, because we have a really good agency, we weren't really worried about any "surprises".

This totally stinks for several reasons:

1) MONEY! A second trip is going to cost us up to another $5,000. And unless I find a mysterious orchard of money trees, I just don't know where that money is going to come from. But God isn't worried with such trivial things such as money. He WILL provide, as He always does, so I am not going to stress about it. If he can provide the initial $18,000 to $25,000, then He can surely send another 5 grand our way.

2) I am going to leave my other three kiddos at home for another week. This is honestly stressing me out a lot more than the money is. When we traveled last year on a business trip without Aidan and Hannah, I just about had a panic attack on the plane. I DO NOT like traveling without my children. Heck, I don't even like driving on the interstate downtown without them. It just stresses me out knowing that something could happen and me not be with them. But luckily they have a WONDERFUL Nana who is willing to keep them for us as we travel to Africa. Another option is that only one parent has to travel for the second trip. I could go, and Jason stay home with the kids. But I just don't see him being okay with the mother of his children traveling half way across the world without him. (Or him staying here to hold down the fort with 3 kids - ha ha!) We will see.

3) When we travel the first time, we are then going to have to LEAVE Macy behind to come home. The thought of this hurts my heart. Here she has either been abandoned or relinquished by her biological family, been living in an orphanage, and then her new Mommy and Daddy are going to walk out the door and not come back for a couple of months. How totally confusing and heartbreaking for a child! Ugh! I don't even want to think about it. (And I am probably going to need some kind of drugs because I will be pretty emotional having to leave her there after spending a whole week with her in my arms.)

So here's the deal. The adoption folks in Ethiopia are trying to reverse this new law, and to convince the Ethiopian government that the country should stay a "one trip" adoption country. They understand that requiring two trips will keep a lot of potential adoptive parents from choosing to adopt from their country. (Only one trip is a BIG reason why we chose Ethiopia!) There are nearly FIVE MILLION ORPHANS in Ethiopia. These kids need homes! ASAP!!! Making it harder on families to adopt them is not going to be a good thing! All of these things are what keeps running through my head. BUT - my heart is reminding me that this change in procedure did not take God by surprise. He knew that we were going to decide to adopt last August, and He KNEW that we were going to hit some bumps in the road. He's in control, and it will all work out. And like I told Jason, if Aidan, Hannah, or Houston were stranded somewhere on the other side of the world, we would take as many trips as it took to get them home to us. And we will do the same with Macy. And if changing Ethiopia to a "two visit country" is going to make some agencies have to become more ethical and follow the proper procedures when matching orphans with their forever families, then I am all for it!


So, since may be needing an extra $5,000 to travel twice, we need to raise some more money! Before we heard this news, we hadn't raised enough $ to complete the adoption and travel once, much less twice! I am hoping for another AWESOME turnout for our spring yard sale. But WE NEED YOUR STUFF!!!!! If you are spring cleaning, give us a call and we will come haul away your junk. If you aren't spring cleaning - then start! We have already gotten some GREAT contributions, but we need more!

WHEN: Friday and Saturday, April 23rd and 24th, 8am to Noon

WHERE: My Mom's house in Riverchase Subdivision (near Jack Anderson Elementary)

WHAT YOU CAN DO: donate stuff, bake stuff for the Bake Sale (this was a HUGE money-maker last time, I couldn't believe it!), and COME SHOP!!!

So mark your calendars! And PLEASE let me know if there is anything you can bake for the sale, or if you have anything at all to contribute to the yard sale! Thanks!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Manic Monday - My Strong Willed Child

"Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice", that's what little girls are supposed to be made of, right? Well, my Hannah just didn't get the memo about that. Okay, I take that back...she REALLY is precious most of the time, but when she is's bad for everyone. And it isn't that she is an ugly, evil, hurtful child. She is just as stubborn as, stubborn as her Daddy. (Seriously.) When that child makes up her mind about something, or she just really doesn't want to do something, she just WON'T.

My Hannah has been strong willed since day one. She came bursting into this world a full two months early. No matter what drugs they gave me or what medical preventions the doctors took, Hannah was ready to show them who was boss. And she did. After a very fast, painful, scary labor (with no epidural, mind you - trust me, I begged for one - the doctors said I couldn't have one because they were trying to stop the labor), Hannah Lee made her grand appearance on December 11, 2006. Since she was so premature, I had to reluctantly leave her at the hospital knowing that the doctors expected her to stay for another 6 to 8 weeks. That little stinker came home in 16 days!

