Thursday, February 26, 2009

9 months

Wow, almost forgot that today marked 9 months since we committed to our little Andjela. I can't even believe it's been that long. The length of a pregnancy, and just like a pregnancy I am so ready for this to be done and I've even gained 20 lbs of what I lost after I had Dawson - stress eating LOL!!!

I can only hope it will be soon. Very, very soon!

Love you, Em!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

close to my heart

This is Mattea. Although she and Emerson are from different countries and Mattea is older, they have one big thing in common - a complete AV canal. You have followed along with me as I express the agony of time passing for Emerson, knowing how precious that time is when it comes to surgically repairing this heart defect... well little Mattea is 6 years old.

Tomorrow morning Mattea will make the first step toward hopeful repair... a heart catheterization. This will give a better idea of the damage done by the defect remaining unrepaired for so long, and what options are available for correction.

I know someday soon we will be making that same journey with Em, so tonight Mattea and her wonderful family are very close to my heart. Please keep them close to yours, too! ^_^

You can visit their blog here!

Monday, February 23, 2009

just Marching along

Just a little update - Emerson's last bit of paperwork is on its way to completion - her Social Work Center is hoping to have it submitted by the end of this week! So March is still within our sight, I'm thinking maybe the third or fourth week of March? Maybe we will know next week or the week after - both seem so close now! I cannot wait to start making plans to go get our angel! :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

standing tall

Look what Dawson has just started doing - so happy for my big boy! ^_^

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Today I thought of something long-forgotten and I just rushed through my old emails to confirm my memory.

Ages ago, when I was newly pregnant with baby #3, an online pal told me about her friend who was supposedly great with baby predictions - sex of the baby, relevant month (birth or conception, etc). Anyway, she sent an email to her friend asking about our third little one and she predicted a girl - she was right!

After we found out Macy was indeed a girl, she went on to say we would have another child, a boy, in early to mid-December the very next year. I laughed at the time, thinking we were done having children and even if we weren't, baby #3 and #4 would be far too close together!

Haha, joke was on me! ^_^

Midway through Dawson's pregnancy, absolutely certain our family was complete and thinking nothing of Down syndrome or adoption, she sent me an email telling me she saw another little girl coming to us, one that would be about 2 years apart from, vaguely, "your son" (did not say which one, but Em is nearly exactly 2 years younger than Parker). She said that her hair would be a bit lighter than the hair of our other children, that she would be a joyful person who loves dancing, always smiling, laughing and wanting kisses and hugs even when she was older and would be surrounded by many people who loved her and wanted to help her.

And the significant month she saw for this little girl was March.

I am not sure why I didn't remember that email until now. Maybe she will be right again. :)

Oh yes, and in case you don't already have goosebumps - what was the day she sent me this unexpected email about this little girl?
8/13/07, three days after Em was born half a world away. :)

behind closed doors

Well hello there - our first PRIVATE post! Doesn't it feel like we're all part of some secret club having a very secretive meeting? LOL

A quick explanation - going forward for Serbian adoptions, it is preferred that we do not share pictures of the child or mention the country by name... or we go private. Since I could not bear not to post pictures of our beautiful angel and her beautiful country, we are choosing to go private. Not that big of a deal, but....

I am amazed at the number of requests I received for access to our blog - OVER 100!!!
Unfortunately, blogger only allows 100 readers for a private blog. :( So, I removed a few from my contact lists that I haven't heard from in a while, and there are a few spots left - so if I did forget anyone who is currently following along, hopefully they contact me. I am so humbled by the number of people out there thinking about our sweet Emerson.

I promise I will reopen my blog publicly after our adoption is complete and I have some time to go back and edit pre-adoption posts for privacy.

Yesterday we also got a little update on Em's never-ending paperwork saga; the Ministry is waiting on her Social Work Center for one final step. Our facilitator and the officials are working hard to get everything done and we can only continue to hope that all will fall into place. We are desperately wishing for March, and there is still time for that wish to come true!

