Welcome to Rob and Candy's Blog

We are going PINK- we are adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. We'll be sharing our journey to adopt our daughter!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Another tooth gone....

Yesterday, Igor was not happy. In fact he was quite grumpy. After asking several times what was wrong, he showed us his tooth. It was very loose.. so loose it could come out at anytime. Even though this would be the third tooth Igor would loose, he was still very concerned and anxious. Then, we put a numbing agent on his gum. He wasn't able to feel anything, so he twisted his tooth. Moments later, to our surprise Igor pulled out his tooth! And then Igor was happy.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Chef Igor

Aunt Shawn arrived yesterday. She brought holidays treats, yummy pecan sandies. Shawn is planning to make ginger snaps while she is here (my favorite). Last night she helped supervise as Igor decorated Christmas cookies. These are the same cookies that Shawn & I use to decorate when we were Igor's age!
We made home made pizza last night. Igor helped toss the pizza dough. Maybe he'll be a chef when he grows up. Or he might be in charge of wardrobe for a movie studio... notice the change of shirt...
Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Adoption Update

Igor and I made gingerbread cookies. We decided we would make a cookie family- Daddy, Mommy, Igor and brother (AKA BOC). Igor moved the feet on several cookies prior to baking so it look would look like we were exercising! I attached our "standing" cookie family for your viewing pleasure.

We have an adoption update!
In October there were many AWAA families who received referrals. We thought we might hear something at the end of the year or the beginning of 2008. A recent update from our family coordinator has confirmed, we will not be a family of four (except in cookies) for several more months.


Several people have asked about the adoption process compared to Russia. The process is very different. For those of you who walked with us through Igor's adoption you'll recall we received pictures of Igor, accepted the referral, we went to Russia to meet Igor and then confirmed we would go forward with the adoption. We returned home and waited for our court date. Six months later, we returned to Russia to face a Russian court in order to adopt Igor. Once the judge ruled in our favor, we picked up Igor. Then it was a matter of getting his Russian passport, US VISA, US embassy visit and then home!


The Ethiopian process is different. Once we receive and accept our referral, our child will be removed from the orphanage and placed in a transitional home run by our agency. The transitional home can serve between 10-20 children dependent upon the ages and needs at any one time. Next, we will be assigned a court date. We will not go to Ethiopia for the court hearing, our in country representative will be there on our behalf. After a successful court ruling we will be giving travel dates to pick our son. AWAA estimates this process will take 2-3 months.

Currently, 15 children occupy the transitional home. Rob and I do not expect more referrals until the new director is onsite full time and some of the children are picked up by their adoptive parents. We anticipate this to happen sometime in January or February 2008. As we learn more, we will share the news with you.


Families with October 3 referrals hope to have their cases heard on Dec 13. Please pray the court hears the adoption cases on the 13th and they would travel quickly to pick up their little ones.


We will update you on the status of referrals as soon as we hear something.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Santa Claus came to town


Today, we saw Santa! He came to our neighborhood to ask children what they would like for Christmas. Last year Igor was very afraid of Santa but he did sit on Santa's lap right before it was time to go home. This year it took Igor about 30 minutes to gather his courage to sit on Santa's lap. When Igor walked up to Santa it was such a sweet moment. Igor smiled and looked right into Santa's eyes.
Igor has gained so much confidence in the last year!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Tree is up!

For some time, Igor has been eagerly anticipating the Christmas tree going up!

This week we put up the tree and decorated it. This is the first year that Igor "gets" Christmas. He was so excited to decorate the tree we asked him to choose which lights would go on the tree- multi-colored or white lights. Igor decided both..... Multi colored lights combined with white lights seemed a little odd to me so I asked which lights he liked best. Igor picked the multi-colored lights. Rob and Igor headed upstairs to collect the Christmas decorations and lights. Can you guess who found the neatly wrapped lights and brought them downstairs?

Clearly a rookie mistake by mom and dad.

