Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Busy bees burn out fast!

Well...I have the best of intentions and worst of applications sometimes with the things I plan to do with my time. One thing was to get pictures of the beautiful little blanket my co-worker made for Emma on here. So, here they are...

I just can't say how generous she was and how thoughtful her thinking of us is.

Also, Emma's bedding came in! We visited mom's this weekend to help fix up after some remodeling and I took it to show her. Turns out a framed cross stitch work that mom did long ago and was in John's room will go perfectly with her bedding colors, and therefore will have a spot in the nursery. Here are pictures of both...the cross stitch doesn't show the colors as vividly as they are, but they do match rather nicely!

We also got news that our dossier had been given to the Kyrgyz embassy last Thursday and we should expect to wait another 30 days or so for it to be released! I'm very excited about that, and content with the pace things are moving and the direction they are going! Love it when plans come together.

So..now, busy at school, busy at home, busy everywhere. I am going to see OPOTB (Old Perverts on the Block) Thursday and look forward to hanging out with Nanci and hopefully walking down memory lane (and not into the gates of hell)!

I know, I know...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Can you say lockdown (without shaking)?

Well...first, go here...

Now...factor in that the bank is barely a mile, if that from my school. Add in that the place the robbers left the first car is at the end of the street from my school. Join that with the complete roadblocks of any road that leads to (or from) my school and put lock down words in quotes and you have my morning.

I will not lie. I was scared. When one hears words they know signify something of mal intent on the horizon, and realizes that it was not planned, one tends to worry about the sweet little 7-year olds in her care. Hypothetically speaking, of course. I have been part of a lock down before, in North Carolina, and that was scary, but somewhat removed. Hearing helicopters ON TOP OF YOU and knowing they are searching for someone (or someones)in your back yard, and you are not exactly sure of what is going on is very disconcerting. And let me tell you, anyone who underestimates the ability of kids to correctly assess the gravity of a situation is just plain wrong. My kids are SMART and asked SMART questions and had SMART responses. I was very proud of them, and once I found out (officially) that we were pretty much taking precautionary measures, I made sure to praise them! Observant little buggers, though! One parent, who very sweetly thanked me for taking care of her baby (my pleasure) told me that her son said he wasn't scared, but that he knew I was a little worried because my hand was shaking when I was trying to text John (to find out WHAT THE HECK WAS GOING ON!). A little worried. Bless his heart. The fact that once our doors were reopened and the kids acted as if they had not even been aware of a situation tells me that I did well, and so did my school, in a scary situation. Thank goodness that woman and her children are safe, and thank goodness those bad men decided to take their dough and GET AWAY! Leave the babies ALONE!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What am I in for?

Okay, friends...remember when I was SOOOOOO psyched to go see the New Kids On The Block concert with my dear friend Nanci???

Well...that psyched-ness has now given way to fear. Fear because I bought the CD, thinking it would be good to know some of the new songs and I am just so disappointed I can't even begin to tell you. (Okay, well, obviously that isn't true as I sit here and type about it, but I'm trying to express my state of mind!)

Songs like "Sexify My Love" and "Dirty Dancing"--which are pretty explicit in their innuendo, as well as "Lights, Camera, Action" (imagine making your own porno) and "Full Service" (where you don't even have to get out of your car) are truly terrifying me. NOT so much because I think they will play more of these new trash songs instead of the old, bubble-gum songs I want to hear, but more because this is the type of trash that girls all over this country (and now the world, as they have international concert dates) listen to and are swayed by and DON'T NEED TO HEAR. One song talks about how they are content with their girlfriend at home but there's this one "shorty" and, well...he can take a shower when he gets home so she won't know. WHAT THE HECK???? On what planet is it okay to propagate the idea that cheating on one's significant other is OK? Oh, wait, this one. More specifically, this country. And, sadly for Nanci (who loved Donnie) a majority of the songs (that one too) were written by him--or at least co-written. No wonder he's recently divorced. Maybe the plumbing wasn't working in his house the night he was dirty dancing.

I am so disheartened by all of this.

