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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Too cute not to share

I just happened upon this site through my Ethiopia adoption group. This little girl is 11 and wants to help Ethiopian children get shoes. She is selling her necklace designs for $5 + $1 S&H. SOOO CUTE! I am copying her blog here....

Shoppin' for Shoes

Hi! Welcome to my very first blog! I am excited to let you know that our family is adopting a little boy from Ethiopia. We got our referral just last week. We can't share any information yet, but I can tell you this...he's really cute!

Since we started the adoption process, I have been learning a lot about the kids in Ethiopia. One thing I've learned is that they go without many of the things I take for granted - like shoes. Many of the kids there go barefoot and good shoes are a luxury. I have been reading the blog "Family from Afar" about the Wistrom family. Mrs. Wistrom, the mother, helps find sponsors for children in Ethiopia through Children's Hopechest. She took these pictures when she was there.

When I see pictures like this, it makes me want to help. So my mom and I thought it would be a good idea to start a blog to share my bottlecap necklaces. All of the money will go toward buying shoes for kids through Children's Hopechest. A good pair of leather shoes with thick soles costs $18. I will keep track of how many shoes we buy. I have lots of designs to choose from and lots of fun ideas. I'll post new ones from time to time.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Homestudy update and shedding a few tears...

Well, there is soooo much to report on. I thought I would do a little two-in-one update. First off, will be the homestudy report. Then, will be the amazing things God is doing for us, orchestrating the details and preparing our hearts to be parents.
HOMESTUDY: To be honest, I was a 'hot mess' all day on Wednesday. It is hard to describe the fear and excitement in anticipating someone coming into your home to assess your ability to be parents. It is nerve wracking to say the least. I'm sure you can picture me madly cleaning the house (Lee too!) and putting shelf paper in the drawers and closets and re-doing the linen closet 3 times. Yes, its true. I have heard from other families that social workers look in the linen closets. And in your drawers, and in your closets. We had heard many horror stories, so we cleaned EVERYTHING.
Our social worker arrived and we immediately realized that she was extremely laid back. She walked into our HOT house (our swamp cooler is on the fritz and we have no AC--people in Utah don't really use AC) and offered cookies and lemonade. She declined. She then walked through the house and did a quick once over. And no, she did not even look in one single drawer or closet. (darn!) We explained our plans to upgrade and make certain spaces baby proof and proceeded to ask if we needed to be assessed on our babyproofing abilities and if we needed to get fire alarms in every room (we know others who have had to have fire chief assessments). She laughed and told us to get a couple of fire extinguishers and proceeded to say "Kylie, if you are anywhere as thorough with baby proofing as you are with this entire process, I have no doubt you are perfectly capable of googling 'baby proofing' and doing a great job."
We proceeded to talk. She sat there quietly waiting to bombard her with endless questions I surmised. When we only had 3, she was surprised and said "Wow, you guys really know your stuff." I explained that we had been researching this process for nearly two years. She was extremely impressed by our 'Big Daddy Binder' as it has come to be called. She has never had anyone make one that big and full before.
She asked for the outline from our agency (she is not from our adoption agency, we had to use a social worker from a local one) and began to ask the questions she needed to know. She took a few notes, but it was much more conversational than I expected. The first question was "Why do you want to adopt?" And "Why Ethiopia?" The easiest questions I have ever answered! First, I started and said something like this..."Well, when I was 8, I went on a 'Crop Walk' at church. It was back when the emphasis on Africa was on starving children and not AIDS or dirty water. So, I raised money for starving orphans in Ethiopia. I looked at pictures of their swollen bellies, sunken eyes, and ashy skin and I was done." I then explained that I found a poem I had written at age 8 that was called "Hungry People" and was all about the African orphans. I said I had the adoption gene and there was never any doubt that I would adopt. Lee went next and said that he had never thought about adoption until I started researching and after watching videos, and talking with parents who had adopted and meeting a couple at our church with two adorable baby boys, he was sold. He also said it used to be about "saving a child" and now he realized that God had adoption as much for him as he did for the child and that he would be allowed to grow and be blessed by the child. When asked why we chose Ethiopia, we mutually explained that there was never any question about country for us. Doors closed for other countries and Ethiopia was always #1. We never once stressed over this decision. She followed up with "If Ethiopia closed its doors, would you still adopt from another country?" We said in unison "YES." I don't think Lee and I have ever been so unified. It was glorious!
The next topic was quite difficult and was about our infertility. We gave some details about tests we had had done and the results. Without getting too graphic, the end result was our conclusion that it didn't matter. I told her that we had come to the realization that God wanted us to adopt, so He was the one who wasn't allowing pregnancy. It was nothing we were or were not doing. We both feel we'll have a biological child one day but we're not worried about it and we're not fertility treatment people. She said "So what I'm hearing from you is that you are both very nonchalant about getting pregnant and are you are adopting not because you 'have to', but because you want to." We both said "EXACTLY." I added, "The reason we haven't been able to get pregnant is not because we can't but because he didn't allow it to happen yet... It is because God wanted us to adopt FIRST." She told us we had a great outlook and attitude, nodded and took some notes.