Next year, we'll carry the lights, not the kid(s). It took Rob a LONG time to untangle the lights. Finally we were able to decorate the tree! Igor requested the ladder so he could help with every aspect of decorating. Igor wanted to put up the star but he's not tall enough, even with the ladder, so Rob placed the star on top of the tree. It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

Like last year, as soon as Igor comes downstairs for breakfast the lights on the tree must be turned on. Igor LOVES the Christmas tree.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Preparing for another child and Igor continues to grow up

Igor continues to grow like a weed. He has grown 3/4 of an inch in 5 months! He is getting too big for his little car bed.

At the family reunion we learned that Rob's uncle and aunt wanted to give away their son's bunk bed. Did someone say they were giving away a bunk bed??? We would love to have a bunk bed for our growing family!

On Friday, we drove 4 hours to Rob's Uncle & Aunt's house. It was great to spend time with Dave, Jeannie and their kids. It's cool that the beds can remain in the family. We were also able to have lunch with Aunt Shawn who lives in the next town!

Igor was so excited he wanted to set the bed up as soon as we arrived home! Rob and I were exhausted so we set them up the next afternoon.

When we put the top bunk up we realized that the ceiling fan will have to come down. It's so close to the top bunk. Igor can touch it. YIKES. Igor LOVES his new bunk bed! He likes to play on the top bunk but currently sleeps on the bottom.

Friday, November 30, 2007

A house of cards... I mean gingerbread

Igor saw a gingerbread house in a catalog the other day. His eyes grew wide with amazement and delight, then he asked if we could make a gingerbread house. I thought it looked like fun so I said YES! Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

I purchased a pre-baked house so we could get a feel for the size of the house and the amount of candy. I thought we could bake a second house closer to Christmas.
Before building the house Igor and Rob had decided that once it was decorated they would eat it. hmmmm..... I thought we could keep the house out as a Christmas decoration. In hindsight, this discussion was not necessary.


Igor mixed up the frosting to the consistency of toothpaste. Then we propped up the house with cans and started cementing the house together as described in the directions. It was much harder than I had anticipated. The frosting was more like fondant and it was very difficult to line up the house's edges just so. Finally we were able to get the foundation of the house up. We left the house to dry. A few minutes later we heard a crash. The gingerbread had fallen like a house of cards. The side of the house had cracked.


Igor said, let's not do this anymore mom. I suggested we decorate the house even though it was broken. Igor agreed. He loved putting on the candy.








Sunday, November 25, 2007

No news.....

We don't have an update on our adoption... so we continue to wait.

Yesterday, we took Igor to his first college football game. We weren't sure if Igor would like the game or how long we'd stay. Igor really liked drinking hot chocolate while watching the marching band perform. Things took a turn on the first possession of the game when the home team scored. That's when Igor heard/saw the cannons and fireworks. Igor is terrified of fireworks so he demanded to go home. We were able to see the opposing team score before we had to leave (in the first quarter). Igor has proclaimed that he will never, never, never ever go to another football game again...

When we arrived home, Igor headed for his CD collection. He played his "new favorite" CD. He danced for about 30 minutes. I think he has pretty good moves for a 5 year old who has never seen a music video.


video

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Big changes

Monday night Igor's nursery school had a
lantern walk. It is inspired by St. Martin,
a fourth century army officer who -
according to legend - went out into
the night searching for people in need
of help. As we walked around the pond
the only light was from our home
made lanterns.
We hung our lanterns in the trees before
warming up in front of the bonfire.
We enjoyed baked apples and cookies
in front of the fire.

Our new windows were installed this week. Work should be finished by Thanksgiving!
On Friday, we had a "gotcha day" party for Igor. He has been part of our family for two years! He has grown up so much in 24 months.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Transitional Home

Hi everybody!
Here's big news from our agency! If you would like to help, please check out our dear friend's website
http://www.schmidtcafe.blogspot.com/
or send me an e-mail at mblueberry.madamblueberry@gmail.com for a list of items that are needed.