I hate to say it, but even if they DON'T play any of these songs at the concert, I will still probably have a hard time simply because I know what degrading and demeaning words they are standing behind. After listening to a lot of those songs, I feel like I need a shower myself.

So. Here's my plan. I am VERY excited to get to see Nanci again next week, and we will be sure to enjoy a nice dinner and wonderful conversation. THEN, at the concert, I know they will just take us down memory lane, probably play that Summertime song that is popular (and isn't THAT terrible, comparatively) and we will have a fun evening.

And then, I will have to pretty much leave the New Kids back on the block.
The chopping block, that is.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Random Acts

Well, what a great way to start my day! (And I was right, my weekend was WAY too short!)

A sweet, thoughtful and generously spirited woman works at my school. The kids all affectionately call her Mrs. K (which is good because I SO can't spell her last name!) and she is the pre-school para-professional. She is kind and always interested in others, and I know that she has SOOO much going on in her own life, but makes time for everyone else.

This morning, as I was signing in, she had a big box with a card on it. The card said "Emma J. Ennis" and I just couldn't believe what she was doing...she was giving me a present for my sweet baby girl--and we don't even KNOW where or who she is!! Inside the box was a beautiful blanket, hand-knitted with Italian nylon (very soft and durable) and decorated with knitted roses. I just couldn't do anything but cry, and remember that there are SO many wonderful people by whom I am surrounded! This woman has so many things going on in her own life, trust me, but still took the time to make something for my little girl...amazing. I was very easily and wonderfully reminded that God's love shines in so many ways and I'm so blessed to see it.

Now, of course being me, I left the flipping box at school this afternoon because I was in a hurry to go get my allergy shot, so I will post a picture of it tomorrow. I just can't say how deeply I was touched.

And, I have to say this because it is driving me MAD. I HATE HATE HATE those stupid verification boxes when leaving comments for blogs. I have no idea what drunkard puts those things together, but I DON'T READ DRUNK SO WELL. PLEASE MAKE THEM A BIT EASIER TO READ!!

Ahh...I feel better.

Friday, September 19, 2008

When I am president, weekends will be longer!!

Okay, maybe a few adventures in my life may not allow me to run for president, but if I DID and if I WON, you can believe that weekends would be longer. It's just Friday evening and it already feels like the weekend is over--and only because I am just thinking of all we have going on! Hail and Farewell tonight, moving friends tomorrow, church, errands and clean-up Sunday...and let me stress clean-up could take days just by itself! I'm tired already!

I ordered Emma's bedding on the 8th and still haven't gotten it yet, so I'm going to have to contact them this weekend as well. It seems like it was a smaller company from which I ordered, so they may not even be open this weekend. I have to say, when putting myself through college, I did so in retail jobs. I HATED retail hours, but as a consumer, I always understood them. So, here's hoping this company does as well.

Off to start the chain of events that are my weekend...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We've been translated!!!

Dear John and Lori,

Today I finished printing the translations, copying and legalizing your dossier.

The dossier, plus 2 copies and the check for Carol are all in a box to be delivered on Thursday.

Carol will take your dossier to the US Dept of State next week – it takes several days as only a 15 docs per day can be hand delivered.

Then when she has them all authenticated she will do the copies of the authentications – then she be ready to submit your dossier to the Embassy.

Carol anticipates sometime next week.

I will let you know!

Have a great day!

The above is from our caseworker and was received about an hour ago!! Hooray! We were told about 2-3 weeks, and according to the timeline above, we've been waiting for 3 weeks and 5 days...not too bad! I'm VERY excited about the process...Ally said that it shouldn't be at the Embassy for more than a month, before it heads to Kyrgyzstan, so...that means that our little Emma docs may be in her country at the beginning of November!!! Wouldn't that be lovely? Here's praying for everyone who ends up touching this dossier and getting it to where it needs to be and doing what needs to be done!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Didn't even have to beg!