Tomorrow will be 7 months since we submitted our dossier. At times I feel I surely cannot wait another minute, another second, or I will burst. Other times I manage to find a sense of calm. Usually I am hovering precariously between the two.

They say adoption is a rollercoaster; they are not kidding! But just think what all of those screams, laughs and tears will bring us in the end.
Thank you for continuing to come along for the wild ride! ^_^


Edited to add at 10:04 PM:

Well, we are at full capacity - 100 readers!!! I just know tomorrow I'll get a few emails asking for invites, I hate to say no to anyone. :(
I am thinking about creating a second, public blog without pictures/country specifics at least with updates on our adoption progress - I want everyone to share in our journey! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Our blog will be going private as of tomorrow - so sorry for the short notice - but please send me an email ( or leave a comment with your email if you'd like an invite.


p.s. No, we are not going private because we are traveling soon - sorry if this got a few peoples' hopes up LOL! It is simply a matter of necessity with privacy.



We'll be switching to private this evening, so please contact me today if you haven't already for an invite! :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

the nonreturnable song

I have to say how much I love Mika Antic. My most favorite poet has always been Emily Dickinson, but he certainly gives her a run for her money. :) I love them all, but this is one of my favorites.

Once you step into the world
don’t ever look back.
Don’t mess around.
Don’t change your mind.
I am also running with no return.
I will never go back.
What does old sun mean,
old paths,
old doorsill?
That is what can make you grieve.
That is what you can give your heart to.
But if you ever go back
- you must know:
that is where you stop.
And stay.

It’s as dangerous as a snake,
as dangerous as a bullet,
when inside me forever buds
and tickles me, my new beginning.
And I wanna rush into the world.
I keep my heart still.
And close my eyes.
But once I set off - I wont stop,
because I only know to rush.
I don’t know where.
I don’t know why.
I don’t know what’s hidden there.
I only know that I can’t
here, where - the moment I stretch my leg -
someone ties me,
bridles me
puts horse-shoes on me.

It’s as dangerous as lightning.
As dangerous as a bullet
when my beginning forever snoozes inside me
and tortures me.
That’s why I elope.
Create dawn when it’s night.
Let life learn from you
to speak softly and to flow.
You are such a kind of miracle
that can’t do anything little,
so, when you start - start crazy,
Who knows what awaits for you there
in those fogs, far away
but even if you turn to gold,
or you pay a high, bitter price for all of it
just always go forward.

Never go back.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

behind these hazel eyes

Okay, so more like brown eyes but it's the title of a song so I couldn't change it heh!

I hate to steal the spotlight from Cade's birthday post so I thought I'd post separately about how surprised I am with how tough today was for me.

If this adoption were a pregnancy, I'd be due this week - and I must be feeling it. Today felt so much like a child was missing, when we were opening presents in the living room I got this sense of panic that I had left a baby in their crib, then realized Dawson was sitting right there on my lap.

She should have been here to celebrate today. I should have been talking about how beautiful Belgrade was, how fantastic the food tasted, how scary her heart surgery was but how this brave and beautiful girl came through just fine. Instead I was answering for I think the ten thousandth time the question of "When?" And as I have been responding for the past 5 months, with a small smile, "Hopefully next month."

I miss her. If anyone thinks it isn't possible to miss someone you've never even met, they're wrong. And while these days I seem to be functioning mostly on auto pilot, inside I am giving myself a small smile and trying to stop dreaming about "when."

my sweetheart

Five years ago we fell in love with a tiny little surprise named Cade - oh how time flies!

We spent the last few days getting everything ready for his first big party with lots of friends - including staying up last night until 3 decorating the cake LOL! - and he had such a great time, it was all worth it! :) The party was 3 hours long and it was complete chaos for most of the time with kids racing in and out of the playroom and the kids bedrooms and cookies and cake with 8 lbs of homemade buttercream frosting (yes, 8 lbs!) My little guy is becoming such a little man!

