I am growing up so fast!

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Amanda's age

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God Doesn't Make Mistakes

For Amanda

Our three T21 princesses

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bringing Amanda home-what to wear

I bought this sweet little dress and hat last year for Amanda, It hangs in her closet waiting to travel to Estonia. I was hoping she could wear it out of the orphanage. I am still pinching myself that we get to take her from the orphanage the day after we get to Estonia! Wow, it was a month before Kara was released to us. Can you imagine, traveling for 18 hours and waking up the next day with a sweet angel in your arms!

I know the ladies in my Gymboree loops can appreciate me wanting the perfect "Gotcha day" outfit for my new daughter. What day can be more important than the day you meet your new baby girl? I think it will look pretty with her blond hair and blue eyes. I should have thought to get the matching cardigan, but at the time I did not want to go nuts getting new clothing because of the capriciousness of adoptions, I know things can go wrong, sometimes very wrong. I got very little for Kara or Amanda. That's not to say that they are going to be naked, I had vintage Gymboree in storage from Meghan's infancy that will fit. Kara has worn some of it. For the Gym Loops I will say some lines: Spring Showers ( one set was a gift from Marsha), Sweet Chic, Flower Power, Cherry Cherries, Butterfly, Indian Summer, and the extreme vintage of Mrs Goose, Hi Ho Sailor, Cape Cod, South Seas. Things I could not sell on eBay! Now I know why!

So nesting continues; I have a crib for Amanda, I am borrowing it from my dearest friend Becky, we hope to get her car seat soon. I wish I knew her shoe size, but I don't. I know she weighs-18-19 pounds at age 3, it seems to fit 18-24 month sizing. I would bet a size 5-6 T shoe. Kara wears a 5T!
I know that once we have Amanda home and things settle down, we can think about the matchy clothing and can return to Gymboree once more. :o) I can't believe I have missed 3 Gymbucks rounds, unheard of! I am also very bummed I missed the new poodle line, it was adorable.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Still time to enter the raffle!

Our Beautiful Amanda November 2007 (Christina peeking behind her)
Look at all that blond hair, I will finally have a child who shares my hair color! We will be addressing some mouth tone issues with sweetie Amanda too, look at that tongue! LOL

We have 7 people entered into our raffle so far, I was so excited to see 2 new entries this morning. I also got an entry in the mail, thanks Carol!

I don't know about you, but I adore raffles, I never miss a chance to buy a few tickets! Don't miss your chance; each $5 donation is equal to one raffle entry, so a $25 donation is worth 5 entries!

I am goofy, I admit, but I can't wait to see who wins!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Ramblings and history lessons

Besides pestering photo listing sites (sorry folks, but some things are important to adoptive moms) I have been getting ready to be a Mama to another sweet daughter. Nesting is hard to do with two very active and destructive kids already here. Still, I have the urge to get everything ready for her before she we travel to welcome her into our family. I can;t wait to meet her and see where she lives. I hear Tallinn is gorgeous, and pictures show this to be so.

I was reading about what kind of souvenirs to buy and what to avoid while in Estonia, of course I wanted to get our girls a doll, especially one for Amanda, so I looked up dolls. They sell Russian matryoshkas, I believe they are Matreshkas in Estonia.

It seems many factories closed down after Estonia won her independence from the USSR. The singing revolution, I have a link to the left, not sure if anyone read about it. We think it is amazing and speaks volumes about the Estonian culture.

There is a movie about Estonia's singing revolution. It has not come to Tucson, but I would love to see it.

A single nation, a million voices, the fall of an empire.

Both Tom and I felt it was important to know the history of the countries we were adopting from. When we were in Ukraine I got a tour of Kiev and heard the pride Yelena had in her "home town" but what impressed me was how much she knew about her cities history, do I know as much about Tucson? Am I as proud to be a native Arizonan? I was happy I spent many hours on the Internet reading about Ukraine, and I have spent almost as many reading about Estonia. Of course it will never be the same as living your life there. We want our daughters to know we honor where they are from and will make sure they know about their cultures.

I am awaiting reference letters for an adoption grant so that I can send that off! I am prayerfully optimistic that we will get some aid for Amanda's adoption.
And come on blog readers! only 3 people who have bought their raffle tickets; the nesting dolls are really nice! If you would like to mail a donation, please contact me at kkbl7befit@yahoo.com .

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Precious.org-another website listing Amanda as available

OK, so maybe I am going overboard... I emailed them to remove her available status as well.

Mommy is so sad that Amanda has been listed as available for the 7 1/2 months we have been committed to adopt her. I guess I should have checked before now.


Amanda is officially marked as placed, and in bright red. We feel so much better now.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Adoption Patch Website

According to their webpage, Krystal (Amanda) is still waiting for her forever family! I keep waiting for them to list her as matched. We have our dossier translated and approved, we have submitted our court papers, we are awaiting our court-travel date, and it still says she is available.


Amanda is NOT available, our family will be the people she spends the rest of her life with, and hey! we are really really interested in the grant she has available, here we have been her family for 7 months, an no one mentioned this to us? It is probably her RR grant.