Well, this weekend, we had to go 'to town' as it basically is called here in good old Southern Maryland, and we went to Waldorf...which is not really a town at all, but a little closer than Annapolis (my pick ANY day) and as we had a football game to get back for (and thank goodness we were able to watch the near loss...hmmm...) we (rather, John) didn't want to be out all day. Sooo... since we were going, I had a few things to look for, and since they were at the mall, which is where John wanted to go anyway, that was ok. Then we needed to go to Petco so we could get some filtering apparatus--whatever. I knew that Babies 'R' Us was in the same shopping center, though, so I asked if we could go there, just to show John what kind of furniture I was thinking about (and secretly to look for Maria's little Ellie's valance for her room...no luck, though)and John said, "Yes." No eye roll. No *sigh* "Yes." No "Hon, I didn't....(this is how he always tries to start of his admonishment, condescension, disagreement, whatever---"Hon," like that makes it better)"

Simply, "Yes." Rather, "Okay."

And when in Babies 'R' Us, I didn't immediately go to cribs, but car seats and strollers, and he followed AND even commented...of course the comments were, "Pink and BROWN? Yuck." (this was the Britax Marathon he was looking at)"You want WHITE furniture? What about the dark wood?" Or, his all time go-to remark, "Of COURSE you like that one...it's the most expensive," which is not really fair because I am truthfully pretty cheap, I just like the thought of the best that I can have for my baby and if it is a little more money, well...so we don't eat out next weekend.

In any event, the point is that he didn't put up a fight, he looked at things, gave some comments, which I will heartily file away under the "He won't know the difference/care/bother to complain about it anyway" category, and was almost a little bit interested. Emma will be one spectacularly lucky little girl, because doing all this NOW is a HUGE step for her daddy...I can only imagine what it will be like for John when she's with us. I might as well start buying all the "Daddy's Girl" gear I can now. Although, our spoiled little Dixie Belle already has a ton of that stuff anyway because she is SOOOO her daddy's dog. Guess she'll have to learn what it feels like to be second fiddle (and I third!) soon enough...since she was 5 pounds, 9 ounces at 6 weeks old, that's how I have felt! I'll be glad to show her the ropes!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


...is what my dear friend Natalie said she could literally feel as she read my post the other day, and I guess she is right. It was a frustrated rant (like I said, the rants and raves of my life) and I think dug at something deeper than worries I have for Emma. By something deeper, I mean insecurities and feelings I have about myself. Which is more than I feel like writing (or thinking) about right now.

So...on that note, no news on the adoption (other than it is still in translation) and I don't really expect much news these days.

Started choir again last night and I found out I have to commit to a vocal evaluation. Now, I see both sides of the choir coin--the worship choir leads and inspires and should obviously be an inspiring and leading group. It is a ministry. BUT, I also feel like those who want to make joyful noises (and yes, I can make some noise) should be able to without being told that due to their voice, choir isn't the ministry for them. I can't sing. I sing along. I am not bad when I have someone to listen to and mimic...in fact, I'm even ok. But by myself...umm...well, anyway...I figure I'll go and see. If I feel intimidated (moreso than I already am) I'll just obviously not do it. And then never show my face again.

Ha ha. Just kidding.

Sort of.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why does blood have to be thicker?

Friends, let me preface this with telling you it is probably not of any interest to you, and definitely more laundry than I should air, but feel like just getting it off my chest. So, with that in mind, keep reading if you bother...

That being said, if anyone in my family reads this (though I doubt many family members do) take nothing personally. If you do, I am sorry.

I've said that my conception was not one of the best circumstances. My mom was in love with, and ditched by, the sperm donor. She met and married my dad when I was a baby, and the rest has been history.