Looking back, I can now see signs of how determined she was even in the hospital. Since she was so little, the neonatologist ordered for her to be tube fed through a tiny tube leading through her nose down into her stomach. Hannah HATED that thing in her nose, and would yank it out every chance she got (which would totally gross me out). The nurse would then have to carefully run the tube back down her nose into her stomach (gross! gross! gross!). Well, during one of my visits the nurse saw how it made me want to gag with her trying to guide that thing to Hannah's stomach while this little baby fought her with all of her 5 lb. might, so the nurse said she would do it after I left. And then she forgot! So when the shift change came, the next nurse just made a bottle and "Wa La!", the baby could now bottle feed. And Miss Hannah Lee Humphrey had won her battle. No more tube feeding for her!

Hannah was a perfect, precious baby until about a month before she turned three (this past December). And then something happened. I am not sure what it was, but my precious, placid little girl is now a total force to be reckoned with. (My mom calls it "Spunky", I call it "Strong Willed".) No amount of bribery or threatening or even spanking can get this child to do what she doesn't want to do. When her mind is made up - that is it. So we have had a battle or two (or three or four) every day now for the past four months. In the end, I WILL win. But until then, that little girl isn't going down without a fight.

Please don't get me wrong. My little girl is one of the three best things that has ever happened to me. (Remember....I have two other kiddos.) I wouldn't trade her for the world - even for a more compliant version of her. God gave her to me the way she is for a reason. Plus, as I keep telling Jason, if this strong willed attitude keeps up, we don't ever have to worry about anyone bossing her around. Ohhhh.....and God help her husband.

Happy Monday to you all! Oh, and by the way, I HIGHLY recommend Dr. James Dobson's book "The Strong Willed Child". I think he must have met my Hannah.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Thank you, Blue Bunny.

As child I always loved the story of the Velveteen Rabbit. Our librarian, Mrs. Flatt, would read us the book, and on super-special occasions we would even get to watch the low quality, animated movie of the story. I thought the fact that the main character had a stuffed animal that he loved so much was just sweet. I never had a "lovey", security item, or favorite toy growing up. Sure, I had fourteen Cabbage Patch dolls, every My Little Pony (along with their stable, of course!) and quite a litter of Pound Puppies. But never just one item that I couldn't live without. I never really thought I missed out on not having a favorite item, and surely wasn't planning on my children having such a security item. But then came along Aidan. And along came his "blue bunny".

I wish I could remember where "blue bunny" came from. I am pretty sure I received him at a baby shower, but I have looked back at my gift lists and can't figure out who bought this simple, precious item. Blue Bunny lived in a toy basket for Aidan's first six months of life. The toy basket was more for decoration, because honestly, Aidan wasn't doing much more than eating, sleeping and cryyyyying. Then as I started to wean my blue-eyed boy, I realized he was going to have to have something else to "hang onto" other than me during a feeding. You see, I was his "lovey". So during a late night feeding I reached toward the toy basket for anything soft I could grab, and out came Blue Bunny. And he has been one of the most treasured possessions in the Humphrey house ever since.

Aidan has slept with Blue Bunny every single night and nap for the past four years. Oh, except for the one night when he was discovered missing and we realized he was locked in First Baptist Church Hendersonville where Aidan attended Mothers Day Out. Needless to say, it was a long night and I was at the church when the doors were unlocked the next morning. But other than that one time, he has been clutched in Aidan's chubby little hand during all of his sweet little baby dreams.

Blue Bunny is definitely showing his age. His once soft bright white terrycloth fabric is now a very dingy, coarse color of gray. His baby blue satin lining is frayed and pulled from being washed so many times. And his ears...ohhh, his ears. Well, for Aidan's first year of life he carried Blue Bunny around with his satin ears tucked in his rather drooly mouth. And then, and even now, he sleeps rubbing Bunny's left ear. So Blue Bunny is in bad shape, and not at all replaceable. (Trust me. When Aidan first became so attached to Bunny, I realized I needed a Back-up Bunny. My sister-in-law had the same exact one for her little boy. I tried buy his - no go. I then searched Ebay. SURE - they were on there - but they had them priced for almost $200. YES - you read that right! $200!!! This is a Gerber lovey sold at Babies' R Us - nothing fancy! Apparently it was a popular lovey, and those sellers knew it!)

So Jason and I guard Blue Bunny with our lives. Silly, I know, but we cherish our peaceful sleep at nights, and cherish the sweet little boy cuddling that bunny even more. We wonder how long Aidan is going to insist on toting this bunny around. (Not that I am in any hurry for him to stop - I think it's pretty stinkin' sweet.) But I know that someday Blue Bunny is going to get tossed aside just as the Velveteen Rabbit was. And when he does, I will scoop him up and place him in his new home - in a shadowbox frame on the wall where he can safely be treasured and seen by all. Because secretly, I think I love Blue Bunny just as much as Aidan does.