Samuel Jerome and Richnightder

Samuel Jerome and Richnightder
Our boys in Haiti

Monday, December 21, 2009

The pocket edition of Cocktails for Dummies

It appears that my MIL knows me all to well. We just got yet another box of delightful Christmas suprises and my Christmas gift was delightfully wrapped in a ziploc baggie complete with name tag. Inside was the pocket edition of Cocktails for Dummies and on the inside cover was a handwritten note: "Geralyn, this is the best I could do, can't ship booze." What in the hell does that mean? Marc got a big box of mixed nuts which seems shockingly appropriate since he is my MIL son, but honestly, a box of nuts???

So, does this mean my MIL thinks I am a drunk and my husband a nut? Of course, 5 years ago when they came to visit us right after we moved to North Dakota, I did pack an igloo cooler with beer and parked it in my bedroom closet. Madison walked in on me, while I was sitting in the closet enjoying a tall cool Corona, and asked why I was doing that and I simply explained that murdering someone is wrong I couldn't bear to live in prison. Perhaps my MIL knew about my little secret and has interpreted that to mean I am a raging alcoholic? Who knows, but at least know I am the proud owner of the pocket edition of Cocktails for Dummies and I can now whip up a mean Bolero.

Bolero: 1 1/2 oz Barbancort rum (Haitian)
1/2 oz calvados
2 tsp sweet vermouth
dash bitters
Stir and serve straight up or on the rocks.

Holiday cheers to everyone!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Why me?????

We got an interesting package from my MIL yesterday. Opening it up and discovering what was inside was one of the great joys of my life. Now in all honesty, she did phone me a few days ago to tell me this package was heading our way to open it up right away and not to wait. Oh, the suspense was building and like always...Pop, goes the lead balloon.

Inside were 6 placements, not matching of course, that we recognized from her kitchen table, still complete WITH SPILLED FOOD!!!! GROSS! Also completing this lovely array of gifts, were sticker sheets for the kids with several stickers missing, factory second shirts, a beer can chicken roaster thingy mabob for me, and one pair of Jedi warrior anklets for the taking. She also tucked in a couple (actually cute) kitchen dish towels, that I am pretty sure I gave her a few years back. And less I forget, she included Richnigthder's birthday gift.....not late or anything since his birthday was October 14th.

What is up with this crap? Am I the only one who shares the sentiment that I would much rather just get a card, than a box full of #*&%?????

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I've decided to be unrealistic and demanding this Christmas

This year I want Santa to bring me a Mercedes in black, with a big red bow on the top. I would also like a week away, ALONE, preferably in the Cayman Islands. I would like to do nothing but lie on a beach with a beautiful cabana boy catering to my whims and bringing me an endless river of intoxicating beverages. I want sunny skies and absolutely no one to try and make friendly chit-chat. I want to bring some books and read them until I fall asleep without interruptions.

A few years back, Marc learned a valuable lesson in gift giving......never buy the cheapest thing at Tiffany and Co. Since then he has been a champ in choosing lovely little bobbles that fit my fingers and earlobes. This year, since I have my family complete and all under one roof, I want to be totally unrealistic and unreasonable, so Santa, listen up and bring me that beautiful black Mercedes!! BUT, in the event that you are unable to wrap that up, then please refer back to the Tiffany website and get me the earrings I already bookmarked. They would look outstanding on my ears with my new haircut. HINT HINT HINT HINT HINT xoxoxoxoxo

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The tree is up, the ground is white and the picture is taken!!

Carlos, hiding in the dryer. Richnigthder with gucci, Jerome with Carlos, Madison
Pebbles and Thomas with Kitty and Bunny





We have the tree upright, in the stand and Marc is actively working on getting the lights on in a way that looks attractive and not just thrown on in a helter-skelter fashion. The new puppies, Bunny and Kitty are doing their best to tear it down by eating the lower branches and actually dragging the 9 foot tree and stand across the room. Sweet little puppies ;-)!






Madison spent 3 hours in the emergency room last Friday for a snowboarding accident that occured right here in our front yard. I was inside on the phone getting some juicy gossip on a gal that is notouriosly nasty, when Madison came bursting thru the front door screaming her shoulder was hurt. I made all the typical hand gestures and finger snapping to let her know I was on the phone and to be quiet, yet her crying persisited. I got off the phone and realized her arm did seem to genuinely hurt, so off we went to the hospital, with Richnigthder and Jerome in tow.






Poor kid actually did dislocate her shoulder and break her collarbone, so I'm glad i got off the phone and took her in when I did. Yes, you may wonder how could she fall and hurt herself on our little tiny slope in the front yard.............Welllllll, seems she sprayed non-stick cooking spray on the bottom of the snowboard and whoosh, she was off, literally!






Today we did Christmas pictures with the 4 kids and 5 dogs. It was snowing lightly and the wind was just starting to pick up, so I think it turned out ok for a home photo. One or two of the pictures seem acceptable given that it was painful to get the kids and dogs to sit and face the camera at the same time.



Monday, November 23, 2009

Our anniversary

Hard to believe that Marc and I will celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary tomorrow, Nov. 24th. There are many days I don't even feel 19 years old, let alone mature enough to have weathered 19 years of bliss...(cough).

Actually i am pretty damn lucky. I married my very best friend. He tolerates my moods, bouts of tears over the kids and homeschooling dilemmas. He holds my physical and emotional hand and my life would be desolate without him. He works hard to keep us in the lap of luxury and carefully balances work with home life. This isn't always easy when he has me for a wife and 4 kids that call and bug him at work...sometimes at inopportune moments....like when he has a machine gun in his hand and is about to run thru a drug dealers door. I could go on and on and on about how much I love him and appreciate him, but my damn pesty kids are screaming and fighting and I need to break it up and call Marc for moral support!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

So gross I hesitate to post about it

I have 3 rambunctious boys and one lovely, but moody daughter. My boys are typical boys; climbing things just to jump from it, damaging household items and covered in scars and scabs from numerous, albeit, superficial injuries. Yesterday however, while Madison was outside riding the horse, I noticed the deadly sound of silence from all 3 boys.

What I discovered was totally gross and only something boys would think of, let alone try to accomplish. The boys had gotten my largest stock pot from the kitchen, taken it to Thomas' room and attempted to capture, how should I say, a moment, a fragrance, a thought. I found Richnigthder sitting (fully clothed I should mention) on the stock pot.......farting. When I screamed in horror at the sight and sound "What in the hell are you doing?" Thomas replied that they were trying to fart the pot and get the lid on quickly enought to capture the odor and then run it to Madison's room where they would release the aroma. I have just one question. Where do boys come up with these vulgar and vomitous ideas???


P.S. I refuse to use the stock pot again. Perhaps I can put it into use as a dog water bowl, but it will not ever contain food for human comsumption again. End of story!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

This mother needs help

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The karma of life is knocking on my door

Literally 20 minutes ago I was reading this blog http://livesayhaiti.blogspot.com/ and was thoroughly enjoying reading about this family's seemingly bad luck everytime the husband travels out of the country. Things break, toilets get plugged, kids get sick, etc, when as I am laughing out loud, I hear wretching......as in hurling.....coming from the bathroom. Yes, the gods in charge of karma thought it was pay back for enjoying someone else's misery just a little too much.

Thomas is barfing, the dog has cancer and is on chemo, and i have yet another honking big zit on my chin. What in the hell is happening??? Do we live in the damned Bermuda Triangle?? If we do, I wish the aliens would take me away, because I could use a vacation sans kids and a stylish tin foil hat. Oh, and our credit card company called Sunday night to inform (question) some recent activity on our card in FRANCE. Seems our card is having a little vacation in France without us, and paused long enough to need, of all things, gas, tires and car parts. Trust me, if I was in France, buying car parts or tires would be the last thing I would be buying. Besides those would make lousy souvenirs and they are damn tough to pack and get thru security at the airport.

I guess I should stop laughing at others' bad luck even when it is funny as hell, because it always comes back and bites me in the ass. Note to self: suppress all laughter and giggles forever. I can't afford humor anymore. ;-)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Give a Haitian kid a fly swatter and..............


Jerome is the happiest kid ever. He smiles most of the day and is just generally happy. He randomly, without prompting, will hug and kiss me and tell me he loves me. Even when this kid is in trouble and is understandably angry, he puts his hands on his hips, purses his lips and lets out a little sigh. That's it. No yelling, stomping of feet, slamming of doors...nothing.


Yesterday I gave him the task of smashing flies or moosh, in Creole. He took this job with a smile and a determination to rid our house of the Amityville Horror look. He stayed focused on his job for a good hour at least, as I completely forgot I had told him to do it. Hey, I was just happy that all 4 kids were doing something, anything, that didn't cause a fight with anyone else.


