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!

Monday, June 30, 2008

BOC and canning

On Friday we received two new photos of BOC. One was of BOC going down for a nap. For the first time I noticed he had a bottle in his mouth. I say the "first time" because his referral picture includes a bottle but I never focused in that part of the picture. I went back through the 13 pictures I have of him and 6 pictures include a bottle. That's when I finally realized our little guy still drinks from a bottle! YIKES! I wasn't thinking we'd need to take bottles to Ethiopia. I assumed he was drinking from a sippy cup. I know they have sippy cups in the Transitional Home and other children use them. When Rachel sends us our first update on BOC I will ask what is in the bottle and how many he drinks a day and the time of day BOC gets a bottle.

Old Navy is having a great sale on kids clothing. Yesterday I purchased several shirts and a jacket for BOC. This was my first clothing purchase for BOC! I would have purchased some shoes but I don't know his size. I also purchased Igor a rain coat.

This morning I canned blackberry jam. I also canned dill pickles. I am a little worried about the pickles. I started the canning process before I realized I didn't have any dill seeds! ugh... I used the small amount of fresh dill from the garden. I will find out in a month if the pickles are great or a dud.

I had better luck with the blackberry jam. For quality control purposes I poured some jam over ice cream to see how it tasted. Let's just say am using all of my will power not to eat an entire jar of jam. At the end of the week I might have enough blackberries to make another batch of jam. If not, I will buy some raspberries at the farmers market to make double berry jam.

In two weeks we are going blueberry picking. Blueberries are Rob's favorite berry. I cannot wait to make blueberry sauce and jam.. YUMMY!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

BOC Video, Mulch, and a PJ trend

We received a video of BOC in the mail! Apryl and her hubby went to ET in April to pick up their kiddos and she shot some video of our little boy! So we have all sorts of video and pictures of our little guy. We have our referral pictures and more recent pictures from Jill and Holly. The next travel group is going to ET soon! We should have another batch of videos and pictures when they return.

We still do not have a name for BOC.

I think I started a dangerous PJ trend. Yesterday Igor got "dressed" in PJ's. Igor said he was going to VBS in his new race car PJ's. We made the same compromise as before- he can wear the top but must wear shorts.

This morning Igor took a bath and I laid out his clothes (no PJ's today). I mention the bath because our little boy wrote "IGOR" on his feet, legs and hands while he was suppose to be sleeping! He sneaked a red ball point pen into bed. It was hard to be angry, he was soooo proud of his penmanship.

This week Igor and I have been busy spreading mulch. I found bags of mulch on clearance for 99 cents at the grocery store of all places. I love a bargain and we put off mulching this spring. I bought every bag they had- 27 bags! This did require two trips as my car can only carry 17 bags at a time.

I loaded the mulch in Igor's wagon and he delivered it to the backyard. Igor cut open the mulch and dumped it out while I raked it into place. Igor was a great helper! Igor and I got a workout and the backyard looks great.

We should receive an update on BOC tomorrow from ET!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ballgame, Shots, PJ's and BOC's care package

Sunday night we went to a baseball game. We had a great time until it started to rain, well, maybe pour is a better description. Igor demanded to go home because he was very scared. We enjoyed the first 4 innings!

This morning Igor woke up, dressed himself then ran downstairs to show us. He was so proud. We were very proud too, his outfit matched. Really he did a great job... he did put on a pair of pajamas. I asked Igor if he planned to wear his brand new McQueen PJ's to VBS. He said he was. hmmmmm.... I asked him to put on shorts, he could wear his PJ shirt to VBS. Life is good when you may wear your PJ's during the day.

This afternoon Igor went to the doctor for his yearly check up. The first thing he told the doctor, "I'm not going to get my brother so I'm not getting any shots!". The doctor and I had to hide our giggles. Igor did get his Hep A shot and he was bitter. I don't blame him. I don't like shots either. After the appointment he called Nana and Daddy to tell them he got a "horrible shot". He makes me laugh.

We sent BOC's care package to the Raymers today. We were planning on sending the teddy bear we have been sleeping with but it would not fit in the gallon Ziploc bag... we went with plan "B" a little bear that Igor has in his room. We also sent a photo book, crayons, coloring book pages and a toy police car. A big thanks to the Raymers for taking our son's care package to Ethiopia!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Tree cutting, bunnies, birthday, & first fruits

Last year's drought did a number on several bushes and trees. I finally asked Rob to chop down our cherry tree since there wasn't any hope of it coming back to life. I hated to have it cut down but it was dead, really dead. Rob cut it down with an ax. Our next door neighbor came over with his chain saw and cut it up into pieces.