She asked a few more questions about our families and how we met and that is about it. We scheduled our next meetings where we will talk about things like health issues (YIKES!), finances, family history, parenting styles (need some serious research!) and other normal stuff. Lee asked if she had ever "flunked anyone" and she said she has. Only twice, when the couples were obviously not fit to be parents. After some technical stuff like obtaining paperwork, she was off!

We have about a month until our homestudy is done so it is our goal to get our paperwork done!!! Then, we'll wait on ole' Uncle Sam to get forms back to us, etc. We're still timing this to about another year MINIMUM. She said to be prepared to find a hobby for those long months of waiting for our child match.
So, we wait to be "paper pregnant." I'm already glowing though I'm not showing! No stretch marks or morning sickness but the paper cuts have been pretty brutal! :) HA!!!
So I had to also share the amazing details that God has constructed. Just in the past week many things have happened. I had been praying for confirmation that this is what He would have us to do. He provided that confirmation. Here are the things He has done just this week:
1. Just the right social worker-super laid back and non judgmental
2. Finding an adoption support group in Salt Lake City
3. A new friend to our Yahoo Adoption support group, from our agency, living close to us (same suburb!)
4. Telling my boss we're adopting and finding out she is in the process too!!!!
5. Another co-worker with two children from China!
6. Realizing we live in the capitol city of Utah, for easy in government office access!
7. Loving prayers from wonderful friends and family. We have FELT the prayers and have really been blessed to see the amazing support we have from our friends and families.
Ok, one more section. Can you tell I'm elated???
Today I got my first paycheck. I intended to treat myself to some long neglected things: A new curling iron, some new running shoes, and a massage. We have lived so frugally on one salary for so long it has been difficult and we haven't bought much in the way of treats for ourselves. So, thinking I would go on a mini shopping spree of sorts before socking the rest away in the bank, I couldn't really find anything to purchase. I went by Old Navy and walked through the baby section. I picked up the most adorable shirt that said "Safari Scout." I knew I had to get it. i found a cute pair of shorts on sale and stopped to think. This is the first baby outfit I had bought for my child, myself (Grammie has bought a closet full of stuff already). I held the shirt to my heart and cried. The sales girl looked at me oddly but I just stood there and savored the moment. It felt REAL and the baby is so close to our grasp. My heart was ACHING as I stood there, longing for him! I whispered outloud "Do you know how much we already love you? Do you realize how desired, loved and admired you are?" I dried my eyes and came home daydreaming about looking into the backseat and seeing our child happily riding in the carseat as I drove. I showed Lee the outfit and he sweetly hung it in the closet where his other clothes hang. I went in and had another mommy moment gazing at the clothes. Here are some pictures of his wardrobe!
"Safari Scout"

First outfit from Mommy

This babe better like camping, his wardrobe is all about it! (Grammie outfit)

Outfit from Grammie

This baby better be a BOY or else we're in trouble!!! :)

I love this outfit. Grammie got it in Yellowstone National Park. She got one for Maddie too, and I loved it so much she went back and got one for us too!

It says "I'm gonna take a hike! Someday! I'm taking a hike, maybe today!" :)
Ok, so I'm nuts. Its true. I am nuts over a child that most likely isn't even conceived yet! But my heart is FULL of joy knowing this baby is so far away yet so near to my heart. I feel like I know him. It must be a small sampling of what God feels for us. Knowing us before we're even created.

And some have been asking if we have a name. The answer is yes. We aren't going to use it until he is ours! It is the perfect name for many aspects of our lives. We researched the meaning and it is just perfect and fits a boy of any race or age.
But...its a secret! :)
We know we have a long journey with many hiccups, mostly stemming from waiting for documents from the governments with many things to go wrong!
But for now, we swim in

Monday, July 19, 2010


Well, I am officially back to the working world. It hasn't been an easy adjustment. My body has been in a bit of a shock as I am transported back to "cubicle land." My sleep cycle is off. My blood sugar is off. My digestive tract is off. My urinary tract is off.

To summarize:

I'm just off.

How could I be SOOO tired from sitting at a desk for 8.5 hours? After one week of extreme fatigue and going to bed at 8:30, only to fight the same battle the next day, I decided today to do something about it. I started my new team walking twice per day. We walk for 30 minutes (today we logged about 2500 steps). I also brought homemade whole wheat flour/oatmeal/applesauce/organic blueberry muffins to work today. I tried to display an honest effort to practice what I preach and keep my blood sugar steady to ward away the headaches. My co-workers came in great masses for muffins and walking. They commended me and I already got an award that my boss saw. In one week!!!

