"No I didn't give you the gift of life, but life gave me the gift of you!"

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My Kids



My little man, really not so little, Diesel (on the left) and my momma dog, Rylee (on the right.) Diesel just turned 1 and Rylee is 9. Cute hu!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Designer Christy at Work



This past weekend, I drove down to Iowa to see my sister and my boys. Saturday, Becky, my older sister (had to throw that in since today is her 34th birthday, and I drove to Sioux City and went material shopping at a sweet little quilting shop. My sister is making my daughter a quilt. :) Before our shopping excursion, I was set on light pink, more of a hot pink, white and chocolate brown......but we came across the sweetest, somewhat retro mod material and we both fell in love. Beck fell in love for me, this is not her personal style, but she can appreciate my off the wall, 70's mod style. You can kindof see 4 of the materials that we chose for the quilt, they are pinned to the pink changing table cushion, and the 5th material will be a sweet soft pink Chenille, the Chenille will be used for every other square in the quilt and the other materials will be randomly placed throughout the rest of the quilt. :) While in Iowa, my sister also gave me her glider rocker for the nursery. :) So today, I ran to the material store in search for a fun material to re-upholster the glider cushions with..............and I found a super fun one! My plan is to paint out the glider white and then re-cover the cushions with this super fun striped material. Above is the 'before' glider and my inspiration materials & colors. I am so excited to see how my daughter's nursery turns out....no worries, I will post pictures. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Just when you think that you've got it

Seriously, today I am way more confused than I was just yesterday. Here are the options when adopting from Kaz:

One trip, 2 trips or in some regions, now 3 trips

Traveling with a Referral or Traveling-to-Select

Aqtobe, Astana, Semey, Taraz, Esik, Karakastek or Shymkent

At the beginning of this journey, I grew comfortable with the idea of traveling-to-select and I was sure that I would go for the 2-trip option......and then I started to read attachment books, and I started leaning towards the longer one trip option as I worried about leaving my daughter once we met, I didn't want for her to feel abandoned once again.........and then I talked w/ a couple other adoptive moms who assured me that my baby is in great hands in her orphanage, that is all that she knows & the caregivers love those babies, so the 2 trip option is feeling a bit more comfortable again. With the two trips, I could come home and prepare the house, her nursery, have a shower and travel back to pick her up with my mom and my sister which would be great! It would also give me a couple weeks in-between my first and second trip to attend to work. But then what if I leave and something happens in the region in-between trips and I am not able to make it back to her for quite some time? If I had been there, would I have been able to work through the issue had I been in-country?

Regions: I was leaning towards Esik or Karakastek as they are just outside of Almaty, but I just found out that they are currently 3-trip regions. Yikes! How could you do that? That may add another $4,000 to my trip. But then are all adoptive parents thinking this same thing thus avoiding these regions? Are there going to then be several healthy babies in these 2 regions versus less in those regions that are easier to adopt from? Ugh! And some of the regions are more open to referrals and others are absolutely not, but that is a very complicated topic that we will leave alone. (which adds a whole nother dynamic to my thinking)

So far, I have made up an Excel spreadsheet comparing all regions, one trip versus two trip options, travel in-country versus not, costs per day in each region (as they do vary from region to region) etc. and the costs range by nearly $6,000 depending on region and length of trips. Semey seems to be the most logical choice, but I have health concerns with this region thus I need to continue on with my research.

What I am learning is that there is no way to 'figure out the right answers,' instead, I can only educate myself and take all of the information in, from here it may just be left to chance?????

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Too Cute not to Post


Check out the sweet giraffe rattle & the little stuffed giraffe. The stuffed giraffe has a beanbag belly with a bell that jingles & crinkle paper in his hoofs. Cute!!!!

Perfect Stroller

Today my girlfriend Marla and I went shopping for the baby and yes, I bought more clothes. Marla insisted that I buy a couple sweet winter outfits in a color other than pink. Sheesh! So we bought 3 little outfits, one tan, one coral (not quite pink right) and the last one was a sweet little purple outfit (for those of you that know Marla, it was inevitable that we find a cute purple outfit!) I also ordered my crib! Lastly we picked out the perfect stroller.

