Sunday, March 31, 2013

How much did you say our adoption will cost?

I have had several people ask me lately, "Why does adoption cost so much?"  Well I have been to one orientation and have learned a little bit of the answer to that question.  I think you just have to think of it as an investment.  An investment in counseling for all these women who are at a crossroads.  These women who need guidance and support in probably their greatest time of need.  The investment in a hard working Social Worker who is helping to place children in a safe, loving home, and also collecting and verifying massive amounts of paperwork.  An investment in an agency that helps so many birth mothers, mothers, and adoptive mothers get what they need.  Not to mention lawyer fees. With all that said, I am happy to give to an amazing agency that does so much good for not just adoption, but many other things for communities nationally and internationally. (
We have been told that our domestic infant adoption will cost around $23,000-$25,000.  At first glance it is completely overwhelming to think about what a huge amount of money that is.  Nate and I have been discussing money for months on end.  We went to an adoption Q and A at our church and one of the fathers on the panel said something that stayed with me.  He said that he knew how daunting the money part is, but that, "God will provide, you just have to start the process."  Then a few weeks later Nate gets told that  he was getting a work truck.  Which means, we can sell our jeep!  So we actually haven't sold it yet, but once we do that will give us a good chunk of money.  In the meantime, we have been saving and have saved about $8,000!  Yay!  Now hopefully with the sell of our jeep (Black '06 Grand Cherokee, in case your interested),

 the money we are saving, and a couple fundraisers we might just have it! In the meantime please know that we are in the process of organizing a cornhole tournament fundraiser. If you don't know what cornhole is, it's like washers with bean bags and a larger board. Here is a youtube video... 
Anyway we will be getting more info out on that as it gets closer! Hope this sheds a little light on the cost of adoption. It is vastly different from agency to agency and international to domestic adoption. So all info is pertaining to just our case.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thank you!

I am feeling so blessed and overwhelmed today. We sold all 20 fundraising necklaces within 4 days of putting them on Facebook! Can't even believe how generous all of our friends and family have been. Thank you so much for being a part of this journey with us. I am going to order more necklaces so if you still would like one and hadn't had a chance to speak with me, please let me know. Again, thank you so much! We are blessed beyond measure. Owen says thanks too, in his "Owen" crazy way.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Our Vegas Trip

Ok so to reiterate from an earlier post, we got this amazing room at the Palms Place on British Airway credit card points plus the airfare. Thank you husband! The room was great and we had a super fun trip. We got to see Jersey Boys which was an amazing show at the Paris hotel. Highly recommend it! We also met up with a couple of Nate's worker affiliates at Caesars, watched my Sooners get beat in the tournament (boo!), and played several hands of pai gow! Unfortunately my time by the pool was minimal due to wind, but I got plenty of reading done. Owen was well taken care of by my in-laws and parents and we are on a plane home to see our sweet boy. He will be in bed when we get there but I fully plan on giving him a kiss as soon as we get there! Hope you all have a wonderful rest of your weekend.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Las Vegas

Nate, the hubs, is a huge fan of the credit card points. Just some background on Nate, if he can't brag about how cheap he got something he won't buy it. Now this applies with everything except vacations. He is like a kid in a candy store when it comes to vacations. He would spend A LOT of money on vacationing if I said yes. Our friends seek him out on vacation help because they know that Nate lives for planning vacations. He likes to always have a vacation on the horizon. We have been to many places since getting married but there is one place that we always go back to and that's Las Vegas. We used to average about 2-3 times a year prior to having Owen. Nate loves to play poker and I love shows of any sort. (Dance/Concerts/cirque de soleil/comedians/etc).  I used to love 3 card poker and slots too but not so much anymore since we only have one income, one kid, and one "on the way".  I also love laying by a pool (and reading) and we all know Vegas has amazing pools. So here we are, on a flight to Vegas. I have counted all the trips I can remember and I am up to 10 Vegas trips. Pretty sure Nate is like 15ish. I know, its disturbing to think how much money has been blown. Anyway since we have been saving for our adoption and Nate is all about a Vegas trip I told him that if he could get airfare and hotel paid for via credit card points then we could work it out. We usually go with friends or family but this time we ended up solo. Looking forward to the trip but anxious (more so than normal) about leaving Owen (that's another post). So I will let you know how the trip goes maybe even post a few blogs by the pool;)!

