Friday, October 31, 2008


I took the new kittens to the vet this morning for their first shots and exam. They're all fine, but it turns out that Gracie is a boy! Even the vet said, "how can you tell with all this fur?" LOL
Anyway, now he needs a new name--and perhaps that's why he's been hiding under the dishwasher.

Other things here are good. Trying to do some cleaning out of closets now that I have time to do so (and it's also incentive to lose some weight!) and getting paperwork updated. We meet with our social worker on Tuesday to go over what needs to be taken care of for the home study update, and then I think we have all the information we need to get everything switched over. There are a few more hoops to jump through, but we've jumped through them before, so.....

Hope everyone has a Happy and safe Halloween! Much love!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I was blog tagged!

I think about three different people (Rachel, Nancy, and Michelle) have blog-tagged me in the last few weeks. For those of you who don't know what this is, this is a game that has gone around the blogs where you tag someone who has a blog and they are supposed to share deep dark secrets about themselves (well....perhaps not deep and dark, but I think the idea is that they get to know you better and that you share things about yourself that you wouldn't share in an ordinary blog post).

So, here are my 6 things. They're pretty random, but I'm gonna post them anyway.

1. I know the lyrics to every Partridge Family song, most Barry Manilow songs, the soundtrack to Disney's Peter Pan and Jungle Book, and can name all of the Jackson 5, Charlie's Angels, and all of the Osmond Brothers (and their wives). At one point I wanted to marry Donny Osmond, but eventually abandoned that dream (sigh). I am a child of 1970s and early 80s television and pop culture. I cannot usually remember, however, where I parked my car at the mall unless I am working really hard at it.

2. The nails on my baby toes are weird. Enough said.

3. I LOVE books. My dream job, if I had to stop teaching history, would be to own the bookstore that Meg Ryan runs in "You've Got Mail." I would also love to work at Barnes and Noble (even in the coffee shop part). I love the way that books smell, feel, and even how they look on the shelf.

4. I'm NOT a morning person. I have tried to be and it just doesn't work for me.

5. My favorite indulgence is Starbucks---a decaf latte. I’m not a big fan of the flavors, but sometimes I’ll really indulge and have them make it a mocha.

6. I'd secretly love to live in Key West and commune with the muse of Hemingway at Sloppy Joe's Bar on Duval St. We could wander back to his house and pet his cats and read his new novel. And enjoy the sunshine and the ocean. It’s a big dream for a girl from small-town Missouri.

Ok, now how the game goes is that I’m supposed to tag 6 other people. But almost everyone I know has already been tagged. SO, if you’re reading this and nobody has tagged you, please consider yourself tagged by ME. And keep playing, since this is really fun.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

kitten pictures! UPDATED

Just wanted to update everyone who has asked about names. We decided last night (Tuesday). The gray one's name is Gracie (she just kinda looks like a Gracie, and she's a little shy and timid). The tortoise-shell one is Amelia--like Amelia Earhart--because she doesn't seem to be afraid of anything--including our big girl cat--and she's an explorer.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ok, ok, ok....

So yes, I have been gone far too long. Lots of stuff has happened, and I haven't felt like I've had time to sit down and process it all, much less actually put it on paper (or on the screen!)

Let's see...the biggest news since my last post way back when is that we have been accepted a new agency--CSS--and we're in the process of getting our home study switched over and getting our dossier redone. It has taken longer than it probably should have, since we're still trying to figure out how to keep our old social worker (we really like her) and have her just redo things for us. But, we're moving forward, and hopefully all that stuff will soon be done and our new dossier will be on its way to Russia! I have to admit that all this seems a bit unreal. It is very different to have some hope about things, and it's almost frightening to feel excited about it. So, I'm fighting against my old feelings of just trying to be numb to everything and trying to enjoy the expectancy again.

Other news...our boy kitty passed away a couple of weeks ago. It was so very sad--he had cancer in his mouth, and he got to where he couldn't eat or drink. Steve and I both agreed that it was time to let him go, but it was still hard. He was such a great, loving cat--even when he couldn't eat, he would come and sit next to us and just want to be petted and fact, even more so than normal. We buried him in the yard, with a pink peony bush planted over him. He loved flowers, although he usually didn't smell them, he'd eat them!