I don't know why, but it makes me feel unsettled that they will not fix this. I have asked them to and they said they would. Come on Adoption Patch, update your web page.

BTW, did you see all the other sweet children available there (I THINK they are available...)? All of them just wishing for forever families!

The Down Syndrome Connection of Tucson

We have been members of this group since Meghan was 2 months old, we love our fellow parents and their children and are so grateful for all they have helped us with these past few years.

We do what little we can to help out, making brochures or helping with our annual picnic in a minor way. I have been working on a logo for over a year, nothing seems to reduce in size well, I have a logo making program, I bought it for eBay two years ago, it wasn't an expensive one, and I use it for some of the graphics I use in my blogs. I also went to Vista Print trying to find one that felt like who were were.

You can see some examples of the logos. None of them are print ready, I tend to like the one from Vista Print the most, with the three children. I designed the others myself from scratch, and while I liked them when I was making them, and these are a sampling of 50 or so, I am not that fond of them now. (laughing)

This year Tom and I have taken over the web page design and function, it has not been updated for almost two years but taking it over has been wrought with problems and we are still not ready because some codes still need to be entered into the new server from the old.
Tom has been working on the code for 3 months, we worked on design ideas when we were in Ukraine, I have not yet gotten my hands on the web page design because we cannot get the server to upload correctly, but we are almost there. I would love to have the new logo available for the new web page. With what little we have done, and we are busy parents ourselves, there are so many who do so much more.

BUSY, that is what many of us are. Kathy is the president of DS Connection, she is AMAZING and so very busy, I don't know how she does all she does. She is involved in many of the organizations that serve our special needs (I know, not PC to say this) community. She goes to so many board meetings, I get exhausted hearing about her schedule. I know that without Kathy and others like her in our community, nothing would be done for our children and adults with Down syndrome, CP, Autism, cognitive disabilities, etc.
The first logo I made, in January 2007

Kathy is also a dear friend and someone I turn to for advice for my girls, and I wanted to tell her thank you. She was supportive and caring from that first meeting when Meghan was three months old and Kathy lovingly embraced her. Her joy in meeting Meghan obvious by the huge smile on her face and the warmth and acceptance in her eyes. I am grateful for the help she gave me during my health crisis 5 years ago, and the celebratory plant she gave me for my 5th anniversary. For everything she did to help with our adoption of Kara right up to last Wednesday, when she babysat Meghan so I could take Kara to her Child Find meeting.

Thank you Kathy for all you do in the community, for your family and for your friends. You are an amazing woman! Now lets pick a logo woman, do it in your spare time!! (laughing) I put a heart in the first one!! (wink)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Is our court date close?

I spoke to our agency today (thanks Barbara) and tied up loose ends. We are just waiting for a court date at this point, which means at any day we could get word that we are going to Estonia to adopt Amanda!! OR it could be weeks or even months away, no way to know for certain. I do know we are short the funds we need for our adoption, but we are getting so close.

So I was brainstorming about raising the rest of the money we need for Amanda's adoption. I saw a raffle on another blog today and I got the idea to raffle off one of the nesting doll sets (Matryoshka) I brought home from Ukraine.

I hope you will consider entering, each entry is a minimum of $5 and you can enter more than once. We will have a third party pick the winner. All entries must be in by May 15th. I cannot accept credit or debit card payments, only direct funds transfer. To send Credit and Debit Card raffle entries use Paypal account kkbl7befit@yahoo.com It will still count as an entry into the raffle, but the total will not be listed on the raffle widget. Credit card payments each cost me a fee of 30 cents and 2.9% of the total, which is why I used my personal account intead, no extra fees!

I look forward to seeing who will win!

On another note; I wanted to thank Melanie for all her help today and for her gift suggestions. She also told me to be prepared for bottle feeding, heavens, I did not even consider that, so I will be certain to have bottles packed. I know that some friends that adopted from Ukraine had to get special nipples while there, I hope I can find similar here. We have the name of the place we will be staying, a travel agency who we hear is excellent at finding the best rates, and even know where to go for food and shopping. Melanie, you are the best!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thank you Susan

We are very grateful for your donation towards our air fare fund.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Answers to some questions :o)

A few folks asked us about who was going to Estonia when we travel to adopt Amanda. It will be just DH Tom and I. Estonia sets the court date before you travel, so you know exactly how long one spouse has to be there.
Tom will leave as soon as the court date is over and he can sign the paperwork at the US Consulate in Tallinn. We will need a babysitter for the girls for those few days. We have faith we can arrange that unlike the 6 weeks we would have needed for Meghan.

While I do not like the thought of being away from my family and especially my daughters for any length of time; I am hopeful I will not be in Estonia for an extended period of time, certainly not the 6 week stay like Ukraine. The paperwork says 10 working days; I have learned though to expect the unexpected!
We are trying to get our ducks in a row, still trying to decide what to bring. We have not heard back from a lot of people about gifts to bring, I would love some more ideas.

My three little girls

My three little girls
Finally got all three to smile at once