I went to my bedroom later in the afternoon to fold some laundry and noticed a pillow shoved into one of the celestory windows above our bed. Hmmm, I thought. Odd place for a pillow. I climbed up on the bed and took the pillow down and what did I find but a smashed pane of glass. I beckoned...well, maybe yelled...for all 4 kids to come to my room. I had them all sit down and gaze at the broken window.


I proceeded with my interrogation of each kid adding that unless someone fessed up, everyone would be staying in their rooms. Jerome briefly accused Richnigthder who looked like he was going to KILL him, but quickly admitted his guilt. Seems he was moosh swatting and obviously got a little excited and smashed the hell out of the window. It only broke the inside pane, but with our cold weather approaching, we have no time to waste in getting this suprisingly expensive window replaced. Oh, and the shards of glass were scattered across our bed. I suppose it was good thing I realized that before we fell into bed.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

And more pictures

Jerome in his undies having some self-made fun with
the hose and the trampoline.


This buffalo was the reason Jerome wet his pants in the
parking lot of the rest stop.


Peterson and Alder looking a little dazed after just arriving
in Billings.


What a handsome group of kids.



The Bergstedt's and their kids. Aurrora is a super big
sister!!




geez, alright already...pictures

Tifanni was suprised to see us and dashed down the stairs
carrying little Alder.

The four Laurie children!

Yes, Thomas did dump the bucked of water on Rich.


After their baptism. This is the cake my friend Lauri
made. She wrote on there "byen vini" which is welcome!



Aren't they outstandingly handsome all dressed for
their baptism.




No talk, just pictures.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I hate my gateway computer

Yes I know there are starving people in this world who endure a tremendous amount of suffering on a daily basis, but I still have to vent about my rather spendy and lemony computer. last November we bought a totally pimped out gateway for about $1000 at BestBuy. I love the hot buttons and lighted keys, but that thing has been a lemon since it came out of the box. It has burned thru 4 batteries, won't keep a screensaver going, the screen dims and re-brightens ALL THE TIME, which makes you squint and then think you have a vision problem. Like that isn't enough, some of the buttons have popped up and you have to re-attach them occasionally. Then there is the problem of it just not coming on at all.

Today our dear laptop will journey forth from Best Buy here in Bismarck and head to the geek squad in Kansas City. Why Kansas City is beyond me, but since it is still under warranty they can do whatever they want with it....and I mean anything. We have accidental breakage protection and I often think it would be better to have "dropped" it down the stairs while walking. Heck, then at least they would just give us a new one instead of having to try and fix it before just getting us a new one.

We transferred all the infor from the old one to this new one we bought for the kids because how can I be without internet access for a month?? This new little one for Thomas is an HP laptop and while it doesn;'t have all the bells-and-whilstles it does have the same internal guts as our snappy Gateway.

So there is my rant for the week. Tonight Marc and Madi have their riding lesson. Kurt will come out and coach them at our arena while I sit in a chair and supervise with a beer in my hand. Why you ask, am I not riding?? Well, Madi is riding my horse so I would be left to ride our Arab mare and I am not up for that much "fun" tonight.

Oh, and I found out that the in-laws are coming out for a visit in October. While I would normally feel vomitous about this for a week, this time however I am a little excited. Since the boys came home in May, they have not met a single one of our relatives. most of the relatives live on the West coast, so we haven't been particularly anxious to fly or drive out west, so it will actually nice for the boys to meet some relatives. Next summer we know we have a trip to San Francisco as Madison's birth-father is getting married. That should be a really fun time and I am looking forward to that trip a lot.

The boys are doing very well and I can't remember what life was like without them. It just feels like they have always been here. They fit into our chaos very well!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Don't leave, I'm still alive

I have so much to blog about and gobs of pictures to upload, but the craziness has kept me from just about everything I enjoy doing. I will hit a few highlights and hope like hell that this weekend I can escape the constant trailing of my children and catch a moment to myself and post some of our recent escapades.

To keep you enticed with juicy tidbits: The kids are over their black plague and seem to be in good health. Just saying that is the kiss of death.

We journeyed to Billings last month to welcome home the Watkin's family and their two youngest boys who came home from the same creche as our boys.

Jerome peed his pants while at the rest stop because we could not get out of the car as a male Buffalo was standing directly in front of the enterance to the Men's restroom.

Fake dog poo and vomit amuse the boys endlessly everyday as they find new and interesting places to leave it and hope it gets a rise out of me.

We have a new kitten which should be named KILLER, instead of Tulip.

I have two kids in braces and just got back from having yet another broken band replaced in Thomas' mouth.

Richnigthder is exceptionally smart and will most likely finish his Kindergarten curriculum in about 4 months.

Jerome's English is taking huge growths everyday. Just yesterday he told me that at OT and PT he loves doing Chelsea. Translation....he loves working with her.

Madison is taking dressage lessons to help her with her reining. It has slowed her hands down and she is learning to refine her movements on the horse and really tune into him.

I break up about 4000 fights a day and find absolutely no joy in that.

The boys have been home 3 months today and it feels like they have always been here.

These are just a few points I will touch upon when I get back to this on Saturday or Sunday. Until then, don't despair or leave the followings of my chaotic life. It has just been too chaotic to even catch a moment to share the nutty happenings here.

Oh, and will someone please do something about this lousy summer weather. It is 57 degrees and raining. When will we get summer this year?????

Saturday, July 11, 2009

wash the monkey?

I had forgotten all the things I took for granted with Madison and Thomas having achieved age appropriate levels of independence. Rich and Jerome have brought back everything that Ihad worked so hard to push from my brain.



Kids have 'sit down radar.' You know, the minute you sit down, they get up and start screaming or demanding something of you that requires movement or attention. This theory also extends to sitting down on the potty. Every time I need to go wee, Rich or Jerome, who may have been on another level of the house and out of ear-shot, start yellling, " Mama go pee pee?" Now it seems that whenever I go to the loo, my two youngest tribe members trail after me inquiring as to my business.



The same story plays out when I get into the shower every morning. The other morning, Marc had already chewed the chains off his legs that freed him to leave the chaos at home and be with 'real' people all day, and I was attempting to shower uniterupted. HA, just as the shampoo is really lathering up, in walks Richnightder and after I asked him in a not so kind tone of voice what in the hell he wanted, he replied...." Wash the monkey?" I had a lot of thoughts flash thru my brain, and most of them were kind of on the dirty end of the spectrum. He repeated it again, as I must have stood there, soapy and all, not answering and I finally turned off the water, opened the shower door and asked him what he was talking about. Lathered up hair and soap on my face, I wrapped a towel around myself (not that it actually mattered since he had been a spectator for a few minutes already) and asked him to show me what was so damn important. With the tv remote in hand he opens the bathroom door he had so thoughtfully closed behind himself, and pointed at the tv on the wall in my bedroom. Playing on tv then was Curious George. He wanted to know if it was ok to 'Watch the monkey'! See all of you with filthy minds, it had nothing to do with personal cleanliness.....just a 6 year old learning to speak English and trying to find out if it was ok to 'gade' telle while Curious George was on.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This post carries a disclaimer

I need to begin with a disclaimer that this is not a pity party. I am also not angling for tangible items/gifts as my kids lack for nothing, but the question has bothered me since the birth of our daughter 12 years ago.

I have debated posting this for a long time, but it has nagged at me since Richnigthder and Jerome came home on April 30th. When Madison and Thomas were born, NO ONE offered a baby shower for our new bundles of joy. Not my mom, sisters, friends, NO ONE. Please don't get me wrong; my kids had everything they needed tangibly and intangibly provided by Marc and me, but why did no one acknowledge their arrivals as if I had given birth??? Fast forward 12 years to Richnigthder and Jerome's arrival and only one family acknowledged their presence in our family with a card and gift. That family has no idea just how much their card and gifts meant to us. Someday soon I will tell them. No friends, no neighbors, no sisters, no brothers, no grown neices or nephews, no MIL or FIL.........only one family thought enough of us and our two little boys to acknowledge their addition to our family. This makes my heart ache. I feel as if their arrival is as inconsequential as if I had bought a new pair of shoes. Hell, my dog died 6 weeks ago and I received a half-dozen sympathy cards.

So this is my question. Is it because they are adopted? Is it Marc and/or me that no one likes and fails to recognize our two little boys as snubs to us? Is it apathy on everyone's part that it is just no big deal? I really don't know so I am seeking answers. Our adoption journey has been a very public journey, both to those close to us; i.e. friends and family, and also known to those who have stumbled upon our adventure through the blogging world. I realize the world is a busy place and we all have obligations tugging on us, but why on earth have those I love and sacrificed for, failed to acknowledge my precious children.