Dear AW Ethiopia Families,

We are excited and pleased to be able to announce that the new America World transition home in Ethiopia is up and running. Last week the first 13 children, who were recently referred to families were moved from Kids Care to the America World home. The home has been equipped with all the major needs and staff have been hired, trained and are providing loving care. There are still many things needed to help make the home a nurturing and stimulating environment for your prospective children as they wait the arrival of their parents. Therefore, we are writing to let you know of some of these needs and how you could help meet them, if you desire to do so.

America World employee Rachel (Duckworth) Ward and her husband will be making a 10-day trip to Ethiopia before their official move there at the end of January 2008. So if you would like to donate items for use at the transition home, please have them mailed to or dropped off at the America World--Tennessee office by close of business on Wednesday, November 21st. Items may also be dropped off at the Corporate office in McLean. Rachel will be leaving for Addis on Monday morning, the 26th.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Adoption Fundraisers (Updated 12/14)

Like us, many of our AWAA friends have fundraisers to help offset the cost of adoption. Since Christmas is coming, you may want to check out these blogs:

Adoption T-shirts
http://davidsethiopiaadoption.blogspot.com/
http://www.thecoens.blogspot.com/
http://www.zoiegibson5.com/ (password:kiki)
http://www.daniellesdance.blogspot.com/

hand made purses
http://www.j4studios.com/hope/Welcome.html

Current catalog
http://raymersadoption.blogspot.com/

Pampered Chef (please order by 11/15)
http://www.schmidtcafe.blogspot.com/

Candles & t-shirts
http://www.faceoflove.blogspot.com/

T-shirts & Christian books
http://www.daniellesdance.blogspot.com/

Hand made candles:
http://www.beboldjen.blogspot.com/

Africa Necklace
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=8304661

If I missed anyone, please let me know!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A beautiful sight


When we moved into our house last year, the windows would not open. For safety reasons, Rob and I worked diligently to open all the windows. When we tried to close them they would not close properly. (UGH!) This has resulted in a constant draft in our house. In the spring I spent time researching window efficiency and getting estimates.

This morning our new windows were delivered. Installation begins next week! I cannot wait for a draft free house. I am trying not to think about painting the trim on 23 windows.... that will come soon enough. If you have some time on your hands, come on over, we can paint together!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Baptist Women's Day of prayer is Nov 5

Today is the Baptist Women's Day of Prayer. Women all over the world are praying for people on each continent. I am praying for the estimated 143 million orphans in the world. Of course, orphans in Russia and Ethiopia are on my heart. You don't have to be a woman or a Baptist to pray. Please take a moment to pray for orphans today.

Friday, November 2, 2007

My little brother's name.....

When we adopted from Russia a co-worker's son, Quinn, made a welcome home card for Igor. Quinn drew his family on the card. Each family member was a different color. I was and still am touched by this little boy who made a card for our son.

Quinn started a new tradition in our family, whenever a family member is drawn, they are a specific color- Daddy is blue, Mommy is pink and Igor is yellow (Igor's choice). We always write our names under the pictures. A couple months ago we added Igor's little brother to our family picture (Igor assigned him orange) but we haven't written his name. Today, Igor and I were drawing with chalk. I drew our family and started to write our names. Igor told me to write his little brother's name. I asked what his name was and Igor spelled BOC. I asked Igor how to pronounce the name and he spelled out the letters BOC. Then he added- "That how you say it, mom." Hmmm, I am pretty sure we will not be naming our second son BOC, but for now, that's his name.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Fall Festival

Our church's Fall Festival was a lot of fun. Children came in costume. Here's Igor as a fire fighter! We had a moon bounce (Igor's favorite), games, crafts, food and pumpkin painting. A good time was had by all.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Dossier Update

Our in country representative picked all the dossiers, including ours! The next steps:
1. Our dossier will be translated
2. We will be matched with a child

The current wait time for a referral is approximately 4 to 8 months. However, a family recently received a referral ONE month after their dossier was submitted. Yikes, I mean, woohooo!