Here are some pictures from his Superhero Extravaganza!:

Cade's favorite present, from Grandpa, a robot dinosaur - it spent much of the morning stomping around the house while Macy and Parker ran away in terror LOL!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

two angels

Two precious little ones in Ukraine waiting for their families to find them passed away from a flu epidemic recently. I am so sad for Margarita and Katerina, though I know now they no longer suffer in what must have been a very lonely world for them.

I cannot understand, I will never understand, how we let these things happen. We can do so much better than this. Please think and pray for these newest angels, and all the children still waiting in their lonely worlds.

I miss my Emerson even more tonight. How I wish I could put my hand on her heart and tell her she will be okay, but even if she won't that she will spend however many days she has wrapped in the love of a family.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

18 months

Our little Emerson is 18 months old today! It is hard to believe that we committed to adopting her when she was only 9 months old. We have been waiting half of her life for her! But I must remember she has been waiting all of her life for us.

We love you beautiful girl and we will celebrate your next milestone together - 2 years old! :)

Monday, February 09, 2009

the best gift

27 years ago I was born in sunny San Diego, California - now I am busy planning a party this Saturday for a 5 year old LOL! Isn't life amazing?

Just like these pictures - most definitely the best birthday present I received today. Thank you to our sweet friend, J! ^_^

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Dawson has been doing so much lately - he signs and says "milk," signs and says "more," and says a few other words when he feels like it LOL - eat, drink, ball, book, roll, boo, up and bye-bye (and sometimes waves) - and the two cutest new things are playing pat-a-cake when asked (he even knows when to roll his hands and then when to start patting again!) and he's started lifting himself up on his crib rail, rotating up onto his knees and shins.

This is the first time I've thought it might be time to raise the bar - very soon he won't be my little baby anymore! :( Here is a little video of him hanging out in Macy's crib showing off and otherwise being a complete joy in our lives. I just can't wait until Em is beside him. ^_^

Thursday, February 05, 2009

a therapist's dream

This morning Dawson's social worker came out to start the Early Intervention paperwork trail - for Macy!

That's right, kiddo #3 needing speech therapy! (Parker probably needs some too but since he's over 3 he doesn't qualify for EI, so we'll be pursuing through the school district as he gets close to pre-school this September.) Just like big brother Cade, articulation is her biggest issue. She's picked up many bad habits from him but she seems to also have some issues with tongue placement (i.e. pushing it in front of her teeth instead of behind when trying to make certain sounds) so we're hoping we can avoid Cade's issues by doing this early. We are using so many of these wonderful services, we might as well rent out our garage to the therapists! We do love them though and they have become very good friends - our OT insists she'll be over to help Grandma and Grandpa with the kids while we're in Serbia. :)

Our social worker also had some news - the speech therapist who specializes in children with Down syndrome now has a spot available for Dawson and she should have one for Emerson soon after we bring her home! :) I was very firm on wanting the same therapist for both - it's hard enough to schedule things and I think it's better to have consistency. Dawson's occupational and physical therapists have been saving spots for Emerson since last summer, even though there is a waiting list in our county - they are too good to us! ^_^ So we will now have everything ready for her, we just need her LOL!

We also found out tonight that our facilitator has likely found a satisfactory solution for the post-placement requirement - without having to pay for all of those reports! I should have known she would and I am embarrassed for going into a panic. We are so indebted to this woman, I have no idea how I will ever thank her enough for everything (especially for putting up with my emotional self!) Many thanks to her and our wonderful family coordinator with Reece's Rainbow, Shelley. :)
Does anyone else feel like our nation's economy has just jumped off the airplane of the world with a broken parachute that got jammed in the door and it is now freefalling and dragging the whole plane down with it? Yikes LOL! I know things will get better - things always get better. :)

I was videotaping Macy talking this afternoon (she's very shy around strangers so I think we'll have a problem doing her actual speech evaluation) and she was looking at pictures and telling me about each one. She came across one of Emerson and our facilitator (they call her the nice doctor LOL) and asked so sweetly, "When Em-Em comin?"
Uskoro, baby girl - soon! ^_^

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Isn't it funny how much sleep can restore you? Then you end up looking back on something you did or said the day before and thinking... I must be going crazy LOL.