The Mommy Guilts

I have started to get the mommy guilts lately. I can pinpoint when it started which was right about 18-20 months when I started letting Owen watch T.V. The pediatrician always nicely reminded me when I went into the office that "he shouldn't watch T.V. until 2 yrs. old." At some point I gave up and let him watch a few shows. Then I called my church preschool in January about when the fall sign up was. And they just happened to have a spot open in his age classroom right then. This would also ensure that he would have a spot in September. So I took it. I use the excuse in my head that I am in graduate school and have two classes on campus this semester. (Univ of Texas at Arlington, about 45 mins from my house) Which is true, but it still makes me feel bad. I don't know why I think it's more OK to put Owen in school at 2 and a half rather than right at 2. So silly. Since my classes are Tues. evening and Thursday morning, I don't get to put him to bed on Tuesdays or take him to school on Thursdays. Please don't read this and think that I am judging anyone else for their decisions. I have learned not to judge anyone else's decisions regarding their children. Life is too complicated to know how WE need to make our own choices let alone how others need to make their choices. Now we are leaving Owen for four days to go on vacation without him. I feel terrible. He has been super clingy lately and I don't know how he will feel about us being gone. I realize that I am being a bit irrational picking a fight with Nate this morning and crying because we are leaving but hey, I am an irrational person when it comes to my kid. Anyway I decided to write this because only other Mommy's would know the Mommy Guilt. It's terrible and no matter how much time we spend with our children will it ever be enough?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Gallery Wall- My Weekend Project

Ok I changed my gallery wall and started another one.  I think it looks better this time around.
Gallery walls have been a big question mark for me.  I am such a symmetrical person that it makes me super anxious to think of a wall with a bunch of stuff on it!  Not sure if I have been exposed yet but here is my secret.  I AM A TOTAL CONTROL FREAK.  It's true, I know you're all shocked.  So I tackled my fear and came up ok. I am going to be honest and say that I do not LOVE the wall yet.  But I really like aspects of the wall.  What do you guys think?  Any advice?  I painted all the canvases using stencils (except the family pic, of course) and surprisingly I have an urge to connect the gallery wall with the canvas above the doorway.  This particular wall is about 25-30 ft. tall and I would love to paint it too but need to invest in a very tall ladder.  Maybe another weekend...

I finally finished the hallway. SO here are the pics. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Mini Celebration-The Adoption Application is Complete!

We did it!!!  I realize it's odd to write an entire blog about turning in an adoption application but only to people who have not done it before.  We have social security cards, drivers licenses, a marriage certificate, birth certificates, and pictures of the house photocopied.  We have done a will, setup life insurance, verified employment, verified financial stability, printed the last three tax returns, gotten a floor plan of our house, signed a bunch of releases, and answered 10 page questionnaires (each of us).  We have answered the formal application, made three copies of everything, gotten 5 people to verify we are legit, and mailed it off.  It is time to celebrate...until they call and tell us that we have missed something!  Ha! Hopefully this last part doesn't happen since I have checked and rechecked everything!!! 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Book Club!