While Rob and I were hauling the tree to the curb Igor thought he saw a toad in the bushes. Nope, it was a baby bunny! Igor chased the bunny and cornered it in the cinder blocks under the rain barrel. Igor asked for some cucumber to feed his "new" bunny. Igor decided to build a door out of sticks for the bunny's new home. The bunny made a break for it when Igor tried to pet him.

We haven't seen this little bunny since his great escape.

Igor's birthday party was wonderful. The kids had a great time and the weather was perfect. Nana sent Igor some race car candles and sugar cars and flags for the cake. Ms. Joya's candle was placed on the cake.

This morning before church I picked our first blackberries! I planted three vines last spring so this is our first harvest. Since the deers, bunnies and mockingbirds have eaten almost all of our garden Rob and I placed netting around the blackberries to protect them. The netting is working!

The majority of blackberries should be ripe at the same time. I should have enough blackberries to can some preserves....yummy!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Paperwork received and more.

Terra at AWAA confirmed receipt of our paperwork! Based on her e-mail there is a slim chance that we will make it to court before they close in August. If we don't make it I will be sad for several reasons. We really wanted to travel with William and Susan since we started our adoption journey together. I will be sad because BOC will remain in the Transitional Home until October or November.

On the other hand I will breathe a sigh of relief if we don't make it to court by August. Igor will start kindergarten in August. I want to be there when the bus picks him up for the very first day of school! I want to help Igor develop a school routine before BOC arrives. Life is better when Igor has a clear routine.

Public school will be very different than Ms. Joya's nursery school. Based on yesterday's the report from Igor's teacher at camp, we may be in for a long kindergarten adjustment period. Perhaps we will be better off if we deal with one adjustment at a time.

So we'll wait to see if we receive a court date before they close in August. Rob and I are ready for the wait. We waited 6 months for Igor's court date. I hope we don't have to wait that long for BOC.

Honestly, I am okay with whatever happens. I know that God's timing is perfect. He knows what is best for our family and he has never failed us. It helps to know that BOC has a nanny that adores him. We will get reports on BOC from the director of the transitional home. We will be able to send care packages to BOC while we wait. The Raymers will take a picture book, some cars and a teddy bear to Ethiopia for us. They leave on July 5 to pick up their boys!

Holly And Paul were in Ethiopia last week picking up their son. Holly took a few pictures of a toddler boy who hadn't been referred. She was sure he was going to be our son. She was right! She sent us pictures this morning. THANK YOU HOLLY!

Igor's birthday party is tomorrow. We asked Igor who he wanted to invite to his party. He named one child! I wondered, is that a party or a play date?? This is further confirmation that 3 is a crowd in Igor's book. It's Igor's party so we invited the one friend. Well, I invited the child's family over for dinner and cake. Papa and Babushka will be joining us. More on the birthday in another post.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Referral Accepted!

It's official, we accepted BOC. AWAA should have received the paperwork today but I cannot find the tracking number! I put the tracking number in a very safe place so I would not lose it... and now I cannot find it. heavy sigh

We are working on a full name for BOC but haven't come up with one we both agree on. I am pretty sure we will call him his Ethiopian name BUT we want to give him a "American" name too. We'll come up with something soon.

The home warranty company left me a message today, they approved our claim for the air conditioner repair! However they refuse to pay for two items- the removal of the freon and disposal of the coil. In order to replace the part they have to remove the freon. Why wouldn't they pay for the removal of the freon? This stuff drives me crazy. The man who left the message said please call us if you have any questions but he didn't leave a number. I will work on this tomorrow.

Did I mention that the garage door is fixed? Yep, it's a miracle. The chain was off the track and would not pull the door up. Rob and I agreed to call a repair man because neither of knew how to fix it. The next day I pushed the garage door button out of habit and the door opened up! It's been working ever since.

Our accountant e-mailed us, the IRS made a mistake we do not owe $5,000- WHEW!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

We have a referral!