My mom died five years ago. My dad met a very nice woman a little later and remarried. I am very happy that he's happy. I know he loves her and she makes him happy, and though my parents didn't always have the shining example of a loving marriage I hope to have for Emma (gotta keep working on that one J ) I know my mom would want him happy and I am glad he is. His new wife is a nice woman, and I have always liked her and been glad she makes my dad happy. She has two daughters, who were near adult when they married, and they are just that to me...my dad's wife's daughters. Perhaps if I had lost my mom when I was a child and he remarried and we became a blended family, they may be more. That was not the case, though, and as a 30 year old, losing her mom, I did not feel that my dad's marriage automatically meant I now had to be part of a new family. I was fine with what I had, and more, fine with the fact that my dad had a wife with kids and if he wanted to be a 'dad' to them, well, all the power to him, but that did not mean that I, at 32, needed to assume big sister role to his new wife's children. Nor did I want to. I don't think that makes me a bad person, it simply means that I had a childhood family, I was an adult, and though I would certainly consider his wife and kids familial, I did not all of a sudden gain a new family. Here's the problem...he, in his quest to be a good man (and he is) and to prove that loving his wife means loving everything about her (a quality that also endeared him greatly to my mom) basically told my siblings and me this: "This is your step-mother, these are your step-sisters, like it or not, we're family." Well, nothing creates an us vs. them mentality like that, let me tell you...well, actually, receiving the first Christmas card from "The Mullins Family"--a family I previously thought I was part of--sort of put a divided stance in there...though not intentional, I know.

So...after several conversations that in truth, I wish I was never a part of, the bottom line boiled down to me as this: My dad married my mom and I was part of the package. He loved her, so he learned to (and I know still does) love me. Same thing now for his wife and her daughters. He loves her, so he loves them...which, in his mind, puts the step-daughters he met a couple years ago and ME, the daughter he RAISED, on equal footing. Neither share his blood, came to him as a package deal, but he loves us and we are his daughters.

Now, this is the point where in my mind (and out loud sometimes) I scream, "ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?" "YOU RAISED ME. You put bandaids on my cuts and taught me to ride a bike and swim and took me to the spelling bee and rubbed my legs when they hurt (though you lied about them being growing pains because I SO did not grow!) and WALKED ME DOWN THE FREAKING AISLE!!!!!) HOW ON EARTH CAN YOUR NEW WIFE'S DAUGHTERS BE PUT ON THE SAME PLATFORM AS ME? YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO LOVE ME MORE--PERIOD."

Please don't think me unfair in my yelling at my dad (because of course, I can't) but understand that this cuts through my heart like a knife. What makes me special to him? If new 'daughters' (GROWN, remember) come along and have the same place in his heart, well...

I share all this because earlier today we had a conversation in which he expressed his disappointment that I didn't send a graduation gift/card/acknowledgement to one of his 'step-daughters' earlier in the year and it hurt both him and his wife. For that, I am sorry, but in truth, this 'step-sister' is an adult, does not send ME cards or emails or express any interest in me (which is fine with me because again, I am an ADULT and have siblings and am content with and feel that just as she is my dad's wife's daughter, I am her mom's husband's daughter and that still just makes us familial, not necessarily family) and I don't really feel that terrible. So, his comparison? And I quote...
"Lori, and this is purely hypothetical, you are adopting a daughter, right?" (Why he needs to distinguish that I am adopting escapes me, basically, I am just preparing to have a baby, but whatever...)
"Well, what if something like that happened and I didn't send a card or acknowledge?"
"I'd cut you out of my (and her) life so fast your head would spin because there would be NO REASON to do that to your GRANDCHILD and BLOOD OR NO BLOOD, that is what she is."
"This step-daughter, on the other hand, is someone that until 3 years ago I didn't know existed and forgive me if I don't feel quite the same attachment."

And that was that.

Again, let me reiterate that my dad is a wonderful man and was a wonderful father and I lacked for nothing. But, I'm putting it out there now.

I will NEVER let Emma feel that she is anything but meant to be my child from the second she was conceived REGARDLESS of her blood, or how she came to me. If ANYONE I know feels the need to differentiate her in ANY way because she is adopted, they will NEVER see her, nor me again. It will be as if they never existed. And anyone who knows me knows that when I mean business, I MEAN business.

Of course she will know she is adopted, but she will know that mainly because I need to let her know that she was MEANT to be with me, and if it meant that I had to adopt her to get her, well, that's what happened. And anyone who has issues with any of that can...well...nice knowing you.

Forgive the bitterness. My goal in life will be that Emma never feels this pain. Ever.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How warm will they be this winter?

Friends, I am heartbroken.