I want the world to know that just because all 4 of my children came to us through adoption, they should not be perceived any differently than if they had grown in my uterus. I thank God for my children, their health, and the things we have been fortunate enough in life to amass. Is it just me, or is it because they are adopted? What could be the reasons for the lack of even a Hallmark card to celebrate a new family member?

I am jealous when I hear of birth mom's or adoptive mom's having baby showers. Thank God I have never needed the possessions that are 'showered' on the mom's, but it sure stings that no one cares enough to send a card. This is an open invitation to all readers to leave their thoughts as to my questions? My heart aches for my kids who are blissfully unaware of my stings. I need other people's insights and thoughts. Remember this is not a pity party for myself, but a public sharing of some raw feelings and a need for answers.

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's a glamorous life

Madison took this photo flying into PaP. She said it looks
like the Geico money eyeballs from the commercial.


I went and got my hair cut and colored last evening. Big whoop, right. Well as I was leaving, Jerome came running after me as I was backing out of the garage. I stopped, rolled the window down and he jumped up to give me a kiss and a hug. He kept yelling to me as I was trying to drive away, so I stopped again, put the window back down, and shouted "what?" He loudly replied with appropriate hand gestures, "Go!"





When I got to the salon, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror before the cape was put on. Seems that when Jerome hugged me, he had toothpaste all over himself, which had been instantly transferred to my shirt. It was under my left arm and all over the left side of my boob. At least I smelled minty fresh.





In other not-so-glmaorous life events, I cannot understand why Rich and Jerome still feel compelled to inform me every single time they need to go potty. Drives me crazy. For God's sake, just go! I am also peeved by the fact that both boys constantly question me about the content and/or name of hot dogs. It's gross, I believe they are better off not knowing, but everytime I tell them that they are NOT made of dogs. Rich informed me that he DOES NOT like goat meat. This is good as our neighbor has about 10 dwarf fainting goats and they might just keel over if the boys ran at them with large knives.





I think Rich might just be a little Felix Unger like. Everytime he sees the dog go potty in the yard, he runs to tell me that also. I think he is trying to tell me to clean it up immediately. Jerome sings to himself, but loudly, when he is on the potty. Rich has told me it is a church song. Guess he talks to God when he is alone! Rich asked me to iron his t-shirt the other day and I obliged. He has to realize that this will not become a habit. That is just too type A for me. Jerome put his dirty, mud soaked socks away in his drawer with all his clean socks and undies. Hmmm, guess I have a little more to wash now.





THese kids have adjusted and settled in remarkably well. Their baptism this Sunday at church should be a riot. I know Jerome loves being the center of attention, but Rich hates having people notice him, especially if he is uncertain of what he is to do. I am hoping to get through this ceremony without any wildly embarassing moments. It should only be about 10 minutes, but man will I be sweating it out. Afterwards, we are having a small gathering back at our house and my new friend who lived in Port-au-Prince for the last 15 years will be here with her two boys. It will be fun to hear them speak Creole to others....and then have Lauri tell me what the hell they are saying.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The boy's first official gig

Having grown up a cradle Catholic and now a practicing Lutheran, I feel this over-whelming sense of urgency to have the boys baptized. As most everyone who knows me is aware, I am not a very religious/preachy person, but I do hold fairly tightly to my beliefs. It is obvious that the boys attended a Catholic church in TiMache since they know how to bless themselves and respond at the appropriate times in church. So, on Sunday, June 21st, Father's Day, the boys are being baptized. Our Godparent's are Mike and Tifanni and since we didn't expect them to drive 10 hours to be present at the baptism, we are having our dear friend Jan stand in as proxy. I wish they were here because we are going to have a fun get together afterwards and some adult beverages. YUMM

Pictures to follow.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

cute crossing dressing pictures.


No pictures, no comment!

Does everyone see Urkel too??


Madison is the queen dominatrix. She is bossy and demanding and somehow always seems to be able to get everyone to do exactly what she wants. This did not end with Jerome and Richnigthder arriving home. She has now continued in her trend of having the little boys do exactly what she wants, hence the cross-dressing photos of Jerome. I am sure she also told him to look and act like he was really lovin' it. Maybe he actually did?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We are boring people




Nothing exciting to share. The boys have settled in. Madison and Thomas continue to adjust to having to share us, and Marc is completely back at work and I am doing all by myself. The first day he went back to work, I was actually scared to be fully in charge with all 4 kids by myself. But just like having a newborn, I realized I could do it and life is now plugging along in a nice rythm.




I have attached a couple pics of Jerome eating spaghetti which he adores and Richnigthder helping me make peanut butter cookies. He loves to bake. Maybe a Rachel Ray in the making?!

Friday, May 29, 2009

K-mart sightings


I dropped Jerome off today at his playgroup and headed off with Richnigthder to do some errands. I am looking for several rather particular Rubbermaid containers and having nearly exhausted all my options, I thought I would pay K-mart a visit.


I spotted this fellow as I was driving into the parking lot. Even at K-mart this dude stood out. He was wearing red sweatpants, hiking boots, a superman t-shirt and a beige trench coat all completed with a CIA baseball hat. To add to his stellar undercover attire, he held an very antiquated walkie-talkie and tended to follow other somewhat less odd patrons to their cars. I think he really labored under the delusion that he was an operative for the CIA. I snapped the pic on my phone through my very dirty windshield as I thought it would be rude to merely drive right up to the fellow and snap his picture. It was a typical k-mart experience complete with the obligatory sightings of moo-moos, house slippers and hair rollers. Oh, and I did not find my elusive Rubbermaid containers....search continues.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

the coveted Certificates of Citizenship!!!!!

The boys arrived in this country on April 30th and today in the mail we received the most coveted of documents. They entered on an IR-3 visa that granted them immediate citzenship upon touching U.S. soil. Today we received the official documents certifying their citizenship as citizens of The United States of America.

Tomorrow, I promise to post pictures of a lot of first. I just have no time these days. Who would have thunk it, that 4 kids can mean a lot of work. SHEESH.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

no whining...or however that is spelled...in creole

Since so many people have asked, I thought I would share it with everyone. A gal who adopted from the same creche as our boys were in, just moved to Haiti to be the houseparents for 20 or so children in the Haitian Children's Home. I asked her via Facebook how to say " please don't whine" and she responded. I must tell everyone she is my new best friend and she saved me from wearing ear-plugs most of the day.

So here it is......pa plenyen sooplay. Phoenetically it is, pa play eh, sooplay. I have this odd feeling that this phrase will be uttered in many homes with Haitian children. It ranks right up there with 'pa touche' and Sispan sa, in our house right now.

Hope this helps!

Nothing is ever as it seems

I had always anticipated that I would have challenges with Jerome adapting to a homelife and having a family. NOT! He is a happy-go-lucky, pleasant little guy and seems to really enjoy being in a family; to include the good, fun things, and the plain old arguing and drudgery. He has been a little whiney, but since I learned how to say 'don't whine' in Creole, he has had a marked decrease in whineyness....however that is spelled. He smiles all the time, is rarely in trouble, and has learned to stay with us in stores and is making great advancements in realizing social boundaries and appropriate social interactions. He loves going to his functional language playgroup and is the social butterfly of the group.

Richnightder is my quiet, intro-spective, sensitive one. He seems to still be mourning the loss of all he has ever known and struggles to express it to us. He is compliant 90% of the time and enjoys helping out greatly, but when he is corrected for doing something naughty, watch out. He flat out refuses to apologize for his misdeeds and we have had to take his bike away for 27 hours until he apologized for knocking Madison off of her bike. The next day he did the same thing, and it took him 2 hours to apologize. Yesterday, he was naughty and refused to look at me, so in a stroke of brilliance (at least I think so) I picked up the phone and pretended to call Teacher Jean. He flipped out and screamed "NOOOOOOOOOOO." He changed his tune immediately and apologized and looked me straight in the eye and followed it up with a hug. He is exceedingly bright and loves to learn. He desperately wants people to praise him and seeks it out most of the time. All in all, the settling in is going as expected and Rich is working thru some issues and will continue to for some time.

