Thursday, June 26, 2008
We met up around 6ish and the semi-competitive bowling game began (I have to say semi because Robert would never allow me to tell you that he was taking it seriously and only beat Berkeley by 5 pins!)
That's right, folks. An almost-6-year-old beat the pants off my score and nearly tied with Robert for 1st place during round 1. Robert won with 114 and Berkeley, boy-wonder of bowling, bowled a 109! Rus and me??? Ummm, too pathetic to mention. Although Rus warmed up and won the second game (I LOST!!!)
While it was a little humiliating, it was really fun, and it was great to see Rus and Berkeley. We will have to plan an excursion to Seattle soon! We sure miss spending time with family.
Well, I can't find my other two favorites tonight, but I guess it doesn't matter when I have this one! I LOVED it and I'm glad I can finally add fellow Utah girl, Chelsea to my list of fav dances....
Of course, I loved Twitch/Kherington and Joshua/Katee, but I can't find their dances yet and it's getting rather late.
Anyway, the premise is basically the same as the Joshua/Katee routine from a couple weeks ago, but I still really enjoyed watching this one. (Hated Chelsea's pants, but whatever.)
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Robert and I went down to Provo to meet the other family. They are adopting a girl who is just about the same age as Sarah! Shortly after she is home, they will be moving up to the Salt Lake area, so that will be awesome! I am already looking forward to spending more time with them - and knowing people (who live near us) that have Ghanaian children will be so great for Sarah! It really means a lot to me that she will know other children who are from the same country.
Well, that's about it for now - I'm hoping to snap a couple pictures of our concrete progress to share with you tomorrow!
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thanks for your help Am! (Not only is she an experienced scrapbooking 'sounding board', Amy kept me sane. Because I'm a perfectionist who fears everyone is judging my ability, I was stressing that this book would be considered a direct reflection of my mothering capacity. Amy would say 'that's ridiculous!' and then slap on some glue and paste a picture down.)
Here's to recognizing when you are being ridiculous!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
She is an only child, and both her parents died when she was an infant. Her aunt and uncle took care of her for a while, but just couldn't afford to do it anymore. The uncle took her to the orphanage several months ago. He (the uncle) comes to visit her and check up on her regularly.
The school is not outfitted to accommodate really young children, so Sarah, along with a few other young ones stay with foster families nearby. They attend the school during the week days and then stay with their foster families over the weekend.
She is half Ewe, half Fanti (also Fante - it's spelled both ways) and she speaks mostly Fante, but some limited English. (The area I taught was mostly Ewe - so I know a few Ewe words, but only a couple Fante...I'll need to brush up a little, I guess!)
Sarah is quiet at first, but really opens up after she gets to know you (I think this is pretty common for most 2-year-olds). Kingsley said she is a beautiful, quiet girl. He has never, ever seen her act aggressively and she loves to play with the other children. Everyone loves her, he said. She is calm, but active. He said Sarah is a cheerful, clever girl.
Her favorite foods: Rice (they flavor it with a yummy spice-sauce sort of thing that I love!) and YAMS! Looks like Robert will be eating a lot of yams soon! lol. He'll have to get used to them , I guess.
There is an American couple helping out at the orphanage until the end of July. I also spoke with them for a bit. They will spend time with Sarah and interact with her and speak as much English as they can to her so her adjustment is a little easier.
Tonight our friend Amy is coming over. We are going to make a little scrapbook for Sarah. It will have pictures of Robert and me, our house, and Eden.
Oh, and last but NOT LEAST.... Sarah's birthday is July 11! She will be 2 VERY soon!
I totally love these guys! This Viennese Waltz is sooooo beautiful. I love that it is more "relaxed" and flowing than the typical Viennese. My fav moment: when Twitch sways while he's holding Kherington in his arms. LOVE IT!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
- Lois called me today
- We get to call Kingsley and Sarah tomorrow at 9am! We get to hear her voice! YEAH!