There we were, two girls that have never had kids trying to figure out what stroller was best. Where would my purse go? Does it have a drink holder? Was it cute? Yep, although very important questions, I knew that we were missing some crucial 'must haves!' As we were saying to each other, "I sure wish we had someone here that could give us some direction, someone that was actually a mom with some stroller experience," the cutest pregnant lady right by us laughed, she was/is pregnant with her fourth and luckily enough for us, she has a stroller fetish. She said that she has to sneak them into her house so her husband doesn't see her buying yet another stroller. :) Too Funny, I thought people only did that with shoes! Anyhow, she found us the perfect stroller, it is only 9 lbs (perfect for traveling to Kaz!!!!!!!!!!), it folds up by unlatching only one button (easy as pie), it has a large canopy(great for sunny days), it has a net to hold my purse (see it was important to find), it has a 5 point harness that can easily be used only as a 3 point harness for an older child, it folds back just enough for an older infant to take a snooze, it holds up to 55 lbs, and once it is collapsed, it has a strap to throw it over your shoulder for easy transport. (Man did I say the word 'it' a ton of times.) Did I mention that it was only 9 lbs? Rock on! It is a Maclaren, which from what I hear, it is a nice brand. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, it is pink......and gray! :) Truly I wasn't sold on getting a pink stroller, but it was that or a white and orange stroller (which was also super cute and perfect for a boy) but not quite as cute as the pink one. :)


Friday, August 17, 2007

Buying a Baby

Tonight I am thinking of my dear friend, Suzanne, my adoption buddy, as I drink wine and eat dill cheese and sesame crackers. :) My ritual as of late. Anyhow, as I was thinking, I just remembered an email that Suzanne sent last week, and I laughed out loud, seriously! If you have been following my blog, you will understand just what she is referring to in this paragraph:

I just told the "We're helping this lady buy a baby from Pakistan" story to one of my dearest friends today (he'll be one of my future child's future male role models). We laughed our asses off! He laughed so hard, I think he actually spit some of his lunch out of his mouth. And he typically has very refined manner

hahahaha

This was one of the funniest stories ever! That garage sale just rocked!

Ghetto Fabulous






Yes, I have become a Blog Nut! :) I love reading other family's blogs and learning about their process, emotions, regions, time frames, etc. and my favorite part of all is seeing their little angels faces once they become a family!

That being said, this is the apartment of one of the moms who recently traveled to Astana, Kazakhstan. Yikes! Can we say, "Ghetto Fabulous!" Seriously, there were mirrors on the walls, closet doors and the ceiling, and the colors were just atrocious in a super fun way. Bow, Chicka Bow Bow!

Tickled Pink

My mom called yesterday just 'tickled pink.' This is a phrase that mom would use, so I thought it fitting. She is now, for the first time ever I may add, the proud owner of a Passport! She was giddy (another mom word, keep in mind that she has been a Kindergarten teacher for over 25 years) when she called yesterday, Grandma can now officially travel to Kaz to pick up her grandaughter! Yeah Grandma!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Names, Names & more Names

Astana, Akmolinsk(until 1961), Tselinograd(1961-92) or Aqmola(1992-98)?

Semey or Semipalatinsk?

Shymkent or Chimkent?

Zhambyl or Taraz?

Aqtobe or Aktobe?

Believe it or not, these are all the same cities just different names for the same place. Ugh! Again, how do I research a region when there are several names for each place? These are all regions that I may adopt from.

What in the World is the true Name of this place?

So I am trying to research regions, and I am more confused than when I started. Here is my question: What is the real name of this region? I thought that it was Esik, but many people call it Ecik on the internet, but here I find that Ecik isn't even one of the 5 options. Dear heavens, really!

Yesik, Kazakhstan
Other names: Issyk,Esik,Issok,Issök

Ugh!!!! How does a girl research when she doesn't even know the name of the place? If I get lost overseas, please be sure to write down all of these names just in case, a backup name is always good to have. :) Anyhow, here is some basic information on this 'Esik' region:

Esik is a small and very cold lake in the mountains around Almaty. People in the area still remember the disaster of the 1960's, when a poorly-designed Soviet mine shaft caused a portion of a mountain to collapse into the lake. The flooding that happened as a result caused many deaths.

Today, Esik is a popular destination for vacations and camping.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Baby Photo Album






How cute is this!!!!! I found this baby photo album at Target yesterday, what a perfect way to introduce my daughter to her family, my friends, our puppies and her new home. I love it!!!! The front cover even has little Asian symbols (it is probably words / writing but to me, a non-Asian reader, they are still symbols). I am sure the writing is Chinese, but we will pretend that it is Kazak since we can't read it. :)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Mine, all Mine :)

While reading through my 3-ring binder, provided to me by my agency (like a good adoptive mommy would do), one sentence in the "Potential Risks" section struck me:

"This is one of the main benefits to international adoption over domestic; once an adoption is declared final it can NEVER be contested."