I have also discovered that I LIKE going to the gym at 5pm. I used to hate it, now I CRAVE It. My body was made to move!

So what have I learned from this trying week? I have learned that I'm a non-profit girl as opposed to a corporate ladder climber. I love jobs where I do health fairs, presentations and move about. I've learned that I am not a cubical, computer, sit-all-day kinda girl. I learned that I am less tired when I have taught 3 hours of kids aerobics, and done my own 2-3 hour workout. I feel fabulous then. I learned that when I sit, my body reacts negatively.

But, the BIGGEST lesson I learned is that I will stick it out. And everyday equates to money to bring baby home. Lee reminded me I have already earned enough to cover the $800 fingerprint appointment.

And even better, I have learned that my new motto, pictures of Africa, taking my lunch in our fundraiser shopping bag, and talking with co-workers who have also adopted...ALL keep me going!!!

Lee and I came up with a new motto. I see is on my bathroom mirror. I see it in my car. I see it in my cubical. It is written on my heart. It makes me choose to force my feet to hit the floor everyday, instead of wanting to stay in bed.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Beauty all around

Well, Lee and I decided to get away for a little R and R. We packed up all of our great camping stuff and headed east of Park City about an hour and 20 minutes. I thought we'd have to go a bit further to find a mountain paradise. But I was wrong! Lee planned the whole thing and found us a great spot! I felt like I was in Colorado (ALMOST!)
It was great to camp out, cook out, and even though we froze our butts off, we had a great time.

Daddy making a shadow on Lou

Home Sweet Home

Grilled corn on the cob

Us at our campsite

The camp cook!
Menu: Burgers, beans and corn on the cob (and later-S'Mores!)

On Saturday I went on a hike up Bald Mountain. It was only a 2 mile hike each way, but it was a steep 2 miles to the top of the world! Utah's Uintah Mountains is known as the "Land of a thousand lakes" and you can see why when you get up to the top! It is beautiful!

At the top of Bald Mountain (almost!)

Ok, now it's the top! Look at the lakes!

View from the top was breathtaking!

That's me at the top but forgive the closed eyes and crazy hair. It was cold and windy!

I really loved having a 3.5 day weekend with my hubby. Not only did we camp, but we finally got the garage cleaned out and most of the rest of our stuff unpacked! We moved some stuff around and decorated the house some! Still have a LONG way to go, but it is starting to feel homey! :)

One view of living room

Fireplace area

Looking into dining area (going to put a mirror above the table)
We also heard from our Social Worker for the Homestudy! We will be meeting with her on Wednesday, July 21 at 6:30 pm. We decided to choose that date instead of the 14th since I start my new job Monday the 12th and we need to get some more paperwork done and begin to write our dreaded autobiographies (gasp!) Things are moving!!!

We are coming baby boy! (or girl!)

May not be blogging for a bit as I am starting my new job! And the next weeks of homestudy meetings and paperchasing will be nutty! You all are probably ready for a break anyway! :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Travel updates and pictures galore

I have been sooo blessed to do some traveling before I start my new job. First Montana to see my niece (again!), then Kansas, then Colorado, and now camping this weekend. Wishing BAD I could have squeezed in a trip to Vegas to see Tara and baby Avery. Soon.

I always have a wonderful time when I go home and try to squeeze in visits with many people and always run into someone out at Dillons, or QT, or shopping. This time we were busy throwing Holly a late shower/open house. Here are some pics of the celebration for the Woesner Family! I had such an amazing time meeting Aiden (CUTE-T-PIE!) and spending some serious quality time with Holly! The theme was zoo animals, since we had originally planned to hold the shower at the zoo but little Aiden decided to make his debut a bit early! :) Holly's friend Angie and I worked together and were amazed that even though we bought different things, everything was soooo color coordinated! :) It was so much fun!

I'm obsessed with Monkey stuff. I had to buy the monkey pen, and Holly loves Hippos! :)

Flower arrangements with little animals.

The busy activity table. One could 1) sign bday cards for Aiden through the years, 2) sign the guest book page (monkey paper), 3) write a bit of advice for the new parents for the scrapbook (blue book), and 4) address a thank you card envelope for Holly. Whew! Lots of fun stuff to do!

Nana Kay Kay and Aiden

The spread: Animal crackers, fruit, Monica's bundt cakes (YUMMO!), white and milk chocolate animals, and chocolate covered pretzels. As Angie said, we were all feeling "Barfy" by the end. :)

I found these adorable glycerin animal soap favors online. The tag said "Thank you for helping celebrate the Woesner family!"