- I need to go buy a phone card!
- Sarah's birthday is coming up...but it's still a surprise - Lois wouldn't tell me. She wanted Kingsley to be able to tell me! I'm DYING to know!
- It's getting really hot... the dog days of summer are coming on strong - This is how Eden spends her days... I wish I could join her!
Kingsley is taking care of some paperwork for another family adopting from Ghana (they are not adopting from LuckyHill, but he is helping anyway). He needed to take some paperwork to the Embassy (?) I can't remember now where he was taking it, but it seems like it was the Embassy.
He got to Accra, where the building used to be and no one was there...they had moved. He was finally able to get directions on their new location and when he got there he recognized the building. He had dreamt about it previously - in such detail that he knew exactly where to go and who to talk to about the family's paperwork.
I had the opportunity to meet many people when I was teaching in Ghana, and they are such a faith-filled people. I don't know whether they simply pay more attention, or if it's just the way God speaks to them, but it seems that their dreams are filled with inspiration.
So there you have it. Ghanaian Faith 101. (I have a feeling that there will be many more opportunities for faith-filled experiences as we embark on our adoption journey)
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Anyway, my blood test came back. Apparently I have Hypothyroidism. It turns out my increasing difficulty to remember things, weight gain, ah-hem hair loss, and fatigue (not to mention several other more personal symptoms ;0) ) are not a result of me just getting older. For the last few years I've just chalked up most of those facts to not being 19 anymore.
I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. I am relieved that there is an explanation for nearly everything I have been 'dealing with' over the last few years, but at the same time it's something that will need to be managed for the rest of my life: I will need to take daily pills and have blood tests done regularly to make sure my dosage is correct.
So I've been taking these little pills (actually, only half of a little pill) daily for just about a week, and I'm feeling a little better already. Which is a good sign. I have to take the pills for 6 weeks, then go back for another blood test to make sure the dosage is correct. I just love having a nurse stick me with a needle and draw out all that blood!
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Eden completed her Intermediate Obedience class and the Canine Good Citizen test was administered yesterday. Believe it or not, she passed! lol. I think she knew she was being tested and was on remarkable good behavior. We were worried about 2 sections, she had to properly greet the administer and allow the administer to look at her teeth and touch her paws. We also had to leave Eden with the administer for 3 minutes and Eden had to behave.
The problem is that Eden loves strangers soooo much and gets overly excited at the possibility of making a new friend. But she did just fine. So we now have a dog that is recognized by the AKC as being a Good Citizen. (Now if we can just convince our friends, neighbors, and family that she is a Good Citizen!)
We came home from Eden's test all ready to be "tested" ourselves. Anne, our Social Worker arrived about 20 minutes after we got home.
The home study visit lasted about 3 hours. We went over some general information and she told us what the next steps are in the home study. She also asked some questions of clarification on the 23 page autobiographies we had to fill out. Then she met with each of us individually to talk about our desires to adopt and all that. We gave her a quick tour of the home, and that was it.
Next on the check list is to complete about 10 hours of training. Luckily it's online so we can do it whenever it's most convenient. We have another appointment scheduled in about 10 days and we need to have the training completed by then.
Getting closer! Yeah!
I found this quiz reading through some of GREM's old blogs (thanks, Elizabeth Bennet!) Click on the pic and it will, *should*, take you to the quiz.
You Are...Marianne Dashwood!
You are Marianne Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are impulsive, romantic, impatient, and perhaps a bit too brutally honest. You enjoy romantic poetry and novels, and play the pianoforte beautifully. To boot, your singing voice is captivating. You feel deeply, and love passionately.
The only part that probably doesn't truly apply to me would be the piano playing and singing bit...of course, I do a mean Bohemian Rhapsody - just ask Robert!