We took a short walk yesterday and as he held my hand, he started to talk about Camesuze, his birthmother. He was spelling her name and metioning that he had walked (mache) with her. His language acquisition is amazing and he continued to tell me that he does not miss her and he is not sad. He does however miss his birthfather, but is not sad about that either. I keep thinking about how foreign EVERYTHING is to these kids and how scary it would be to get scooped up by strangers professing love and be taken far, far away to where nothing makes sense. I realize, especially for Rich, that our love for him and trust must be earned. ALthough we love him, I know he must only think of us as kindly people who feed, bathe, and care for him. Hopefully in time, he will come to love us as much as we love him. Until then, we continue to try and live as normal a life as possible all the time realizing, we have two little boys who are struggling to grasp even the littlest nuances of life here in the states and within our home.

Friday, May 8, 2009

My Chow Chow, Chowder just passed away




So yesterday our 12 year old Chow Chow, Chowder had surgery to remove what turned out to be a 9 pound splenic tumor. He seemed to recover well and his blood work looked great this morning, but about an hour after I visited him this afternoon, he passed away. I saw him at 5 o'clock and he slowly got up to greet me and tried mournfully to howl as I left him. I really, truly believe he waited to see me one last time before he passed away. I had no idea it would be the last time I saw him. My heart is incredibly sad that he died and I miss him.




The boys went to the pediatrician today and he was very pleased with how well they look and behave. We are still waiting for bloodwork to come back and we need to provide stool samples, which is a major gross yuck!, but all in all, they look good. We will begin vaccinations in about month as he doesn;t want to traumatize them anymore since yesterday they had blood draws. Even my teeny tiny Jerome, is on the growth chart for a six year old. Rich is in the 50th percentile for height and weight. ROCK ON! He also feels that since they had Mantoux TB tests that were within acceptable ranges, that he does not want to treat for TB. ROCK ON!! Jerome has a fairly good sized umbilial hernia and he wants to see what happens with increased nutrition and muscle mass before he deems surgery necessary. He sees an opthamologist next week for his crossed-eyes and we do anticipate surgery for that.




In the food department, we have now consumed 5 mangoes today, 1 honeydew, about 12 bananas, and 5 mandarin oranges. They love fruit. Oh, and speaking of fruit juices, their teeth also look pretty darn good too. Who can complain if they are eating good food? But at the store today, they ran for the candy aisle and threw in a huge bag of M&M's and three muskateers. Thank God they have good taste in candy.

some homecoming pictures and other odds and ends
















The boys have been in the United States for exactly 1 week and we have had a lot of firsts. RIchnightder has ridden two of our horses and LOVES it. Jerome has warmed up to at least the cat and it can now occupy the same room that he is in without hysterics. Rich loves ice cream and Jerome can leave it. Both had blood draws yesterday for a gob of tests and today they go to the pediatrician for their full physicals.










Yesterday, Rich was teasing Jerome and telling him "gros piki" which translates to 'big shot' and Jerome would and did scream friggin bloody murder. Rich knew Jerome hated needles and teased him mercilessly. Jerome screamed so much he has lost his voice today and his eyes are still bloodshot. Rich watched they stick the needle in and suck the blood out of his tiny arm without a flinch.










After that fun event, we stopped at the store to get new bikes for each of them. Hot wheels just didn't cut it anymore. They smiled ear to ear and even knew they were to wear helmets. How they knew that is beyond me. They cried last night when they had to come in for bed because they were having so much fun on their new rides. They are already buggin me to go out now and ride, but it is drizzly and foggy and just plain chilly and damp. Translation....I don't want to go out yet!










Because our family functions best on chaos, our 12 year old Chow Chow came home from the kennel last Monday looking puny. On Wednesday we took him to the vet and they ended up doing surgery yesterday morning and removing a 9 pound tumor in his spleen. We don't know yet it if is malignant or benign, but at least the dog is feeling better and we have bought him some pain free time with us. The tumor was so large they took pictures and emailed them to me. Anyone want to see???










Here are some pictures of our pick-up trip. Remember we did not get anywhere but the transition house and airport. So here they are including a few from our 2 nights in Miami and the bike shopping trip yesterday.

Monday, May 4, 2009

more fun than a poke in the eyeball with a stick

Thomas got sick this afternoon with a fever, body aches sore throat and headache. I decided to take him to the doctor and quickly realized Jerome wasn't feeling well. So off to the doctor's office we went......alll friggin' 6 of us. Both boys have a viral infection and will probably feel crappy for a few days. When Marc and I came out of the exam room, Madison who had been waiting in the waiting room, was looking sickly and is now sick like Thomas and Jerome. AHHHH, I just wonder when Richnightder will come down with it too? Both of the little boys go to the doctor on Thursday for their first big check up so maybe they will just think tonights little trip to the office was a warm up lesson.

And just to prove that we have qualifed medical professionals in North Dakota, the on-call pediatrician felt it necessary to point out to us that Jerome has crossed eyes. No way, we also hadn't noticed he was black! Thankfully the doctor was astute and noted these things. Whew!

so here we are, the 6 of us

My best friend in the universe, Barney, has just given me 30 minutes of free time to post about the boys. The boys are adjusting remarkably well and fight amongst themselves as typical siblings do. Food is not an issue at all and they are picky about what they eat. They love cantaloupe and most fruit, but dislike onions and pickles. They also love chocolate, but don't like chocolate chip cookies.

Right now R is teasing the hell out of Jerome by switching the channel and Jerome is so frustrated that he is blowing the horns that Tifanni sent the kids. They are the loudest things you can imagine and teh kids adore them. Last night the boys were going to bed and slowly began to silently cry. Marc and I held them and rocked them and they sobbed these body shuddering cries as if in anguish and then fell asleep in our arms. They slept 9 hours thankfully and have been napping, but not in their beds, but on the floor.

Jerome wants desperatly to please and Richnightder is the one testing the boundaries and limits. He is sensitive and yet extremely smart. He has been doing school work on his own and loves to read in both French and English. He also loves to look at blogs and pics of the other kids already at home.

BOth kids have doctor appointments this week. That should make them crabby. Jerome has a chest cold which he has graciously shared with Thomas and me. I have piles of laundry to do, but I have 4 kids now fighting to help me. R helped Marc feed the horses today, but Jerome won't going anywhere near the barn. He is terrified of the cats and horses and the dogs are on there way home from the kennel right now. That should be something for Jerome to deal with.

Barney is singing that obnoxious song which signals the end of my peace, so I must fly now. Hopefully later today I can load the pics and put them on the blog. They are so cute that I want everyone to see them.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Odds and ends before gotcha day

We leave tomorrow for Minneapolis where we fly to Miami on Wednesday. I had a few last
minute items to pick up for our trip and thought since I was out and about, I might as well look for a new bra or two. Bra shopping and swimsuit shopping are the worst things I can imagine doing. Even though I think I know what size bra I need, everytime I end up buying new bras it is always a new size, usually larger. I have a completly flat ass and huge boobs. Seems my grandmother had tremendous boobies, which skipped my mom and went straight to my oldest sister, one of my neices and myself. I figure if I keep gaining weight in my boobs, someday soon I will be a weeble and just fall face first down to the ground and gravity will keep me there.

I just spent more time lamenting bra shopping than I intended, but I think it is universal among women that bra shopping is a painful, psychologically scarring event. No woman I know hops out of bed thinking it is a great day, since they get to go bra and/ or swimsuit shopping. True story. Many years ago, probably about 10 years when my body was still thin and my boobs had some self elevation, I went swimsuit shopping. I chose some tankini's that looked decent at least on the hangar and went into the dressing room. God knows I kept my panties on as who knows may have tried it on before me and I certainly don't want to get a skanky disease in a dressing room. The mirror was angled in three different ways so that you could get a good view of all sides, which is a good thing since so many women fail to look at their backside and don't realize the hideous nature of their appearance. So I put on the suit and am thinking it looks ok, when I looked in the mirror in front of me and caught a quick glimpse of some foreign ass in a teal suit right behind me. I gasped audibly, horrified that someone had entered my dressing room when I suddenly realized the shocking ass I was looking at was mine. I will never forget the horror I felt upon seeing an upclose view of my ass. Although it has always been flat and somewhat shapely, it was still vomitous to see it with my own eyes.

As we will be in Miami for 4 days/ 3 nights I anticipate having to get into a swimsuit. I just hope I don't make our new boys gag in horror at the sight of their new mom with the huge boobies and flat ass. Golly, I am a hot commodity. Watch out Gisele Budchen, my 40 something body is heading to South Beach.

