Thursday, June 20, 2013

187 Days Until Christmas!

So, what is the process to adopt? What does it take? Where do you start?

I started with an internet search. I started reading adoption websites, blogs and adoption support groups. That lead us to America World Adoptions.

I love AWA. I have spoken with them many times over the years, attended an evening informational meeting and we've gone as far as filling out the pre-application. Still, we haven't jumped into the process yet.

The reasons for the delays have to do with the requirements to adopt from China, which you can find here. Our main hurdles have been income and passing a home inspection.

Like I said before, the recession really took a hit on our family. We were fortunate that both of us kept our jobs, but my husband, who is by far the main breadwinner, had close to a solid year of employment where he never saw a 40-hour work check, coupled with several winters with very light work. It was hard on us.

The good of all that was that in the process, we stopped spending (not that we were big spenders, because we weren't! Even so we learned how far you can cut back!). We became huge fans of Dave Ramsey (check out his website here) and we have slowly been working towards becoming debt free. We aren't there yet, but we are on our way!

During this lean time we committed to being rid of most of our debt (not counting our mortgage) before we applied for our adoption. This is because our goal is to adopt without debt, which means all that money that was being thrown towards debt is going right towards our adoption!

The other biggie is that we bought a fixer-upper. That's fine and all, but if you have walls with open beams, yeah, you aren't going to pass any sort of home inspection. So, we are busy around here remodeling things on our own so that our home can pass! Its frustrating, frantic and loud at times, but it'll be worth it.

That leads me to December 25th, 2013. That is our goal - that is when, after all the presents are opened, after the cinnamon rolls have been ate, after the excitement of the day has calmed down, we will gather around the computer in our pj's and apply. December 25th, 2013 - its going to be a great Christmas gift!

Just so you know that's 187 days. 187! I can't wait!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

When I Feel Like a Little Bit of Torture

Its a grey day here in the Pacific NW, and I've got a cold. I hate colds. They always go right to my ears. My hearing isn't what it used to be (too much rock and roll and being musician never helped either). When I was a child I had bad ear aches, coupled with sensory issues around noise and well, every bit of sickness goes right to my ears.
Its days like this that I watch too many reruns of West Wing on Netflix. After I get tired of that, I'll shot over to YouTube and type in 'China Gotcha'. Here you'll find wonderful videos like this one - moments pressed in time of orphans finding their forever families. They are touching, heart breaking and lovely. Its love in action. I can't wait for our turn!
Gotcha Day - Love in Action
Watch this.
Whenever I watch these I always end up crying. My husband call this "torturing myself." Eh, maybe, but I won't quit doing it. It just makes me more determined to follow the call.
I'm keeping the faith. I'm following the call. I want to see this love in action.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Man Came Around

I've talked with a lot of women over the years who have a desire to adopt but their husbands don't. I know how that is, as my husband wasn't always on the same side of the fence. Still, I did give him full disclosure before we said "I do." It went something like this.

Its 1992. I still have big hair, but its not quite so high. Birkenstocks are my best friend and I've got a hippie vibe going on. My soon-to-be hubby is a t-shirt and jeans kinda guy (some things never change). We're at the local McD's.

boy: "Some day I want to jump out of a plane."
girl: "Cool. That sounds like a good goal for when you are 40. Some day I want to adopt a little girl from China."
boy: "Cool. I can get behind that if you let me jump out of a plane first."
girl: "Cool. Its a deal then."
boy: "Yup."

Or, something like that. But he knew. He also told me if we got 3 kids, we could go for 4. I held him to that one too.

Seriously though, it was about 10 years ago that I started to bring up the China thing. I was pregnant with our 4th child and knew that this would be my last pregnancy, unless God really sent a miracle my way. At that time we were so consumed with diapers, wipes and feeding everyone that the thought of adding another was pretty much out (realize here that when I brought our youngest home from the hospital, our oldest had just turned 5 only 7 days prior. Yeah, we were a little busy.) Still my mama's heart was in it. My husband was too consumed with paying the bills, and I get that. So what did I do?