I am sorry for sometimes (or maybe often) being a whiner. I admit I'm stressed about other things right now, probably as many of us are in this economy, and then it combines with the adoption stress and sometimes gets the better of me.

I am grateful for the support I've had on this bumpy road and I know not everyone shares so much on their blogs, but this is my heart laid bare and it just wouldn't make sense not to be honest here. Adoption is not all sweetness and roses. There are setbacks, there is stress and frustration... but the same goes for many things in this life. The good stuff is worth it. ^_^

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

how can I wait?

I am so emotional tonight. I try so hard to push away the frustration, the impatience, even the anger... this adoption is an act of love, those negative emotions have no place here.

Sometimes it is so hard.

Tonight we were told about new requirements for post-placement reports. New requirements that will mean $600 for each post-placement report, twice the first year and one each year after that until 2025. Another $10,000 in costs over the next 16 years. The irony of the situation screams at me. If we did not adopt this child, she would die. There are people that care enough to require another $10,000 be spent to tell them how well she is doing, but do not care enough to get her surgery or to at least rush her paperwork through so we might get her surgery instead? I am looking ahead at thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses for surgery and possibly medication for pulmonary hypertension for the rest of her life because she has waited so long ... now I have to also factor in these reports.

Tonight I am so sad. I feel like our sweet Andjela has only one friend in this world, and that wonderful person is struggling alone to help her and the other children. Sometimes I catch myself looking at houses for sale in Belgrade, wishing so much we could move there and help her... maybe there is something more I can do. Or maybe I cannot do anything at all. It is hard to feel so powerless.

I am worried. I am scared. I am tired of waiting. And I feel guilty for feeling these things. My mind wants so much to give up. My heart just will not let me. Instead it has me transcribing anything and everything into Serbian Cyrillic, learning, memorizing, determined to honor this piece of my child. Stubborn heart. It will not let me give her up. But how can I wait?

How can I wait until you come to me?
The once fleet mornings linger by the way;
Their sunny smiles touched with malicious glee
At my unrest, they seem to pause, and play
Like truant children, while I sigh and say,
How can I wait?

How can I wait? Of old, the rapid hours
Refused to pause or loiter with me long;
But now they idly fill their hands with flowers,
And make no haste, but slowly stroll among
The summer blooms, not heeding my one song,
How can I wait?

How can I wait? The nights alone are kind;
They reach forth to a future day, and bring
Sweet dreams of you to people all my mind;
And time speeds by on light and airy wing.
I feast upon your face, I no more sing,
How can I wait?

How can I wait? The morning breaks the spell
A pitying night has flung upon my soul.
You are not near me, and I know full well
My heart has need of patience and control;
Before we meet, hours, days, and weeks must roll,
How can I wait?

How can I wait? Oh, Love, how can I wait
Until the sunlight of your eyes shall shine
Upon my world that seems so desolate?
Until your hand-clasp warms my blood like wine;
Until you come again, oh, Love of mine,
How can I wait?

- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Monday, February 02, 2009


"There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."
- Edith Wharton

Sunday, February 01, 2009

two little words (revisited)

It's February!!! I turn 27 on the 9th (I know, I am just a baby LOL), Cade turns 5 on the 14th and... to type the words I typed an amazing 5 months ago on the first day of September when we still hoped to travel in October... NEXT MONTH we will hopefully either bring Emerson home or be in Serbia working toward that end. *knock on wood*

I cannot wait! ^_^