We are not bringing the computer on our trip, so that we will not have any distractions with the new boys. Hence, we will have our phones with us, but will be out of touch with the cyber world until at least next Sunday. If you want, feel free to call us on our cell phones. We will only be out of reach while in transit to Miami and for about 12 hours on Thursday when we are into and out of Haiti. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers as we work on integrating Richnightder and Jerome into the family. We are thrilled to be heading out at very long last to bring our boys home forever.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Better than a stamped visa in their passports

My friend Dominique has been at the creche for 8 days or so now, resolving a little glitch with her son's visa issuance, which by the way has been resolved, but I digress. She has gotten a hold of me by phone once or twice, but only when she is at the transition house in PaP. The creche is slightly remote and she has not been able to get cell phone reception there no matter how many times she has tried.

About an hour ago our phone rang, and Marc answered it knowing from caller ID that it was Dominique. He kept saying hello, but could hear other people on the line. Finally he handed it to me and as I said hello, I could hear Dominique telling Richnightder that it was his mama.....ME! Turns out she had let Richnightder play with her phone since there was no reception there and he somehow dialed our number and as Marc answered it, Richnihgtder ran to Dominique yelling, 'papa!" We got to talk to our sweet boys and even Thomas got to say hi to Jerome. This was the best, best, best suprise ever and I can't thank D for letting the boys play with her phone. And whatever stars aligned just so it was the neatest coincidence I have ever experienced. Boy, do I owe Dominique a large cocktail when we meet.

Thursday is quickly approaching and I can't wait to hold my boys. They both clearly understand that they will be leaving in a matter of days and I am just as excited as they must be. I always thought the best suprise I have ever gotten was in a little blue box with Tiffany and Co. on the and a wonderfully shiny diamond ring inside, but today's phone call takes the cake. AHHHH, I am so in love with all of my kids.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Yes, they really are coming home........NEXT THURSDAY!

The visa appointment went well and if all goes according to plan(cough) then the visa should be printed and in the orphanage director's hands tomorrow afternoon. Next Thursday we fly from Miami to Port-au-Prince to bring our boys home FOREVER. We are only there for one day and will return to Miami on Friday evening. Madison and Thomas are going with us and this should be one hell of an adventure for everyone. The tickets are purchased (cough....chunk of change there) and hotel rooms booked. There is no going backwards now, it is full steam ahead.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Visa appointment, Thursday morning at 7:30

Your thoughts, positive vibes, happy karma and prayers are encouraged as the very last hurdle for the adoption occurs on Thursday morning with the Consulate at the American Embassy in Port-au-Prince. We are hopeful that since our boys have had their final medical clearances by the CDC, the visa's will be issued on Thursday and actually in the hands of our orphanage director by Friday or Monday. Having said all that, we should be able to travel to bring the boys home late next week.

Many of you may wonder why I am still worried at this stage of the game, and I have one word for you all.........Bernot. A little angel at our creche who is unfortunately caught in the bureaucratic system of egos; doctors, officiandos, and politicos all wrangling to exert their will at the expense of a little boy. I want him home with his family yesterday and they could certainly use our happy thoughts now too. With the way things are in Haiti, you can not count your chickens before they're hatched.

Monday, April 20, 2009

We have USCIS approval Zippadeedoodah

We are offically approved for both boys in USCIS. Now we move onto the consular section for the final visa appointment. Our boys have had their final medical exams completed and approved so hopefully that appointment will be a quick one.



And a special thank you to the guardian angels I have asked to watch over my boys and their paperwork and bring it to a quick completion.

Friday, April 17, 2009

My only baby girl is 12 today

Twelve years ago today, my little baby girl was born. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday and other days it feels like an eternity to get her to this point. The moment just her head was sticking out, I knew she would be a determined, feisty thing. She is stubborn, strong-willed, intelligent and sensitive all rolled into a young lady on the verge of making her mark in the world.

I heard her first breath, watched Marc cut the cord.....after much practicing....but that is another story, and saw her first pucker of anger in the world. So today as I dash about gathering supplies and cleaning the house for the gaggle of tweens and newly teenage girls, I am reflecting on how blessed we are to have her as our child, and only daughter. I will post some pics later, but must dash now and get the salmon ready that she has requested for her birthday dinner.

Oh, and a rather large thank you to Angela and Darryl, without whom none of our joy would be possible. Love you both.

Friday, April 10, 2009

sort of, kind of, not really an update from USCIS, but still something

We have received two emails from USCIS in PaP. The first one requested that we send them via email, copies of our passports with entry and exit stamps from Haiti. I know this had been submitted with our immigration packet, but whatever, we can send them again. Then they emailed again, almost immediately thanking us for our prompt attention. The senator's office also received an update on our files and shared with Marc that our files should be out of USCIS next week and then passed on to the consular.

The emails have left us hanging until at least Monday as the embassy is closed today for Good Friday. I am in such a paranoid state right now and fear that so many things could still go wrong that would prevent us from bringing our boys home, that I am interpreting every last word in the emails from USCIS. The last email thanking us for our prompt attention, ended with "We will let you know once your case is approved." I am hoping that it was not just boiler-plate lingo, but in fact, the truth; that our files are heading for approval shortly. The ending of the email was meant to be pleasant, but since we are in a state of limbo was actually depressing. They ended it with "Happy Easter." UGH

I am in a chronic paranoid state these last two weeks. I just want my boys to come home and this waiting and wondering to be behind us. As usual, the wait continues.

Monday, April 6, 2009

still no USCIS updates

Our files have been in USCIS for almost 2 weeks and we have heard nothing. We have asked for status updates and received nada, zilch, zippo. Another family that entered the same day as we did, and adopting from the same creche has already had their visa appointment. This is truly the most agonizing part of the wait. By far, worse than any other stage of the process. I feel as though we are so close, yet as always, the wait continues.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Our files are in USCIS

Just got off the phone with Vivian and found out that our files have been in USCIS since last Thursday. This is great news and one that gives me butterflies in my stomach. I have so much left to do; more shopping, more shopping, more shopping. But I will end this post as I have ended so many others, "As usual, the wait continues."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

It is becoming very real

Before our next blizzard hits tomorrow, we thought we would head into town and do a little more
shopping and let the kids have some fun at Space Aliens...a kind of Chuck E. Cheese but with an alien twist. The food is just so-so, but the nice thing is that after the kids shove the food down their throats, Marc and I can sit in relative peace and talk while the kids rapidly spend $40 in tokens. After that black hole of a money pit restaurant, we headed out to do a little shopping for the new boys.

Now before I proceed with the story I must add, that yesterday I took Madison shopping and spent $438 on her at Old Navy and then, at her request, bought her the matching pink luggage set she requested. The kid is not neglected in any way, shape or form, and yet driving home today the flood gates of tears opened up and the emotions came pouring out. She expressed through tears that she is afraid that with the new boys home, she will be forgotten. We tried to calmly reassure her that as our only daughter, our first born, she could never be forgotten, but I have a feeling our words wafted on the air around her and never paused in her brain. She is afraid of the transition this will have on the family and I have a very good idea that this will not be the last time Madison, or Thomas, have breakdowns of their own over the adjustment and restructuring of the family.

Marc and I have already committed to Madison that we will do all the grunt work that is required as she campaigns to win a coveted spot as a Miss Mandan Rodeo Princess. Of course that all gears up in May, so either Marc or I will have a lot of one-on-one time with Madison as we traverse the countryside horse, and trailer in tow. This is in addition to her Quarter Horse shows where she is a youth reiner. I am getting a headache just thinking about the costs and miles to be driven this summer.

I anticipate our files entering USCIS this week or next and know that the kids are as anxious and nervous as we are to get the family under one roof and see how we all fit together. As always, the wait continues.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

WE HAVE TWO PASSPORTS and will be in USCIS in a week

It is beginning to feel real. Both boys now have passports and our files should go into USCIS in about a week. Our email came with a rough timeline and I am shaking when I let myself realize that my boys may actually be home, here, sleeping in their long empty beds in a matter of weeks!! Flood and blizzard be damned, this is a great day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Adoption update....or lack thereof

We haven't heard any news from Haiti since March 3rd when we finally heard that Jerome was out of MOI. Oops, we actually did hear that Richnightder did have his passport issued, but that news is a couple weeks old now too. So back to what I was saying, that we haven't gotten any new information since Vivian got back from the creche last Friday.

Throughout this long ordeal of an adoption, I had always believed that once our files were out of Haitian hands and into USCIS and the embassy, that it would move effficiently and quickly. I am beginning to have some serious doubts about that belief. I have these nagging fears that for some reason, USCIS will deny our boys their approval to immigrate and my world will come crashing down. I am hoping that these feelings I am having are just lingering shadows of fear that something will cause this adoption to not come to fruition.