Following up on that---this afternoon, Chris, the lady who is the custodian at the church, called and said that someone had dumped a momma cat and 3 kittens at her house. She asked if we would be interested in taking one of them. Long story short--we took TWO of the kittens and the church secretary took the other one. They are incredibly cute, but they were also terribly dirty. They've been bathed and are now holed up in the laundry room in the carrier until they're a little less scared (and our girl cat is a bit more friendly!) I'll post some pictures as soon as I can get them to pose!

Other things are going class has been amazing. I just finished grading their first papers over "Nicholas and Alexandra" (another reason why I haven't had time to write) and they all did really well. It's so much fun to have non-traditional students. They actually read the books and think about the assignments. They love to discuss things, and so our classes have been really interesting. One of my students decided to study the process of collectivization in the Ukraine under Stalin for her research paper, since her family is from Ukraine. It turns out, when she called to talk to her father, that he had lived through that period in Ukraine and told her his perspective of what had happened---she had never known that about her family. How cool is that?

I also totally remember that I have been blog tagged--I promise to do that asap. Please know that I am still here, and I'm still going to post, but it has just taken my mind a few weeks to readjust with the change from our old agency and no action to our new agency and so much support. I am SOOO grateful to all of you who were part of that process...those of you who prayed for us, those of you who gave us advice and suggestions, and those of you who encouraged us to make the jump. Thank you all so much--I don't think I have enough thank yous and gratitude to even come close to being adequate.

I think that is enough for tonight. I hope that all of you are well, and I promise to be better in the future!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Take a deep breath...and move on...

Just wanted to bring everyone up to date about what is going on with the adoption. After many prayers, emails with lots and lots of very helpful people (some of whom are new friends—isn’t that just like God, bringing blessings out of a crazy sad situation?), phone calls to various adoption agencies and more prayers, we are moving on. Thank all of you so very, very much for your prayers and good wishes—we KNOW they have carried us through this whole situation.

We have applied and been accepted to a new agency, CSS, and we are very happy with this decision. This agency has a great reputation, they are small, and they are honestly head and shoulders above our old agency in terms of information they are able to give us just over the phone in two conversations. They also have some significant experience in working with people who have left our agency. We have learned in this process that, like everything else, there are some good agencies out there, there are some not so good ones, and there are agencies that were good in the past but are having serious problems now. When you’re dealing with Russia, like my friend Mike says, it is almost always about “who” you know, and whether or not they know you and trust you. We feel like we have that now where we didn’t with our old agency. I’m not going to use this space to bash our old agency here, and, quite frankly, I’m ready to let all of that negative energy just go now so that we can move forward positively. If any of you have questions, though, about this process, I am glad to answer them.

We do have to redo our paperwork, but not all of it (thank you, God!) Our social worker can update our original homestudy, and we already have our immigration approval, so it is just a matter of getting things redone and up to speed. We will have to redo our fingerprints, but we would have had to do that anyway as much of our original paperwork is now coming up on being nearly a year old. I’m focused on being much more active and proactive this time, on keeping better track of things, and on being in better contact with people who have been through this process recently.

So---we have hope, which is a very good thing. On a similar note, my Drury class is going really well. Only 11 students (compared with like 130 last semester at MSU and in my online class), and it’s Russian History! On top of that, they’re non-traditional students—they actually read the books, they come with questions, they have good topics for the research paper—what more can I ask for here. The only real problem now is that I feel like I should be doing more, since I do have a bunch of time where I’m not all that busy. With more expenses down the road, I’m seriously considering a part-time job doing something—not teaching, perhaps, but I’m open at this point. Please keep me in your prayers about wisdom in making a decision here.

One sad note—our male kitty, Asher, is very sick. We’ve been treating his a sore in his mouth with antibiotics for about 2 weeks, but a trip to the vet yesterday revealed ours and our vet’s worst fears—he has cancer. It’s not going to get any better, and so we’re sadly telling him goodbye.

Again, thank you all for all of your prayers and support---I’m looking forward to October being a much better month than September was!!

Much love