John Wright's site had a guest post. David and Jane said that the Kyrgyz government was going to cut electricity down to 8 hours a day this winter. They want everyone to convert to coal. PROBLEM: Coal is expensive. And getting more expensive by the day. PROBLEM: Those who don't (or can't) convert to coal suffer. Simple. John said that the orphanage in Tokmok will probably get everyone together at night so they stay warmer. How much that hurts my heart! What if my little Emma is there this winter? What if she is born (or is already?) and has to spend her time waiting until mommy and daddy are allowed to bring her home in the freezing cold, huddled, hoping that her caretakers (themselves probably just as cold) can figure a way out to keep them all warm enough to SURVIVE, much less be comfortable?

I can't write anymore. Please pray for the hearts of the government officials making those decisions to realize what they are doing.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Okay, I realize that I in no way, shape or form have any justification to being annoyed by Hurricane Gustav, in light of the horrible things that storm is bringing to so many along the Gulf Coast, but....I am a little on the annoyed side. Of course that could be because I am SOOOOO tired, so I am going to claim that as my defense of the following. I'll call it Gustavitis.

I am annoyed that AirTran cancelled all flights out of Pensacola for today, leaving me with the option of getting out late last night on the "We're sorry, we won't be flying tomorrow, maybe this will help you out a bit?" flight, laying over in Atlanta and getting home today OR leaving on Tuesday. I got home earlier today, so you know what option I chose. I'll just let you imagine how much fun it was and how tired I am.

I am REALLY annoyed that people who TOTALLY know the rules for carry-on luggage, yet feel that the rule doesn't apply to THEM and that their 'little' bit extra doesn't make a difference. IT DOES! When we have to spend 18 hours trying to shove carry-ons that OBVIOUSLY won't fit in the overhead luggage (and then 18 more hours checking in the stuff that didn't fit--go figure) I really am perturbed at our (and I include me in this, so don't freak out) ideas as a culture that we are entitled to things simply because we ARE and rules be darned...

I am annoyed that I feel so tied to my job that I couldn't enjoy the extra day that Airtran originally tried to throw at me since they cancelled flights today and I missed more time with some of the most important people in my life. Why can't I follow my own mantra that I try to tell everyone I live by--"I work to live, not live to work." It's almost like God said,"Hey, Lori, hang out another day! You LOVE these people and they are good for your soul. I'll take care of the arrangements for you," and my response was, "Thanks, God, but since you are probably too busy to write the sub lesson plans, I'm going to have to take a raincheck on this one." How ungrateful I can be.

I am annoyed (but secretly love) that my husband thinks that I am like Kate on Jon and Kate Plus 8 just because I am particular and like order, clean clothes and things to work the way they should. As I always say, for a man who TOTALLY runs on a his own hidden agenda and gets a kick out of being "the rational one" when that is a TOTAL act, he doesn't have much room to talk. Ask John about his analgous theory of how marriages are like cars...then tell me that I don't have to do something to give my life some structure and assurance!

I am annoyed that though I love not checking email or blogs for a few days, I TOTALLY feel computer withdrawal. I do NOT want to live my life in front of a computer, yet I just checked email/blogs/groups and realize how much I missed in just 2 days. Ugghh...

BUT...I'm NOT annoyed at:

FIVE families got some much needed news and movement in their cases to bring their babies home.

I had a WONDERFUL time in Pensacola...I didn't remember how much I loved and missed it until I was there...much less how much I love and miss our gang. How blessed we are with friends we know couldn't be more family if we shared the same blood.

Prison Break starts tonight. I know that if Wentworth Miller met me, he might fall in love. Of course, John says the same for him and Jessica Alba, and who am I to shatter that dream? I think odds are more in my favor since she just had a baby and seems pretty attached.

Finding the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. I have already devoured the first book and will start the 2nd after Prison Break (boy, my life stinks, doesn't it...)

And mostly, I am so NOT annoyed at how, despite all my Gustavitis rants, I am so blessed. I have a great husband, great house, great kids I get to work with every day, great dogs, great friends, great family members and a FABULOUSLY put together dossier (if I say so myself) that's being translated and will bring my little Emma home.

So, I guess Gustav inspired annoyances really have purpose.