Monday, June 27, 2011

Air Assault Graduation

Recently, Donald graduated from Air Assault School in Oregon, a few hours south of here. The class was about 2 weeks long, and because of the long drive and my busy-ish schedule, I hadn't planned on driving down for graduation.

During the class, our friend Drew was getting ready to move to the east coast, and during his final days here (after moving out of his apartment) he was staying with us.
After several delays, he was finally set to head to his new duty station a few days later than expected, on the same day Donald would be finishing his class.

Drew is a genius.

He saw that the timing was perfect. I was wrist-deep in grey paint when he knocked on my door and asked if I wanted to surprise Donald the next day.
Um, of course!
It wasn't exactly on the way for him, but Drew is a champ, and was happy to make the slight detour.

We drove down together Drew drove the whole way while I slept. It was great.
Donald and I aren't exactly the "surprise type", so this was new territory. Honestly, I wasn't sure if he'd take it well.
He did :-)
They were getting their group picture taken when we arrived.

He was so excited to see me, in fact, that he had to pee.

The ceremony was nothing fancy. They lined up, some Colonel gave a long speech about the purpose and intensity of the Air Assault Course, and then they were pinned with their wings.

Family members were allowed to do the pinning, so here I am, giving SSG Winn his wings:

He was hidden amongst hundreds of other average white guys with brown hair in ACUs, so I almost didn't find him!

Ah, here he is!
...Furthest row back, 4th in from the left!

My handsome soldier rarely smiles for cameras, so I'm sure he's happy that these are on the internet now.

And here we are together, after dismissal:

After the ceremony, we said goodbye to Drew and then headed back home.

On the parenthood front, we're looking into becoming foster parents. Donald has more military training in August and September, so it'd be no sooner than October or November that we'd be licensed and ready to take placements... and that's if we move forward with it.

Until then, we enjoy walking around the house half or fully naked, and are living a child-free life to the fullest.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Credit Card Fraud

To the sleazy individual who spent $537 at a crappy plus sized clothing store with MY credit card information:

You are obese, a thief, and have terrible taste in clothing.
I have fraud protection.
are a hopeless failure.

Best of luck in life,
Your intended victim.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Misfortune and Faith

Sometimes I wonder what God thinks about us so frequently attributing evil to him. Why does saying misfortune is "God's will" or "for the better" give people a sense of security or calm? It's something I'll never understand. There is evil and pain in the world, and sometimes terrible things just happen. Can He help you grow through the experiences, and create great things from it? Absolutely! However, He certainly doesn't seek out suffering for us.

Trials are needed to grow. Frequently, we bring troubles upon our self, but sometimes the adversary seeks the innocent out without invitation from our Heavenly Father.

Do children deserve to suffer? Is that God's will? No, I could never accept that.

I have faith that we've all been given the divine ability to grow and create good from unfortunately circumstances, and for that I'm grateful. When bad things happen, acknowledge the source and rise above.

Surely, God doesn't want children sitting in orphanages instead of loving homes.

But that's the reality of our situation. It would be so easy for me to believe that God wanted this to happen.
It has taken even more faith for me to see it for the misfortune and sadness that it is, and to then believe that somehow God will heal the situation.
Our God is a powerful god, but he is also a kind one.

So the next time something truly terrible happens, especially when it's to someone else and you're offering support, remember not to point your finger at the one from whom all blessings flow. Give Him more credit than that, and allow the person to be hurt.

And that's what's been on my heart lately.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Adoption Has Ended

We received an email this afternoon from our facilitators, with very bad news.

Our adoption from Eastern Europe is officially over.

The new laws go into effect in a few weeks, and we would need to have our dossier submitted no later than June 23rd to even have a slim chance of beating the deadline. Donald won't be in town until the 18th, so he'd get finger-printed for immigration no sooner than the 21st. There is zero possibility that we'll make the deadline (and even then, it's a long-shot that we'd get a travel date before the shut-down in mid-July).