Honestly, I have been having some really weird dreams lately and I can only chalk them up to my ever-present adoption worries. Last night I dreampt that I was a baby bird and that my mommy bird would not regurgitate in my mouth and I was sleepy and hungry. Yeah, I know, what would Freud have to say about that messed up dream and its underlying meanings? And then every once in awhile I get all panicky thinking about when the boys are actually home. I worry if I will do and be what they need in life and understand just how much they are loved. I worry about them transitioning to home and feeling comfortable; comfortable enough to have melt-downs and comfortable enough to show me their saddness and mourning about the loss of everything they have ever known in life before. Then as soon as I calm myself down, I go right back to worry about when the adoption will ever be finished. Maybe I am losing it. Or maybe I am just exhausted from living in a suspended state of animation for the last two years. The days turn into weeks, then months, and now years and still my boys are not home in my arms.

I have eaten my weight in chocolate Easter candy and if only the sun would come out and shine, I just might be in a slightly more upbeat mood. I am beginning to think that my mantra will always be, "As usual, the wait continues."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

'Splain this one Lucy




I had to run to the store today and get some essentials after being sick for exactly 7 days and being snowed in the past 3. I gleefully left the kids at home and drove into town by myself listening to my music on the radio and didn't have to listen to arguing children.




First stop was McDonald's where I shoved a #3 with a diet coke down my throat and then delighted in eating in peace in the Super Walmart parking lot. The sights you see when people-watching is always amazing to me. I sat in the car listening to 80's on 8 XM and enjoyed the hot salty fries immensly. But I really enjoyed watching people enter and exit the liquor store. Mind you, it is 4 degrees above zero today and we have another fresh 4 inches of snow so the parking lot is still snow covered. I watched a man who appeared to be very financially strapped, guessing by the 25+ year old pick up truck he darn near pushed into the parking lot and the less than clean clothes he had on.




In addition to his vehicle looking sick, he was just about dragging a leg and seemed to need the cart to lean on just to stand upright. Out he comes from the liquour store with an overflowing cart of Michelob Lite beer. He struggles, nearly falling once to push this burden all the way to his rickety pickup and then I watch him do the dumbest thing I have ever seen. He put his numerous cases of beer in the bed of the pick up, where it will inevitably freeze and put his two 20# bags of ice in the front seat of his truck. I wanted to get out and tell him what a moron he was, but felt it would fall on deaf ears. I just hope he drove quickly to wherever he was headed so the beer didn't freeze and the ice didn't melt. What a moron, but excellent entertainment. Walmart always comes thru in the entertainment arena.




Wednesday, March 11, 2009

we have a passport.....still need one more

Richightder has a passport. Now we must wait for Jerome's file to get a passport before they can both enter USCIS together. Either way, we are in the homestretch.

Monday, March 9, 2009

c'mon passports

I realize that Jerome has just gone into passport printing, but Richnightder has been there now since February, 10th and I am hoping every single day that a miracle will occur and both boys will get their passports together. Yeah, right. I need to quit having delusional fantasies, but it sure would be nice to get all of our documents into U.S. hands....well, maybe not.

A girl can dream can't she? I keep thinking that once our files enter USCIS, things will speed up for us. We haven't caught a break at any step in this whole process and it sure would be nice to have one near the end. To give everyone a run-down of what our wait has been like, here is the whole ugly story:
Began adoption paperwork................. February 2007
matched with Richnightder and Jerome......................May 2007
entered IBESR...........................Sept. 28, 2007
visited boys.................................December 2007
Exited IBESR.............................June 2008
entered Parquet..........................June, 2008
visit boys again............................June, 2008
Exit Parquet..............................August 2008
Enter 2nd Legal.......................August 2008
Exit 2nd Legal..........................October 2008
Enter MOI................................October 23, 2008
Exit MOI..................................February 6,2009; Richnightder
February 27, 2009; Jerome
Now the wait continues in Passport printing.
USCIS
Visa
Travel
Hard to believe that it has been two years since we started this. I was a much less neurotic woman then, and probably a little less OCD about checking email every nano second. As always, the wait continues.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

JEROME IS OUT OF MOI

Vivian phoned Marc today and shared the news that Jerome is out of MOI as of February 27 and is now in passport printing along with Richnightder. Now the wait begins to see how long our files will remain in the passport office. Finally, some movement.

This morning, feeling very reverent and religiousy, I decided to look up what my old Catholic Missile had to say about today, the first tuesday of lent. I flipped the book open, and it was to a page dedicated to St. Jerome, who I learned is the patron saint of orphans and abandoned children. Now having grown up Catholic, this really made me feel like there is something to this. I guess now after learning about St. Jerome, I will always feel like he has had a guardian angel looking out for him since the moment of his birth and thru his terrible years at the first orphanage.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Well, once again, no news from Haiti

Like the title states, we have heard NOTHING from Haiti. This means another weekend of drowning our sorrows in assorted bottles. This whole process is making me super cranky, and a littly sloshy.

Maybe, just maybe, next week we will hear Jerome is out of MOI and Richnightder has his passport. I' will even try not to gossip during church. Maybe God is watching and just waiting to reward my good behavior. Yeah, right!

Monday, February 23, 2009

We know there will be no news this week

With carnivale in full swing in Port-au-Prince, most if not all offices will be closed this week. So I know for sure that I will not be getting an email informing us that Jerome's file is finally out of MOI. At this rate, even if his file was signed out of MOI the end of this week, it will still take approximately 3-4 weeks to get his passport issued. Richnightder has been in passport printing 3 weeks today, but who's counting?? The flip side is that even if Richnihgtder gets his passport the end of this week, his file will just have to sit and wait until Jerome's file catches up.

Does anyone else here see the irony of a country in constant turmoil and citizens who are destitute spending a week of all out partying?? For God's sake, I wrote this at Christmas time, but with a country of over-flowing orphanges, and children dying on the streets, wouldn't it seem logical that some government offices, say, adoption related, would continue to work to ensure children are going home to their forever families and making room for orphans on the street to move into creches?? I know I have some crazy ideas, but I am constantly bothered by the fact that so many people and offices feel no sense of urgency to move these kids' files with any thing resembling efficiancy. What is it ever going to take to get these kids home?? We have heard that Jerome's file is merely waiting for one last signature which would release it from MOI and order a passport to be issued. How on God's green earth, can some human being take off time from work, to wear plastic beads and fancy clothes, gorge on liquor and food in a gluttonous fashion all the time knowing that kids are languishing in creches without families to care for them??

And for the record, I am not premenstrual, just thoroughly pissed off by our situation. Haitian adoption really has all the control and we, the adoptive families, are just supposed to sit back and gleefully accept our hands being tied. So most likely I will be a very frustrated woman this week all the while knowing full well NOTHING is happening in Haiti to bring my kids home. The gluttonous food and liquor of Mardi gras sounds pretty appealing to me right now in an effort to help me forget my misery. My thighs hate me already, so what is a little more, right??

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Watkin's family will completly understand this calamity

I am one of the luckiest people alive. I don't often get to say that, but in this case it is true.

Tuesday afternoon was an ordinary day; kids doing school work and me shoving a load of laundry in between assignments. The kids had worked their way out of the classroom up to the family room where I had turned the fireplace on. Who doesn't love a flip-of-the-switch fire that warms the room and adds a little ambience. Thomas was sitting on the hearth doing his math and had placed a decorative couch pillow behind his back. I was sitting on the couch a mere 4 feet away reading about ancient neo-lithic civilizations for Madi's history lesson. Thomas blurts out in pure Thomas fashion, " My back is so hot it feels like it is on fire." To which i replied with a smart-ass, "Well, then move." When he moved away, I could smell something burning. I went to the fireplace and when I pulled the pillow away from the glass front, I couldn't see that the stuffing in the pillow had started melting. Unfortunately, I stuck my right hand directly into the melting/liquid stuffing. It attached to my fingers like lava and began to burn like crazy. I ran to to the kitchen and ran it under cold water, but I had to wait for the stuffing that had melted to my finger to cool before I could pull it off my fingers.

I feel we must have had a house full of angels standing by, because literally, that pillow was seconds from bursting into flames. I also thankful that it only burned me and not Thomas. I would have felt guilt the rest of my life if that had happened. Marc says I look like Freddy Kruger now with my fingers all bandaged up. A fun trip to the ER revealed 2nd and 3rd degree burns. Some fun pain killer drugs have helped take the edge off the pain, but also make me so loopy that I am not quite sure what I am teaching the kids. I could not care less if my hand has scars from this, I am just so thankful that my kids weren't hurt and the house is still standing.
Now I need to take another pill and get even loopier!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

status quo

As is typical, we still have not heard any news about Jerome's file. That means we must still believe that it is in MOI. Richnightder's file has now been out of MOI and into immigration passport printing for slightly over a week now. So it seems we are batting 50/50 and can only hope to hear some good news about Jerome's file soon.