We think we will receive a referral in early 2008. It's only a guess. We are not very good at the guessing game as evidenced in our Russian adoption. We thought, start to finish we would have our Russian child(ren) home in 9-12 months. Our Russian adoption journey took us 2 years!

The wait for a referral officially begins today.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Do You Hear What I Hear? Said the night wind to the little lamb,"Do you see what I see? Do you see what I see?".....
If you spend anytime at our house, you will hear Christmas Carols. Why so early? In September we went to the mall. When we walked through JCP, Igor saw Christmas trees and Christmas decorations. As soon as we arrived home Igor ran to his CD collection to find his "Christmas" (music). I tried to explain, that Christmas was still months away. We still had Columbus Day, Fall Festival/Halloween, Thanksgiving and then it would be Christmas. Igor gave me a blank look then cranked up the music. Since then, Christmas music has been on Igor's daily play list.

This week Igor has been practicing a new song, "Where is Pumpkin". His nursery school teacher has been teaching him the song for their fall program. The song has been a nice diversion from the Christmas carols.

video

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dossiers, Mice and Elephant rides


Our Dossier is still waiting to be picked up at the FedEx location. Maybe it will be picked up tomorrow.

Tim, the exterminator, arrived yesterday to set some traps for the mice. I tried to convince Tim to stop by daily to check the traps. Tim just laughed at me. Rob has been assigned the job of checking the traps each morning before Igor and I come downstairs. Rob is so much braver than I am. So far, the stealth-like mice have eluded the traps.

Last night, we went to the circus. It was Igor’s first time. He was a little overwhelmed by it all. We arrived early so there was time for Igor to take a ride on the elephant. Of course, Rob & I wondered how safe this was.... but we threw caution to the wind and allowed him to take a ride. The boy and the elephant were fine at the end of the ride.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dossier Update & the Invasion.......

Susan & William's dossier is in Ethiopia! Their dossier is making its way to the FedEx store for our in country rep to pick up. When he arrives, there will be 7 dossiers (including ours) waiting for him!

Other news, not adoption related... The invasion......
When we moved to the south last year we noticed that EVERYONE in our neighborhood had a pest company visit every so often. We quickly learned there are all sorts of big bugs that love the comfort of indoor living! Soon, we too had an annual pest contract. The other day I was filing paperwork and came across our pest contract. I noticed that it included rodent service. I laughed, why would we need coverage for rodents?? I hadn't asked for the service when we signed up. I didn't think too much about it and kept filing.

Today, I pulled out the phone book and to my horror, I saw mouse droppings in the drawer! YIKES! Of course, Igor wanted to check it out. I called the pest company to say we had mice. The lady on the other end of the phone said, "It is that time of year." What? Evidently, in October mice like to come indoors. Heavy sigh. I am looking forward to Tim, our pest guy, stopping by soon.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dossier Update

Our Dossier is in Ethiopia! Four additional dossiers are awaiting pick up and another is on its way. I estimate Susan & William's dossier will arrive in Ethiopia on Tuesday! We are praying that our agency rep will pick up all the dossiers as soon as the Susan & William's documents arrive.

A small world story-
In July, Rob & I met Susan & William at our social worker's home for our class on grooming. (We thought we were meeting for the first time.) Since that meeting, our two families have shared laughs, stresses and the tears that are a part of the adoption process. Susan called me on Friday. She said they were filling out an AWAA survey which asked how they heard about the agency. That's when they remembered attending an adoption fair in March and meeting me at the AWAA booth! After talking for a few minutes, I remembered meeting them at the fair.
It's such a small world. I believe our dossiers are destined to be with one another! Maybe we'll even travel together to pick up our children??? So, as much as I want our agency rep to pick up our documents right now, we hope, we pray, they will be picked up together.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dossier & Roller Coaster Update

video

I wonder if our Dossier is getting frequent flier miles! So far the Dossier has spent time in Virginia, New Jersey, Paris and Dubai. Today it is in Frankfurt. Maybe it will head to Africa tonight???

