Monday, March 30, 2009

Impending doom?

I just can't seem to shake this feeling of impending doom. We finally travelled to meet our future son. All should be well in my world. But, it seems that our adoption agency is ...........? I'm not sure what the right word is here. They are unwilling to negotiate the post placement policy with us. They require an $800 deposit that will be held until all the post placement visits are done and documented. The problem with this is that they are not doing them and the last one occurs 3 years from now. I have no faith that we will actually get this deposit back. So, I am offering to pay up-front ($775) for all visits with they agency that will do them via a contract and copy of payment received. Seems fair to me. I'm still fighting this battle. I feel that the agency is using financial and emotional manipulation...and that is just soooo WRONG!!!!

The agency has decided to charge us more $$ since the adoption process was started in 2006. Well, this also seems unfair since it is not our fault the process has taken so long. We contracted certain fees back then and the company should stick with them. Don't get me started about this.

Plus, there is a lot of paperwork to be turned in. And well, I just can't seem to shake the feeling that someone is going to pull the carpet right from under me! ARGH!!! I hate this feeling!!!

And then throw in the economy right now and all the job loss rumors going on!!! I think this is going to be the longest 3 months ever!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fate, the Universe, the Big guy upstairs

It is amazing how things happen sometimes. I am a firm believer that everything is about choice..."I am 100% responsible for how I think, feel, react, etc..." I fully believe this and when I live it...I'm am a much more peaceful woman. Yet, every once in awhile fate, the universe, the big guy upstairs comes knocking to remind me that maybe there is a bigger plan for me. This became readily apparent during our Russian trip and process.

First...the process was excurciatingly long for us! ARGH...we started the process in May of 2006, had our dossier in Russia by December of 2006 and are just now meeting our future son. I won't go into the reasons why it was soo long...some are very apparent and others...well, maybe this was just meant to be. For I fully believe, this is the son for us! Fate...hmmm.

Then, while in Russia waiting in the boarding area for our flight home, we see a woman we know. Both Mike and I recognized her, but we could not remember how we know her. She was standing there with a we assumed we knew her from our adoption agency. So, I go up and ask if she just adopted using Children's Hope International. Nope, that was not it. But, she immediately recognized me also. So, we start the how do we know each other conversation. And...she lives in the cul-de-sac across from our old house in St. weird is that!!! Meeting an old neighbor how many miles away across the ocean in Russia at the same time as us ADOPTING! Again, all I can think of is Fate, the universe, the big guy upstairs...There must be more to this chance meeting. There are no accidents!

So...I move and sit in front of her on the plane and we talk basically all the way home. They had an incredibly short process...less than a year. And yes, I am WAY jealous! LOL!!! Anyway, we talk about our sons and guess what...they have the same birthday, they were both born on April 28th, 2008. OK...weird!!! So, I'm thinking fate, the universe, the big guy upstairs is giving me a BIG kick in the pants. I'm not sure why we need to connect, but I get the message! LOL!!! We exchanged information and I plan to stay in contact. I will see if she feels the same way.

Is it choice? I still say yes. I choose to follow the coincidences and see where they go. Do I know what the significance of all these coincidences are? No. But I plan on enjoying this next part of the journey of finding out! Thank you fate, the universe, the big guy for whatever you have planned for me!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


We are back! PHEW what a trip! Sorry about the lack of updates (actually none). It ended up that I couldn't connect my laptop to the internet in Region. We could use the hotel computer, but the browser was in Russian which made it very difficult to use. Russian does not use the Roman alphabet and well...very interesting.

We met our future son on Monday...Maxim (Max) Robert Ball. Born on April 28th, 2008. Hopefully we will be able to bring him home in June!!! He was very scared during our first visit. We got to see him again on Tuesday and he was more relaxed that day.

Sorry, but I am unable to post his picture yet. We think we are not allow to, but we will verify that rule.

Moscow and Pskov are very interesting. Moscow is a typical city of 15,000,000 million people. Big apartment buildings and lots of traffic. We went to see the Kremlin, St. Basil's, Red Square, and The Cathedral of the Redeemer. It was cool to see all the history.

Pskov is a city of 250,000 and very old. It was founded in 900 and there is a lot of history with this city also.