Today was crazy and over scheduled. After an emotional day at nursery school (see previous post) we went to the elementary school to meet Igor's Kindergarten assistant. Then we went to Igor's dentist appointment. I LOVE his new dentist. She is awesome. We were driving home from the dentist's office when my cell phone rang. It was a 703 number... I thought, Terra is calling with our referral. Yep, it was Terra and she had our referral! I told her we would call her right back. (yes, really)
I called Rob at the church. He was home in 2 minutes (his office is one mile from the house). We called Terra back. She said that she had the cutest little boy for us. She is right, he is very cute! He is a toddler. She said we had a week to accept the referral. We thanked her for calling and then we hung up. Yep, we hung up... why? because Igor had a doctor's appointment in 10 minutes! We couldn't linger, ask questions or soak anything up, we needed to move on to the next activity.
When we got in the car I called Terra back. I wanted to know if there was any possibility of getting a court date before the court closes in August. She said, "Hope for the best but plan for the worst."
I'll write more about that tomorrow. We have more phone calls to make.

Our last day at nursery school

Today was magical, fun and bitter sweet. It was the last day of nursery school. All the children went on a hike to a small river bed this morning. They had so much fun playing in the water and discovering new and exciting things.
After the hike they returned to the nursery school. Ms. Joya called all the children inside to prepare for the end of year play, "Billy Goats Gruff" (a modified version). Igor and Ethan were the trolls. It was so sweet. We ate lunch and then Ms. Joya told the sweetest story about children who came to nursery school in the fall but by summer were ready to go on to school. She teared up as she shared how much she loves our children and will miss them. All the mom's with a 5 year olds were weepy.

Ms. Joya presented all the graduating 5 year olds with a beautiful glass heart.

The 5 year olds were to put on a puppet show but in the end, there were too many emotions..... Ms. Joya had us gather around the puppet table so we could enjoy the children's handy work. The older children made their own needle case and puppet.

Goodbye Ms. Joya. We love you. Thank you for loving our son. Someday, BOC will be part of your nursery school. We cannot wait!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Celebrating Igor's Birthday early

Nursery school ends tomorrow! Since Igor's birthday is after school closes Ms. Joya suggested celebrating it early.

Birthdays are a big production at nursery school. The birthday child gets to sit in a chair covered in their favorite color. Igor picked pink! He also picked out red for me and blue for Rob. Igor sat in the chair of honor. The children sang songs to honor our little boy. Candles were lit to acknowledge Igor's current age.

Each child presented Igor with a flower. Ms. Joya told a wonderful, magical story of how Igor lived in Russia and was united with us at age 3. She went on to share some highlights of his life since we have become a family. Then one by one each child walked up to Igor providing him with a birthday wish. It was so sweet to hear what each child said. Some of them whispered in Igor's ear, "I love you, Happy Birthday". It was the sweetest birthday celebration I have ever attended.
Igor received a present... jewels... they are small polished stones.... they are a treasured gift.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Will your child be healthy?

Before we adopted from Russia we attended a 5 week course designed to prepare us for international adoption parenthood. While our social worker educated us from her perspective, having a international adoption doctor educate us based on his experience working with adopted children was priceless. One night the class focused on health concerns of the adopted child.

Children in orphanages could potentially have lice, scabies, exposure to TB, Hep A, rickets, internal parasites, ear infections, eye infections, upper respiratory conditions etc..

We've been asked, will your son be "healthy"? hmmmmm..... By US standards, maybe but maybe not. He could have one or more of the ailments listed above. We will not know our son's complete health picture until we arrive home.
The ailments may sound a little overwhelming but honestly, they are all treatable. The IA doctor recommended taking our adoptive child to a pediatrician within 2 weeks of arriving home for testing. We did that with Igor and we'll do it for BOC (son #2) as well.

If you are in the process of adopting internationally and are seeing the list of ailments for the first time don't freak out. Many adoptive parents, including us, have gone through several of the ailments listed and we/our children made it through treatment. Educate yourself, make sure your pediatrician has worked with IA children or is willing to learn about them. Ask your pediatrician to refer to the "Red Book" for standing testing protocol when you return home with your child.

Our conference call with AWAA was today. Duni confirmed the wait time for toddlers remains at 7-9 months. That's great news for us since we are in month 8! Stay tuned, we may have a referral this month.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Life is funny sometimes

After nursery school Igor has a snack and is allowed to watch an educational DVD. This afternoon I was VERY busy refreshing the The Kidds, The Cordells, Holly & Paul's and the Gardners blogs that I forgot the snack. I heard very strange noises coming from the kitchen. I peeked around the corner. I saw Igor had gotten a chair, pulled it up to the counter and was getting bread out. When I asked him what he was doing he said looking for some butter. The little guy makes me laugh. Once I buttered Igor's bread, I was back to the computer checking out the AWAA families in Ethiopia right now. They all met their little ones today. The pictures are so sweet.