Fair Update- We had a great time at the fair. A few highlights- We saw farm animals, giant vegetables and farm equipment (Igor loves big machines). We watched the pig races and milked cows. Well, Igor said he wanted to milk a cow but when it was his turn he said, "daddy do it". Rob milked his first cow while Igor sat on his lap. Igor enjoyed petting the cow and drinking the chocolate milk given to all the milkers. Of course, we enjoyed Fair Food; ham biscuits, roasted corn, caramel apples, funnel cakes, deep fat fried onions and more!

After a brief conversation on the safety of the rides, Igor and Rob rode the kiddie roller coaster! Igor said that roller coaster was too fast (see clip). He went for tamer rides after that.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dossier Update

Our Dossier has been enjoying Dubai's sorting facility for the last 24 hours! I am ready to see it leave the Arab Emirates and head towards Africa.

This afternoon we will take a break from FedEx tracking. We are headed to the fair. Igor has proclaimed that he is going on the VERY FAST roller coaster with Daddy. Igor has never seen a roller coaster (only on the KidSongs DVD) so we'll see. Maybe I should take a change of clothes for Igor and Rob...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Our Dossier is in route!

Wonderful news, our dossier was authenticated by the Department of State and the Ethiopian Embassy. Our dossier is on its way to Ethiopia! Rob and I will be tracking the package and we will keep you posted. (It left France this evening)

So far, the process has been incredibly smooth compared to our Russian adoption journey.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

We're headed to the beach


No adoption update.....

We are headed to the beach. Rob is the speaker at a church retreat this weekend. Not a vacation exactly, but the retreat is being held just steps away from the beach. We are arriving early so we can spend some time in the surf and sand.
Igor will be enjoying time with Babushka and Papa while we are away.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Repairs.....

We've had some mechanical issues over the last few days. Saturday our car battery died. This was the second time in 4 months. Rob tried to jumping it but the car would not start. Neither of us felt comfortable changing the battery so we called AAA. They confirmed our battery was dead, so they installed a new one that afternoon.

Today, the plumber came because the garbage disposal was shooting out metal parts instead of grinding food. The plumber was awesome, he showed me how to install the disposal. I don't think I will attempt this by myself but learned a new skill. Igor (age 5) decided he would take a picture. He thought mommy under the sink was very funny.

Adoption news- our Dossier (paperwork) should be Fed Ex'ed to Ethiopia early next week.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Year two post placement


Can you believe Igor has been part of our family for almost two years?? Here's Igor's 2005 VISA picture and his recent US passport picture. Our little boy is growing up quickly. He has recently lost two teeth!

Friday we met with our social worker for Igor's two year post placement review. Russia requires a social worker verify Igor is safe, being cared for properly, etc. Good news- we "passed' the post placement review! The report will go to Russia for their review.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Blessing Bead Cards


Most of you know that I am not crafty. I normally break out in hives when I walk down a craft or scrapbook aisle. But this week I bought fancy hole punches, scrap book paper and other crafty items. What am I going to do with all these things? I am going to make Blessing Way cards.
Another adoptive mom clued me in on this West African tradition that welcomes new life. Yes, I know Ethiopia is in East Africa but I think it's a cool tradition so I am going to be making Blessing Way cards for other Ethiopian adoptive parents using our same adoption agency.
The blessing card will include a poem, prayer or blessing to the child. It also will have a bead attached to it. The card and a second bead will be sent to the adoptive parents. The parents will put the card into a scrapbook for safe keeping. The beads will be collected and then strung together. The string of beads will be given to the child when he/she is older. They can be passed down from generation to generation.
I have attached my first blessing card. All I have to do is sign it and add the bead.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

We have a secret.......


We are adopting again! This time we are adopting from Ethiopia. Our paperwork is currently at the US Department of State. It will go to the Ethiopian Embassy next and then on to our adoption agency's representative in Ethiopia.
We have requested a boy between 24 and 42 months. We could get a referral any time between January and July 2008!