Friday, June 13, 2008
38" Flat Screen TV w/ 2 matching stands ("and remote," Robert wants me to add): $750.00 (The tall component tower is not shown)
I really like Anne. I called about 12 different agencies and independent social workers when I started looking for someone. Out of those 11 or 12 I only spoke with 4! The rest NEVER RETURNED MY CALL! I figured that was a good indicator that I didn't want to work with them, so it really narrowed the field.
Tangent: I work in a straight commission field as an independent contractor, so maybe I'm harder on people, but seriously - not even bothering to return my call?!?!? I was pretty much saying, I want to hire you. I want to pay you good money to help me, and all you need to do it call me back. I just don't get it sometimes.....
Back to Anne. As I mentioned I spoke with several other SWs on the phone. Although Anne was the most expensive (ranging from about $100-$250 difference) I felt most comfortable with her. She seemed like she knew what she was talking about, she was familiar with new changes to adoption laws and policies, and she was positive. I considered going with the cheapest SW because they are all do the same job, but when I reflected on our conversation I changed my mind. She cited some changes to international adoption policy, but wasn't sure if it applied to Ghana. Instead of finding out and getting back to me, she put all the research on me. And she put me in a panic - she made me think it was highly possible we wouldn't be able to complete the adoption. I figured I needed someone to make the process more smooth, not someone who would ruffle all my feathers and create obstacles where none existed. There are enough hoops to jump through! I don't want extra ones!
So Anne it was. Plus, she was the only one who immediately started sending me paperwork to fill out and a list of documents to start collecting. I am perfectly willing to pay extra for a proactive, speedy response to my needs.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I had mixed feelings when this one was introduced. I LOVE Joshua, but I really didn't want Katee to do well because she was such a brat when they were choosing the top 20, and I HATED the Hip Hop number the show opened with (same choreographers).
But I really did like it a lot. Perhaps even my fav for tonight.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Robert and I went to see Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull or whatever it's called with mom and dad, Jill and Hibbs, and Rod and Cathy last night. It was *alright*. You have to love Indy, really, but I had a hard time with the whole alien thing. Aliens who have been dead since the 15th century, coming to life in order to grant your greatest desire (which, in true Indy fashion, if it's selfish will kill you), and then resurrect their ancient space ship and shoot off into space - - correction - - "the space between space" was just a little over the top.
Oh well. Robert and I talked about it a bit, and I think I'm coming to grips with it - A LITTLE. We compared it to the other Indy flicks: an ancient society who believes in the mystical power of their god. In all the others, the mystical power turned out to be true, so I guess it's keeping with the faith, so to speak.
I also took issue with the whole reunite-with-the-old-flame-and-oh-by-the-way-he's-your-son bit. sigh. There were some funny bits, though, and it was basically entertaining.
Adding it to the Indy collection is up for debate. You almost HAVE to so you have the entire collection, but then it becomes like Rocky, and you realize you could really do without 1 or 2 of those....
Sunday, June 8, 2008
I just love that she is biting her little lip! I have a school picture of Robert when he was about 5 - the look on Sarah's face reminds me of that picture. I just love it!
Tuesday night I flew to Denver. My flight was delayed, so we didn't get back to mom and dad's until around 11pm. We were up until after 3am organizing the things we would be taking in the U-Haul back to Utah.
We were up again at about 6 Wednesday to finish separating out the things mom and dad were giving to Chuck and Katie and Jim and Jill. The movers showed up about 10am and began packing up the house. A few people were going to come by at 3:30 to help load the U-Haul, but no one showed up. The movers left around 5 when they ran out of boxes.
Shortly after that, we left for the temple. We participated in the 7pm session and Cody received his endowment. It was a very special time for our family. The Spirit testified to us how powerful eternal families are. The promises made by God are real! Cody just glowed with the light of Christ. It was awesome.
Some of the men who were at the temple came over to help us load. Someone also recruited a bunch of young men to help - that was a huge sacrifice for them because they had to wake up very early then next morning to leave for a youth conference.