Here are some photos of Moscow:
Cathedral of the Redeemer:
Catherdral of St. Basil the Blessed:
One of the towers of the Kremlin:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Off to Russia is finally time. We will be leaving around 10am tomorrow morning to continue our International adoption adventure. I cannot believe it is actually happening. Anyway...I will try and post on my blog for all those anxiously awaiting updates. I also will be updating my facebook page. Woohoo, I cannot believe it is actually going to happen!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Sad today...I went to my very first ever scrappy message board today...I had been thinking about the board and it had been over a year since I visited. There is something special about the first, don't you think. I had not gone back because we had a little misunderstanding about use of a layout. But, that was over a year ago, and people/DT's on boards change, so I thought I'd check it out.

Well...I went to check the board only to find that I have been disabled. I was one of the first members of that board. I find it strange to have been disabled...I made no public posting of my issue...I kept everthing in pm's and names were left out of blog posts.

Oh well...on to other things!

Off to Russia has finally happened! We are going to Russia to meet our future (hopefully) son! His current name is Maxim. I am lobbying to keep that first name, but Mike is a little leary of its Russianness...I think it is wonderful.

We will have a busy trip. We leave Chicago on a 5:30pm flight on March 13th arriving in Moscow on the 14th at 11 am. We will be picked up by the adoption agency and taken to our hotel. I believe we get a tour of Moscow that day or the 15th. On the 15th we have some training with our adoption agency then get on a train to Pskov at 7pm. It arrives in Pskov at 7am on the 16th. The 16th we will actually meet Maxim, have an independent Dr look at him and get any remaining questions we have answered. On the 17th we will see him one more time and have to make our decision of yes or no. We will jump on the train back to Moscow that night and fly back to Chicago on the 18th.

That is a busy trip in a short amount of time. If all goes well, we will travel again in 2 to 3 months time to finalize the adoption and bring him home!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

He made me a card!

Yes, you read that correctly. My husband made me a Valentine's Day card. Well...this one definitely needed to be scrapped. And so, viola...

Patterned Paper: Fancy Pants

Shaped paper: Bazzil

Phrase sticker and heart: Little Yellow Bicycle


Ink: Colorbox

Word Stickers: EK Success

Title stickers: Basic Grey

Diamond Glaze

Buttons: unknown

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Scrappy retreat -- part 3

LOL!!! So that 2 pager never showed up side-by-side in the preview...but posted that way...Go Figure! I quit! Here are the last of the layouts and cards. I'm not going to even try to comment on them! Enjoy!!!!!

Scrappy Retreat -- part 2 is a two pager that I'm going to put by itself. I should have photographed it together and completed the journalling. But, I LOVE this layout! I little gets lost due to the bad photography. Sorry. And of course...I can't get them to show up side-by-side! Again...sorry!

Hate blogger

Why can't a post post the why it shows up in the preview? What is the point of the preview if it is not accurate? I spent a lot of time making sure things lined up...only to be tharwted when posting!

I have posted twice making sure everything lines up...still when it goes out for public viewing...crap for all you to see....nice!!! SORRY!!! My patience has been surpassed and I will not waste any more time trying to fix it!

Scrappy Retreat

Well...I'm finally blogging about my scrappy retreat! What a fun time! Although, I know you don't really care about the fun I had, you just want to see the layouts!!! Cathy!!! LOL!!! Just kidding! Wednesday night through Sunday...scrap, scrap, scrap...with lots of eating in between. Sooo much food! ARGH!!!

Anyway, here are some of the layouts I finished over the weekend... if I can figure out how to line up the layouts the way I want!

The Basket layout is probably one of my least favorites. These layouts got nicknamed the "Goodwill" layout. My friend Cinda sewed on a layout for what seemed like over an hour! She ended up not liking the layout and said she was giving it away to Goodwill. Well, I think we all had a Goodwill layout or two by the end of the weekend!

On this one...I just couldn't get past the bright bold colors of the patterened paper AND I wasn't going to use something different since I had taken the time to scallop it into a square. Oh for Goodwill!

I think most layouts started from a Page Map or

was lifted from a magazine layout. I found it was a

great way to get the creative juices flowing after
such a long time off.

I think Egg Hunt is one of my favorites. I'm not sure why...Maybe the pinks or glitter letters or what, I just like it! She was such a tropper that day. It was sooo cold!

Family Reunion...Not one of my favorites. I didn't have room for a two pager and my photos were a little big for a one a compromise that is a little too busy for me. But, I think there are some great photos and memories on this page!

Wheee....Kelly LOVES roller coasters. This one will probably be one of the last time she rides the little kiddie dragon one. I just love taking pictures of her while she is riding....Pure joy for her! I think this one was taken at the Kane County fair!

Coloring Eggs...I always seem to have a ton of

photos of easter time...More than any other holiday. I'm not sure why...maybe it is just fun seeing my daughter enjoy the creative process also!

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