Friday, August 3, 2007

MY AGENCY ROCKS!

This afternoon I emailed my coordinator at my adoption agency to see if they had received my Fed-Exed Dossier package, and within an hour, I heard back that they had indeed received it! Yahoo! She let me know that it may be today, but probably early next week, that they are able to look over my Dossier to approve it, that email was at 12:58. And at 4:20, I received an email back stating that they had APPROVED MY DOSSIER - GO CELEBRATE (WHICH I WILL) - AND IT IS NOW OFF FOR TRANSLATION WHICH SHOULD TAKE 1-2 WEEKS AND THEN OFF TO THE CONSULATE! Everything is just moving right along! :)

Looks like I am going out with Sherree tonight to have a couple Martinis!!!!!!! We are going to go to Uptown, the trendy part of Minneapolis, to people watch, drink Martinis, and eat some Yummy food!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Fun Photo To Post


Off my Dossier goes to LMI (this photo is a couple days old, but better late than never.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Book Reviews

"Adopting on Your Own - The Complete Guide to Adopting as a Single Parent," By Lee Varon

Enlightening! This book really made me think about choosing to be a single parent, and about choosing to be a single parent through adoption. At the end of each chapter there are exercises and questions to ponder regarding parenting as a single. One exercise asked that I list 5 pros to parenting as a couple and 5 pros to parenting as a single. Ponder, Ponder, Ponder....that was a tough exercise! As the book mentioned, many of us single adopters have put off starting a family in the hope to begin a traditional family someday soon (which turns into being 30, 35, 40, 45 and sometimes even 50 years old before the denial of 'it may just not be in the stars' kicks in and we decide to do it on our own), so having to find the positives in being a single parent by choice is a tall order. Following are a couple paragraphs from this book that really struck me:

"There is nothing in this world that's worth doing that isn't going to scare you. Adoption is a lifelong commitment to another person, and given the enormity of this commitment, it would be unusual if we didn't feel some fear." (I have pondered this paragraph often this past week. :)

"Although for some single people the idea of creating a family on their own has always felt like a satisfying choice, others go through a mourning process as they reach an age at which they hoped to begin a family with a partner. This mourning is like other forms of grieving, with stages of denial, blame and anger, bargaining, sadness, and depression, and finally acceptance and moving on. It is important to allow yourself to grieve for the family you may have envisioned with a partner, so that you can make space for the reality of another kind of family - one with you and your child or children."

"A 1991 study by Victor Groze and James Rosenthal found that adopted children in single-parent homes experienced fewer emotional and behavioral problems than did children adopted by two parents. They found single adoptive parents to be emotionally mature with a high threshold for tolerating frustration and a low susceptibility to the prejudices and judgments of others. Single adoptive parents were found to have a self-sufficient nature and solid emotional boundaries that create a safe space for a child who has known disruptions and difficulties in early attachments."

"Single adoptive parents are highly motivated to be parents & place a priority on their role as a parent."

"If your friends have chosen to remain child-free, they may feel threatened and insecure about their own lifestyle choices. You become a constant reminder of the path they have chosen not to take. They may also fear that they will lose the closeness of your friendship."

"One night I was in my office till ten o'clock and I realized: The reason I'm here is because I don't have a reason to go home. I didn't really need to be there. "(This has so been me!)

"In regards to the prospect of a donor insemination, "The thought of getting pregnant by an unknown person felt uncomfortable to me. Also I had no desire to go through pregnancy without a partner." (This is so what I feel too!)

This is a must read for all single adoptive parents! :)

Izaak, Elijah & Ty 'Bear'

Izaak, Elijah & Ty 'Bear'
Cousins (Izaak wants to name my daughter (his cousin) Isabella, Sant (for 'Santa') or Hershey (his friend's dog's name.) Hmmmm I told him that if we name her 'Hershey,' that would mean that we get to give her a lot of kisses.

Kolter Matthius Simon

Kolter Matthius Simon
Littlest Cousin......possibly. Kolter may indeed be the same age as his little girl cousin in Kaz. :)