Trying to be an optimist, when I am most certainly a pessimist, Marc and I tried to install the booster seats we bought for the boys. We purchased the Britax Frontier and they are most definetly a solid, safe seat for the boys, especially since they are so tiny for their age. Maybe it is because we haven't put car seats in for a few years, or maybe we are just flipping idiots, but it took us over 2 hours to try and get them to fit per the manufacturer's specifications. The directions appeared simple enough, but once you are in the rear seat with your head smashed into the back of the booster, knee crammed into it as well, and your hands stuffed behind he seat, it doesn't look as easy as the smiling people in the brochure. Now that they are in, we are not moving them at all. I don;t care how silly I look driving around with two empty booster seats. After the FUN of installation, they are staying put.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

One down, one to go!!

Vivian just emailed to say that Richnightder's file was signed out of MOI last Friday and is moving on to passport printing. We are still waiting for Jerome's file to come out, but I pray that it is signed out this week too. Marc's birthday is Saturday, Valentines day and it would make for a super birthday present to have both kids signed out and working on passports.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Just in case no one hears from me for awhile

We are getting a bad ice storm tonight followed by a prediction of 15 inches of snow thru Wednesday. If this happens we will most likely lose our satellite internet and be cut off from the civilized world. Well, after all, we do live in North Dakota where the wheel, fire, and indoor plumbing were recently discovered.

So dear C4C friends, if anyone hears we are out of MOI (yeah, like that will ever really happen) please call me. And to all my facebook friends, just know that I am not being anti-social, but am enjoying and reaping (cough) the benfits of being iced in with the family. As soon as power and internet come back on, I will be back to banter with you and look forward to seeing more pics of us in high school. Anyone have a special picture of Sr. Catherine?? I would love to laugh and laugh about that. Keep your fingers crossed that I am at least still in touch with the internet world. Ciao for now everyone!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

my dream from last night

Very infrequently do I dream of my boys in Haiti. I can't imagine why this is, since I think of them every moment of every day. Anyhow, last nights dream was very, very vivid and I woke with a warm, almost eerie sense of happy premonition.

I dreampt that we were in PaP at the transition house getting ready to head to the airport. We had Madison and Thomas with us and of course, Richnightder and Jerome. In walked a couple with a frightened, sad look about them and I knew immediately that they were Richnightder's birth parents. I walked slowly towards them with tears in my eyes and held out my arms in a questioning way to show them I wanted to hug her. She teared up and we embraced in a long, warm hug, both of us sobbing quietly. She was much taller than I am, at least in my dream and she had her hair braided and pulled back. She was lovely looking, but I could sense her heart was full of sorrow, saddness, and yet also hope and relief. I told her that we have loved Richnightder sense the moment we saw his picture and would love him forever and always. I told her that we would give him all the the best in life and he would go to college and hopefully on to grad school. She bit her lip as it quivered and she nodded to me that she understood and then told me in English (hey its a dream) that she too loves him. I reassured her that I would always make sure that Richnightder knew how much he was loved and it was my hope that someday in the future he would journey back to Haiti to reconnect with her and his birth siblings.

My dream ended with Richnigtder walking out of the door holding my hand, but looking back over his shoulder to his birth mom and waving goodbye to her with a smile on his face. I honestly hope that should we be fortunate enough to meet his birth parents, that the meeting goes like my dream. I want his birth mom to know I love this child with every fiber of my body and know he was as meant for me by God as Madison, Thomas, and Jerome are. With the help of God, this meeting will happen in a few short months and my boys will be home with us soaking in our craziness and chaos and enjoying the wide open spaces and freedom to be a carefree child.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

what the hell am I doing today?

NOTHING is the answer to that question. The kids are actually working quietly and nicely on their schoolwork at their desks, so here I sit blogging. Our Denali is still in the shop and the loaner car they provided to us is the size of Mr. Bean's car. Yeah I am all in favor of saving the environment, but this car is embarassing. It's a Chevy Aveo and I actually think I would feel safer driving a rusty old tuna can. It says it has side air bags, but Marc thinks they are probably just balloons. It does not do well on our snowy, icy roads and I was mortified to pick up our food at Applebee's Curbside service. For God's sake it has hand crank windows. Didn't they do away with that in the '80's? I think this makes me a snob, but I am just not used to driving a matchbox car. Enough said!!

The builders are here tearing the roof and 3 sides off our barn from last July's tornado/hailstorm. In typical builder fashion, they came yesterday and worked an arduous day of almost 2 hours and then left. They have now been here for over an hour and I anticipate them leaving any moment. The horses are outside in their runs not looking too happy with their new daytime accomodations. It is snowy and cold today, albeit sunny. If the horses had opposible thumbs, I would imagine they would be knitting sweaters for themselves. We actually do have thick blankets for them, but it is not wise to put them on and then take them off. Seems it screws up the horses hair and how it compacts down and then doesn't keep them as warm. And this really pissed me off. After the builders left yesterday, I went out to clean stalls and then bring the horses in. I was grossed out to see that the builders had actually peed in the stalls. Super gross. I actually threw bleach water on it because I perceived it as someone pissing in someone elses bed, namely my horses. I think today I will have our Rottweiler take a huge crapola in their truck just to show them what it is like.

Can anyone tell I am slightly premenstrual today???????

And absolutely no news on the adoption front. Still stuck in MOI. I really don't think they will be home before summer at this rate. With the mood I am in today, I think I need to head down to Haiti and kick some serious MOI ass. And I just might drag along our donkey from the Jeremie trip and let it kick some ass too.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

facebook still lost and other stupid things

So Marc messed up my facebook page on Saturday evening and all we have heard from the helpdesk was the automated message telling us not to mess with it until they contact us. Well, we still haven't heard from them. Guess they are working on a more laid back schedule than mine of an angry pissed off, slightly more mature woman. Enough about my still missing facebook page for now.

This morning both kids had to go to the pediatricians office for shots. Thomas needed a booster of Tdap and Hep A and Menigiccocal. Madison needed a Varicella booster. Blah, blah, blah, not that anyone cares about that but it sets the story for our visit. The kids pediatric clinic is actually located in one of our hospitals here in Bismarck. Needless to say, having a clinic in a hospital you tend to see a lot of things that you just normally wouldn't see in a peds. clinic. For instance, walking thru the lobby we saw a man in a classic orange jumpsuit with big numbers on the back and shackles on his hands and feet. Yes, it seems even though who are incarcerated get to have medical care. But that is not what actually suprised me.

Our hospital provides valet parking service, free of charge to everyone and tipping is forbidden. LOVE IT. So I handed in our claim check and after buying the kids and iced Italian soda, we are waiting in the lobby for our car to be brought up. I had noticed a very lovely woman in the lobby with her daughter that I was guessing to be about 12 or 13. This winner of a gal was wearing jeans with leather ties running the length of both legs and completed her fashionable ensemble with pink fuzzy slippers. So from behind me I hear this eye sore shout out to her daughter, "You just have to admit it that you slept with the wrong guy!" What?? I couldn't even pretend to not have heard and didn't even casually try to peek at her, I just spun around to get a whole birds eyed view. So between the convict and the obviously irresponsible daughter to the hoochie mama, I would have to say that the slutty girl and hoochie mama takes the cake. My friend and I are going to get a mocha and sit in that lobby and people watch next week. It should prove to be hours of belly laughs and shocking moments. I love people gawking.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

facebook lost

Just when I was getting in the swing of things and understanding the navigation of Facebook, all is lost. Marc was trying to set up his own Facebook page and somehow, in his fiddling around, I am nowhere to be found now. I tried entering my name, email address, etc., and nothing ever comes up showing that I have ever existed in the facebook world. I am totally lost in the cyber world.

Marc feels appropriately crappy for losing my page, and swears he will get it back. He emailed tech support at facebook and all the automated response said was to not goof around with it until they get back to us. Like everything in my life right now, I must wait. So to everyone out there who had facebooked with me in the past week, I hope to be able to get my page back from the land of the cyberlost and get back to chatting.

Does anyone know a good marriage counselor?? ;)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I am not a nice person today

I have nothing good to say today about anything. I am angry, depressed, morose, lethargic, melancholy, blue, and reclusive. I hate myself for feeling this way when it is a beautifully sunny day, albeit, downright cold. Nonetheless, it is a day that I should be enjoying by any means possible.