The entire country's adoption program will shut down completely in July. When it re-opens (no dates given, but likely a couple months) their requirements will be revamped, likely changing the dossier documents required. At that point, children under 5 will no longer be adoptable to foreigners unless they have very specific and limited special needs.

We saw it coming, but it's still incredibly devastating. We were so close.

Project HOPEFUL Won!

I guess I should have updated sooner... but Project HOPEFUL Won the contest I blogged about! They're getting a FREE car from Toyota!

When the results posted, I squealed loudly enough to scare the dogs. They ran over, very concerned, and then joined in celebration by slobbering all over me and my laptop. Thanks guys, the Macbook was overdue for a good wipe-down. Getting dog-slime out of the keys, however, was a bit more challenging.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Toyota's 100 Cars for Good

Hey everyone!

I have a ginormous favor to ask of anyone reading today.

Actually, it's a very tiny favor that will make a ginormous difference!

Toyota is giving away 100 free cars to worthy non-profits in need. 1 car, every day, for 100 days! Today, Project Hopeful is competing against 4 other organizations, and are (as of now) in 2nd place by only 2%! As many of you know, Project Hopeful helps to educate and encourage people who care for children with HIV or are considering adoption, while spreading the facts about the virus via their Truth Pandemic campaign.
Winning a car would enable Project Hopeful to carry their cause across the country, spreading their message through workshops and presentations, to as many people possible!

The voting is only open TODAY - so hurry on over!

Everything is done through Facebook, which is nifty. Make sure you're logged in, then click on :

Then cast your vote for Project Hopeful!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

HIV's not a special need? REALLLY?

In the country we're adopting from, the bill preventing children without special needs from being adopted (which was passed a few weeks ago) was signed into law yesterday.

As of now, HIV is not considered a special need.

There's a small chance that we might be able to adopt the girls before the law is fully implemented, so I'm trying not to lose all hope yet... but wow.

Can someone please tell me how missing a foot or an ear can allow a child to be adopted, but having a disease that will ultimately result in death if untreated... does not?

My happiness and joy is with all the families whose child's needs are on the list of needs, but damn.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Biometrics Appointment

We got our biometrics appointment in the mail today for our I-600a (immigration application to adopt). Our appointment is for June 16th.

Naturally, Donald left yesterday for training in Oregon. He's scheduled to return on the 17th, I believe.
Of course.

That's military life for you, lol.

I'm sure it won't be an issue though. I'll call and explain. If they have a problem with it... well, let's just hope they won't. :-)

Hopefully we'll have immigration approval by the month's end!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Paris White Foundation

I don't have much time to blog. It's a beautiful day and we're going to enjoy it!

However, I want to share this video quickly. Deanna White lost her daughter Paris to drowning several years ago. Every day, she comes in to the gym where I work (where she also teaches), and I watch her two youngest daughters. 19 months later, at 90 minutes a day, they have me wrapped around their tiny fingers.
I never met Paris, but if her two younger ones are any indication of how Paris was, then a very beautiful part of the world is missing today.

The White family refused to let their daughter's passing be in vain, and today the Paris White Foundation provides life jackets in public swimming areas, and to those in need.

So while the weather is warming up and we flock to water, remember little Paris (and her family, who misses her so), and all the other angels whose lives have been lost due to drowning. Create a buddy system, always keep your eyes on them, and put them in life jackets.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy

This beautiful boy turns 4 tomorrow.

And oooh, do I still love him.

Hopefully someone is loving on him for his special day, preferably his birth mother. I keep hoping and praying that she's doing what's right for him, and that they'll be reunited permanently, ultimately for his benefit.

So in honor of his birthday, here are some almost-equally cute little ones born in 2007, who are still waiting for their mamas and papas to come find them.


HIV+, Hep B, Hep C

Down Syndrome

HIV+, Strabismus (crossed eyes - easily correctable!)

Down Syndrome

Carol Ann

Down Syndrome, minor heart problems


Down Syndrome



Down Syndrome

"Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat."

"Each one of them is Jesus in disguise."
-Mother Teressa

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