I have been a reader since my mother got me into mysteries as a kid. I was bored one summer and she just kept saying, "just go read a book, I promise you will love it." I started with RL Stine and jumped to Mary Higgins Clark pretty quickly. She was right (ugh) I loved it.  In 7th grade I read The Giver and was hooked to the dystopic novels (although I didn't know this word at the time). I read consistently through middle and high school, learning to appreciate a few classics. The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Farenheit 451, hating others like Beowolf. When I hit college is when my love for Harry Potter, just like the rest of the world, started. I also found a love in Greek mythology. After college I started reading memoirs that might help my career as a Social Worker to understand different perspectives. I kept reading all these amazing books like; The Glass Castle, Running with Scissors, Scratch Beginnings, Look Me in the Eyes, and many many others. Nate and I moved to Mexico one summer and I was reading anything I could find in English and just happened to come across a gem called Water for Elephants. (With that being said, my heart, still belongs to Harry Potter after all these years.). But as I finished these books I would want so badly to talk with people about them. I started recommending them to others and then figured what the heck, I will just start my own club. So three years ago this coming July my book club started the first book, Olive Kitteridge. We have been going strong for two and a half years. The core group is still pretty much in tact with a few newer people, and a couple have come and gone. We meet once a month and have switched up the rules at the beginning of each year. I love these meetings and always look forward to them. We have now had five new babies come into the group and our husbands and children join our meetings in December for a book exchange party. I just finished a wonderful historical fiction (which I have learned to love through this group of ladies) called Shanghai Girls by Lisa See. I have also been able to re-read/enjoy/attempt to read some classics and learned a new love for some young adult series too. I will probably continue to update you on my current reads, adoption books are my current fad. As I was writing this I was mad that I didn't get to put in so many other books that have made an impression so I will write those out below;)
The Color of Water
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
The Red Tent
The Five Love Languages (I keep mentioning this for a reason)
Bringing up Boys
A Thousand Splendid Sons
The Kite Runner
Jason and the Argonauts
The Odyssey
The Illiad
Percy Jackson series
Hunger Game series
Divergent Series
Brave New World
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Gone Girl
Just FYI, this may have been my most fun blog to write, all you other readers will understand!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fundraising necklaces

Our adoption necklaces have arrived! An amazing woman makes necklaces and allows people adopting to sell them and keep 50% of the profits to go towards their adoptions. I received them in the mail yesterday and they are very cute. If you are interested in purchasing one, they are $24. Please message me and I will let you know how you can purchase one!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Our Home

Another place that we haven't touched. Nate is starting to save for a back patio since he finished with the media room electronics, this is his new project. Of course a border and more landscaping will be in our post adoption future.



Media Room

Nate ordered all the pieces for the media room through eBay. We think he got a great deal doing it that way rather than going to a home theater company or having best buy do it. We have yet to do anything else, so here is the media room.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Study/ Filling out Adoption Paperwork Room;)

Here is the study.  We actually had the builder inclose this room because it was originally meant to be a "living space", whatever that means.  That was the only thing we changed since it was a spec home.  I have decorated and redecorated this room.  Still not super happy with it, but for now it may be the most decorated room in the house, so I better leave it a lone for a while.  The original rug I bought from Urban Outfitters was moved into our Master for now and we got a new black shag rug, via Nate's generous parents for Christmas.  I am in love with the curtains in this room, they are a black and white damask that I found at Hobby Lobby.  I actually moved them into my living room for our black and white New Years party this year.  (Have to post about that another time.)  Hope you can see the pictures okay, that sun shines through those windows and makes everything so dark, can you tell photography is NOT a hobby of mine?

Let the good times roll, Gameroom!

Nate had dreams of a pool table and a foosball table, but I had other dreams.  A craft room for me and playroom for Owen (a long with any future little ones that come along).  We will be moving all the downstairs playroom toys into this once we start the nursery for our new baby.  But here is the room as it stands now.

Our Guest Bedroom

Since our Master Bedroom was painted grey in the old house our bedroom decor was centered around that.  In the new house, since our bedroom was already painted a khaki color (that keeps throwing me off) we decided to put all our old bedroom decor upstairs in the guest bedroom.  We painted the walls grey and decorated pretty much the same as our old Master.  It's super dark in this room and hard to get good pics.  This is also the room we took our profile picture in.  I did make the headboard by reupholstering (via pinterest) and we switched out the white polka dot coverlet for the grey one, although I am starting to like the polka dots better looking at these pictures.

Owen's Nursery

Owen's nursery was another room that I had completely decorated in my head before I started.  Now I posted pictures from our old house first because I have really great pictures from his six month photo shoot.  Courtesy of Blackerby Photography, an amazing couple of photographers who we went to high school with.  (Please check them out if you need anyone amazing!)  May have gotten a little carried away with the Owen pics.  I also posted pics of the new house taken by me, so they are pretty sad.  It pretty much looks the same.