I prayed. I prayed a lot. Then God told me to shut up. Not about the praying, but about the talking. So I did. God said ask him once a year. Ugh. Really? Not cool. Okay, so I did. Four years later, my husband agreed. That was 6 years ago. 6 years people! So, why have we yet to adopt? Well, timing.

Six years ago it was 2007. We started looking into the process. At that time it was about a 3 year wait for a healthy child. That was a long time, but we were willing to do it. Then, the Great Recession Hit. And boy, did it hit.

Friday, May 31, 2013

You Wanna What?????

I get this a lot. Its the "What the *#!+?" question. Nine times out of 10 its a question of curiosity and interest. Occasionally, its smeared with disbelief and your-crazy sentiment.

Ya know what, ALL of that is okay! It really is! Those questions are good because over the years they have helped us to question ourselves and our intentions. Adoption is a lifelong commitment. Its not a decision to be taken lightly, so bring on the heart searching because once you do this, its forever.

So, why do we want to do this? I can start listing all the reasons, but what is comes down to is that a long, long time ago, God put this on my heart. Yes, it started with me. It took my husband a lot more time than that and that's okay. We'll talk about his journey later.

With that being said, here's my story.

Way back in the late 1980's I had big hair. I'm talking curly big, BIG, big hair. I also had a passion for music and politics (and still do). The requirement of the day for all graduating seniors was to take a class called SWP (Senior World Problems). Despite my severe short-timers disease, I did look forward to and enjoyed this class. I was fortunate that my fellow students in this course numbered only 15 or so, and many of us were honor students and geeks. (I love geeks and always have - they are the ticket girls! Seriously, geeks are golden!).

Upon studying Chinese government and culture, we discussed thoroughly how the one-child policy would effect the socio and economic standing of this country. Through all the debate and discussion, what kept running through my mind was all those little girls. I could see their faces in my head. Thousands and thousands of little girls, being abandoned simply because they were female. It embedded deep in my heart and I can even remember the exact moment sitting in that class, when I said to myself, "I'm going to adopt one of those little girls someday."

That is what psychologists call a 'defining moment.' It has stayed with me since that time and I have never, ever doubted it. In Christian circles we call this a 'calling.' Okay, whatever. I don't care what you call it, I just know deep down, deep within my gut, my soul, my heart that I have a daughter waiting for me in China. You can give me a thousand reasons why we shouldn't pursue this - and believe me, I know them all - but this calling, this yearning, this mama's heart desire trumps all of that. Its one of those unexplainable, deep calling to deep things. Yes, it is a defining of me - it has helped define who I am and for that, I will not doubt its calling.

So there ya go. That's my portion. I have a lot more to say about this - a lot!

Just let me say one more thing - the reason I decided to start this blog in the first place is that when I have searched over the years for blogs that share this walk of adoption, I have come up with dismal results. Most were dry, just-the-facts kinda things. Those are good and serve their purpose but that's not mine. You can find those out there. What I want to share is the emotional and gut part of this. I want to give hope to the folks out there who are called to adopt and yet can't see through the financial burden of doing it (believe me, the numbers don't add up for us). We are just starting this process, so come along with us. Maybe along the path God will impart a vision for you. Maybe one day you will have that deep calling to help an orphan in some still, small way. Or, maybe even a bigger way by giving them a forever family. In any case, I'm glad you're here! Sit a while, won't you?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Its a rainy day in Washington.

My youngest son is sick on the couch. My daughters are watching a movie, and my other son is yet home from school. My husband, being the great guy he is, is off at work. What a hunk.

I'm sitting here in my pajamas. Yes, I know its 1:25pm, but every now and then a mama needs a pajama day. So here I sit. I'm also wrapped in a warm blankie (I can hear the hecklers now along with the mama's who are feeling a bit jealous of my current state).

Soon you will discover that pajamas and fluffy blankets are my favorite thing - ever.

So, what does all this have to do with our adoption? Its a picture of my family - our normal, everyday family. All families have days like this. Except our family is missing someone. We're missing our youngest little girl. She's on the other side of the world - in China.

Welcome to our journey.

Musical Mom