Air conditioner update- Our A/C needs a new coil, it's running for now but without a new coil the freon will continue to leak out. We have a home owner's warranty on the house until September. The warranty company must approve the replacement of the coil before anything can happen. Warranty company don't let me down, please pay for the coil.

Saturday we received a notification from the IRS that we owe approximately $5,000 for 2006. ACK! I almost fell over when I read the IRS letter. Of course, it's a huge mistake. Our accountant, the church's accountant and several others are all working on resolving the matter. I will feel much better when the IRS says we don't owe the money.

Tonight when we tried to open the garage door it wouldn't open. It was 100 degrees this afternoon, too hot to be spending time in the garage. I will try to figure out what is wrong tomorrow morning. I've never fixed a garage door but I have the instruction manual and I'm ready to learn.

Tomorrow we have a conference call with our adoption agency!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Slowly Roasted

I feel as though we are being slowly roasted. Today's temp was 98 degrees. It is suppose to be 100 on Friday, Saturday AND Sunday ! It wouldn't be so bad except the air conditioner on the second level (bedroom level) is broken. It's 85 degrees upstairs and 81 degrees downstairs. I have an ice pack on my neck to help cool me off. I LOVE hot weather but this is too much too soon.

The A/C repair man will be here on Tuesday! I am tempted to buy a window unit... I won't buy one because it's against the HOA rules AND we are still saving for our adoption. Another adoptive mom reported today that round trip tickets to Ethiopia are approximately $2,200 each- ACK! Oil prices are driving the price increase. At this rate, I may need to get a part time job. Anyone hiring out there?

We did not have our conference call with our agency today because of a power outage. It has been rescheduled for next Tuesday.

Tomorrow after nursery school Igor and I will head to the pool in an effort to stay cool.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Great news!! Susan and William received a referral today. Check out their blog for all the details!

Igor and I had an interesting day. Today was the last day of speech. The speech teacher called this morning while Igor was in nursery school to ask if we could come in early. The school was planning to have a fire drill at 2:00, just when Igor's speech ends. Really, what are the odds that our last day of speech would include a fire drill? Heavy Sigh. Igor wore headphones during speech in case the fire alarm went off early. I had to laugh at the entire situation.
Thankfully we are done with fire alarms until August!

At nursery school all the 5 year olds are making puppets for the end of school program. They are sewing the puppets clothing! I cannot wait to post a picture. Last week Igor sewed his own needle pouch to hold his pins and needles. I am amazed at all the cool things Igor is taught at nursery school.

Sally the bunny and her mom (or dad?) have eaten almost our entire garden. I am thinking about getting a cat...

Busy, busy, busy

Life seems to be moving at a frantic pace. We returned from Michigan last week. We had time to unpack, attend two swim lessons, wash the clothes and repack. This weekend we visited with Rob's parents, Rob's brother, wife and kids. Rob's brother's family lives in England and we haven't seen them in a year. They are in the US for a short visit.

Igor had so much fun with his cousins. They spent most of their time swimming. Igor loves his new goggles. He and Dean loved wearing their goggles and splashing one another. They also enjoyed diving in the pool and going down the slide.

Igor is not enjoying his swim lessons. Prior to the swim lessons he has been fearless in the water. Igor will swim to the bottom of the pool to fetch something, he can do somersaults under water, he will jump into the deep end of the pool and swim to the shallow end.... However, he swims the most unusual stroke under water. He does not like learning or practicing a proper stroke. His swim teacher is so good with him, I'm sure he'll start to enjoy it soon....

On the adoption front, we continue to wait. This time around the wait is much easier. I am trusting that our son will be revealed to us at the "perfect" time. While I would like to know who this little guy is and when we can bring him home, I also know that worrying about it will not change the anything. We continue to live life at its usual pace knowing some day soon, maybe even this month, we will meet our son via a picture.

We have a conference call with our agency tomorrow afternoon. We may learn more about the time line then. Ethiopia has been experiencing a drought which is causing power outages (85% of Ethiopia's power comes from hydro-electric plants). The drought is also causing a famine in Ethiopia resulting in the worst food shortages since 2003.

If you are interested in helping an orphan in Ethiopia, it's easy. Click on the Five or Fifty campaign. For as little as $5 a month you could feed 1 orphan for a month living in Hanna's Orphan Homes.