With all the help, we got most of the U-Haul loaded by around midnight. Mom, Dad, and I worked for a couple more hours and then went to bed.
Thursday, the movers came back to finishing packing and load everything onto the truck. They were a little behind because the job wasn't finished Wednesday, but they kept at it. From about 8am to 10:30pm we were packing, loading, and cleaning the house. Several women from church came over with their daughters to help clean the house. I seriously don't think we could have done it without all the help from church members! They were life savers!
We pulled out just after 10:30 and started the trip to Utah. Sometime around 3am we pulled into Laramie, WY. We checked into a hotel room, got about 3 hours of sleep, and then started out again Friday morning.
Finally, at 1pm we arrived in Salt Lake. We'd only had about 12 hours of sleep in 3 days and we were so sore from all the moving and lifting. I got about a 2 hour nap before I had to head over to a closing. When I got home, we unloaded my part of the truck - which included the piano!
Wow. It's been a VERY long time since I was that physically exhausted. All the hard labor on top of very little sleep was taxing, for sure.
I slept for about 13 hours Friday night (and all of Saturday morning!).
Ok. I have to take a little side trip here and give a shout out to Robert. While I was gone he did a great job keeping the house clean! It was so nice to come home, that tired, and not have to worry about cleaning anything up. It made my 13 hours of catch-up sleep possible. He had his own struggle while I was gone - he went to the doctor for a physical exam (required by the home study) and had to get a tetanus shot. It made him so sick! Anyway, he did a great job keeping everything together even though he wasn't feeling well. He's pretty awesome. Love Ya, Babe! :0)
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Cody is going to receive his endowment tomorrow so I'm headed off to Denver so I can be there. I'm so excited for him!
The movers will show up at my parents house Wednesday morning and will be packing them up until Thursday. I am going to be taking the piano and some of their antique furniture that would never survive a move to Hawaii and back. Mom, Dad, and I will be driving back a U-Haul in a dash to be back by Friday. I have a closing scheduled that I must attend.
So, to prepare for all this today I have been doing laundry, cleaning the house, making room for the additional furniture, and packing!
I have another closing scheduled for 3:30 today, so I'm off to that here in a bit.
When Robert gets home we are going to rent a carpet cleaner so we can make sure the empty bedroom is completely ready for mom and dad's antique bedroom set. For all you out-of-towners, this means we will finally have a guest bedroom for you! No more sleeping on the pull out!
Monday, June 2, 2008
Anyway, on Friday Beacon House decided they knew more about our faith and religious beliefs then we do. They denied our application because they didn’t consider us to be “active, church-going Bible believing Christians.” (The prize goes to Kristy for guessing that might happen).
Robert wasn’t home when I got the news. Needless to say, I was pretty upset. But, after a couple days of trying to re-group and re-examine our options, our feelings about the “set-back” and disappointment have already changed.
I just know that a long, drawn-out, and very painful process was avoided. Not working with Beacon House has already proved to be a great blessing for us.
We have found a local woman who adopted from Ghana about 9 years ago. I spent nearly 2 hours talking on the phone with her today and I was thrilled! Through various contacts she already has in place, she is helping several other couples adopt from Ghana. She is working with a school/orphanage near Cape Coast and they are establishing an adoption program directly through the school.
The costs will be about half of an agency’s. So that is a major bonus. And, fingers crossed, it might be possible for her to arrange for free airfare for the children.
They are working on a website, and have a few pictures of waiting children that she can get!
We were so pleased with the way we were directed to her. She just kept saying that, throughout the adoption process, you just need to expect miracles. So far, after only a few days, we have at least 1!
As for our concrete project... forecast calls for MORE RAIN! So, while we have concrete, Jaron can't stain, seal, etc. it until we have at least 3 days of clear skies.
Utah will have no need to fear a drought this year if we continue to plan projects that require clear skies....