The hostesses and the mommy of honor. L to R: Kylie, Holly and Angie.

And, since its been awhile since I updated on Maddie, I had to attach some photos! She is now almost 9 pounds!!! She has more than doubled in size and my sis sent me some pics of her today in an outfit I gave her! She is still tiny by the chart/newborn standards, but she is growing like a weed! She gained 26 ounces in 3 weeks!

Sweet face

Sleeping angel

Daddy whispers in my ear and I smile really big! (I look like my mommy in this one)

Tummy Time!

We bought her this outfit. I can't believe she is wearing it! Its 0-3 months and is still a little big but I can't believe she is in it! It used to look huge!

I smile now!

I give Daddy 5 for real!

SO Stinkin' cute if I do say so myself

Sneakin' my home!

Well, my awesome friend Amy gave me a buddy pass to fly CHEAP to Colorado Springs! We were trying to pick a time to have a girls weekend before I start my new job (July 12th=soon!) so we decided it might be easier for me to go there. Since Amy's days off are Tuesday and Wednesday, we decided that would work best so we could have ample girl time! These girls are two of my dearest friends and were in my small group in Colorado. Truly they were put in my life to be a support and to love me despite my shortcomings. I have not had as close friendships with anyone since my days in graduate school and college. Blessings they are to me! So, you can imagine my utter excitement at jumping on a plane and visiting after 9 long months! My hubby gave me his blessing despite money being tight, knowing we still don't have close friends in Utah (yet!) and how my heart desires such girl time. It is truly a NECESSITY for me as the way God has wired me requires this time. And wheeee doggie it was it fun!

I was nervous upon flying over my beloved Pikes Peak (oh how I loved conquering its 14,110 feet in a hike a couple of years ago!) and wondering how I would feel. As I was flying I felt the need to write well up in my chest. As has happened so many times before, countless thoughts and feelings were wandering around in my head and heart, and once again I felt I may burst if I did not write. And here I had nothing, not even a scrap of paper. I need to carry my journal with me more diligently but I think its still packed! So, expect another chapter of my book about 9 months in Utah and my feelings on what "home" means.

Wow! It was such an experience of nostalgia to go "home" after 9 months. And when I say "home" I do not use this word lightly. I ooohed and awwwwed at my old neighborhood, nail shop and starbucks (went twice! yum, Cafe vanilla light soy frappuchino! I may like coffee now!) made my heart do a flip flop. My heart fluttered when I saw my friends dogs and homes. I felt a twinge of sadness and a twist in my gut when driving around and looking at the changes. I inhaled the COOL air (it was about 84 in springs and 97 in SLC. MUCH hotter at my new abode). I sniffed some FRESH air. It was such a bittersweet trip. And although I didn't get too close to the mountains or take a hike this time around, I was with my two dear Colorado girls and it couldn't have been sweeter. Hanging with Julie's baby Addy, who was 3 months old when I left was a particular treat. She is nearly walking and turning one in a week so it was so much fun! Just starbucksing, shopping, eating, and watching movies was fantastic. And the girls cooked for me, and Amy and Karl had a barbeque and more church friends came over! It was such a reunion but I really missed Lee and I think they did too! It was the first place we moved to together and started over so our friends were OUR friends together. Next time he must come.

So all that said was Colorado home this trip? YES. Do I still feel Colorado is the closest thing to home I have ever experienced? YES. Do I hope we end up back there? YES. For now, Utah is home (and the mountains are actually closer and would be hard to give up) and we'll stick it out a bit longer. But, in my heart I know my home is where God has me and where my heart is, with Lee and our Daisie Lou.

Here are some pics of our fun!
This is a GREAT little find downtown Springs. I had their "pink suga" martini in the middle of the day! WHOOP! That was a strong one! :) Yummy food too!
Me with my girls Amy (middle) and Julie (right). I am holding Adalyn (Julie's little girl who was 3 months old when I left!!!) and the other two belong to other friends who had dropped them off for us to watch them as they went on their dinner date. Kadmen is just a few weeks old and Jonah is almost 3. Fun kiddos!

Me and my Kansas Girl Julie :)

Little Miss Adalyn Taylor!

Amy and Adalyn

Miss Addy. What a GREAT shopper and Starbuckser she is!

I had Addy in my room with me for a bit and was going to put on her adorable little outfit. She decided to do a cute pose for this picture. She's a HAM! :)

Emma-Daisie's best best friend in the entire universe! I swear, Emma was SOOOO exctied to see me, but then she was sniffing and looking around for Daisie. Daisie was equally as sniffy when I got home and knew I had seen her best friend and went looking around for her. These dogs were inseperable! Awwww, I miss getting them together for playdates!

More Shuga's

But what a GREAT TRIP! I am all ready to plan our return and seeing all my former work friends and family!!! It was too too short!