Yesterday I was so blue about our extended stay in MOI that Marc and I went shopping for Richnightder and Jerome. We bought lots and lots of clothes, more bedding, more cute wall decorations and finally bought some booster seats for the car. I almost feel like shopping for the boys at this stage of the game is putting a hex on the adoption. Everytime I buy things, a setback usually follows. Yes, I am superstitious, but I almost have to be having grown up in my Irish Catholic family. Right now, I am without faith, hope, and just feel like everytime we take a step forward, we ended having the rug pulled out from under us and go back 4 steps. What I really need now is an MOI exit and to believe that my boys will come home. It was 2 years ago that Marc and I sent in the first paperwork of our dossier to Heritage. 2 flippin' years!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My boys were 4 years old when we first saw their pictures and fell in love. In two weeks, Jerome will turn 6 and my "babies" will officially both be grade-schoolers.

I am at a loss of how to drag myself out of this self-imposed melancholy. Shopping yesterday didn't even do it. I know I am REALLY down when shopping doesn't help. Then again, we don't have a Nordstrom here so buying nice shoes or purses was not an option. My sister was depressed and went out and bought herself a nice little Louis Vuitton handbag. She said it made her feel much better. Maybe I will have to try that too, but of course to do that I will have to drive to Minneapolis which is a 7 hour drive. See, no matter what, everything today has a dark lining to it. Where is the silver lining in all of this. I guess I will just have to wait and see.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Just for fun today

......I went to the dentist thinking I would merely need a crown for the tooth I errantly thought I had cracked. HA!! Well in typical Geralyn fashion, the delightfully young dentist who appeared to be about 12 or 13 (since my dentist retired) gleefully informed me that I in fact had a cavity that went under my existing filling and needed to be drilled out and re-filled. YIPPPEEEE Seems the cavity was really deep and he sent me on my way with the warning to look out for excrutiating pain that would indeed indicate I would need a root canal. I have never had a root canal and seriously hope to never, ever have one.......EVER!!

This is just a natural completion to the misery that I feel having been stuck in MOI for 3 plus months. I would understand if they could give me a reason as to why we are still there, but in the absence of that, I am left with nothing. No reason, no explanation, and defintely no MOI movement. Marc was getting dressed this morning and tells me he is about to the point where he will just jump on a plane to PaP and give those in the know and power, a large sum of cash. Yes we are seriously contemplating bribery and whatever else is actually necessary to get my boys home. Since I am not up to date on illegal acts such as bribery, larceny and extortion I am not sure how to go about this, but I am open to suggestions from any of my felonious friends. Adoption makes people think and do weird stuff.

My novocaine is wearing off and my tooth is throbbing and my tongue is still numb. Being the trooper that I am, I managed to choke down a piece of chocolate cake and oddly enough, noticed that it had very little flavor. HHMMMMM, I wonder if I am onto something there?? And a warning to all of you that may have verbal diarhea like I am prone to. As I made small talk with Skippy, the 12 year old dentist, we talked about, what else, our Haitian adoption and I told him that the first time I was there I got dysentary. OOOps....the look on his face was pure fright. So the lesson here is if someone is going to be sticking their hand in your mouth, it is wise to refrain from telling him of the last intestinal distress that caused great motility of your bowels. I hastened to add that I had actually been treated and he seemed to relax. Maybe for a laugh I should have told him that I am an obsessive-complusive biter. I am wicked.

Monday, January 19, 2009

An honor bestowed upon us

I won't name names, but a fellow adoptive family has asked us to be the guardians of their children should anything happen to them. Marc and I are truly honored by this and realize that this is a wonderful privilege to think that they trust us enough to raise their children. I can already guarantee them that I would love their kids as much as I love my children. And God forbid anything happen to the parents, this would be one rockin' fun-filled, loud house!!

We are really honored by their request and without hesitation would welcome their kids into our home and hearts. Thanks you two for the wonderful honor.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's because I'm a Pisces

Pisces are emotionally sensitive, intuitive and also fun loving. But lately I have been anything but fun-loving. I have been overly sensitive and am beginning to feel that this adoption will never, ever end. Yeah, it took some time to get over the set back of needing to rent-a-donkey to get some needed documents, but what I can't get over these days is still being in MOI since October even though all the documents are now in MOI's hands. Honestly there are some days I hate to leave the house because inevitably I will have to answer questions about when the boys will be home and what is taking so long.

I have always been a very out-going person and able to bounce back from most any adversity. Even the death of my parents, I was able to bounce back quickly and realize that they are in a better place and still watching over me. Having two boys that are legally ours and yet not able to come home to us is indescribably difficult to handle. I keep trying to be positive and believe that they will be coming home in March or April, but I have had these thoughts before and been sadly disappointed.

We have also come to a difficult decision regarding our eventual 'gotcha' trip to Haiti. We have decided that we are taking both Madison and Thomas. For a variety of reasons, namely that we don't have any family close by to take care of the kids, the fact that our last trip was horrendous because we had to leave haiti early to come home and be with Madison and Thomas because the in laws were struggling....oh, and my FIL has Narcolepsy and fell asleep driving with my kids...the fact that I want Madi and Tom to see the daily life struggles of the average Haitian, because I want all of us to be a family as soon as possible, and I also believe that Richnightder and Jerome will feel more comfortable traveling when they see Madi and Tom sitting in their seats and keeping their seatbelts on. I could go on and on, but you get the drift. I know a lot of people may disagree, but hey I can handle disagreement. What I can't handle again, is being separated from either set of kids and knowing one set is in danger or in need.

You know, Marc and I took a two week vacation right before we started this fun adoption journey and we left the kids with Holly, Thomas' functional language director, and we never worried or feared for the kids safety. We knew they were in capable hands and we had a great time. Holly watched the kids for us the first time we went to Haiti and once again we never worried and were able to concentrate on Richnightder and Jerome. But this last trip was something off the charts for anguish. So we are going to avoid that grief, worry and chaos by bringing the kids to Haiti. Life is too short for Madi and Thomas to not see first hand the suffering and struggles of those who must work for every morsel of food. I want them to know that the world is bigger than their wants and desires and to hopefully create in them the passion to help others and see the need to do their absolute best in all situations.

I must now get up and clean this house and bring it back to some sense of tidyness. I have really been off my game in a lot of situations and I must try to get my game face back on. When this adotion journey eventually comes to an end, I will be soooooo happy, and then crazy in a whole new way.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What's the worst gift you've ever received??

Since my last post, I have realized just how many people out there totally suck at giving gifts that the recipient actually wants or would fancy getting. So, after recalling some of the worst gifts I have ever gotten, I thought I would share a few of the winners.

Marc and I were married in November of 1990 and less than a month later, we celebrated our first Christmas as newlyweds. From my MIL, I got a handmade turtleneck flannel nightgown. SEXY!! When I opened the package, Marc blurts out that his mom had one "Just like that!!" She also gave me a collection of Marc's favorite meals and their recipes. Yeah, like that was going to happen. That same sucky Christmas, Marc gave me a grease splatter cover for my new frying pan. WHOOPEE!! Talk about striking out.

Our first Valentine's Day together, Marc was out of town for work for 3 1/2 months and he must have forgotten, so he sent me a Hershey bar. Not even a king size one, just one from the checkout lane. He has taken a few years of training, but now he is a super gift-giver and stops periodically to buy me flowers or buy me something special. But man, those early years, he sucked.

I will have to interject here that the best gift I have ever been given was when Marc bought me my beloved Quarter Horse, Tommy. We saw him at a show and I commented to our trainer how super that horse looked and she thought he might be for sale. I took a test ride on him, and fell in love. Marc secretly brokered the deal and bought me the horse. I couldn't believe it when he told me the horse was being brought up to Oregon and was all mine. He has proven to be a wonderful, wonderful horse with exceptional talent in Reining and will hopefully take Madison now to the world show and a possible top ten placing. I have never been more suprised in my life and I love that horse in a special way.



Another year from my MIL I got, no joke here, a bar of soap. Now this wasn't just any 'ol bar of soap, but one that you could see the toy inside, so if you washed your hands frequently, eventually the toy pony would be revealed and provide hours of play.

So I want to hear from all of you mumu wearing hot women out there, some of the worst gifts you have ever gotten. I want to know that others have gotten equally bad or worse gifts than I have. Please don't make me feel alone here.......come on ladies share your stories!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

I know everyone is jealous, don't deny it!!


We received our Christmas gifts from Marc's parents yesterday and look what I received. Yes, a quilted checkbook cover. While I recognize the talent and skill that went into hand-making this gem, it most definetly is not my style. Perhaps my MIL labours under the delusion that I am a dusty, old fart and totally dig this groovy stuff. Now had it been a Burberry checkbook cover to match my purse, I would have really appreciated its beauty!!


Hope everyone is envious and has checkbook cover envy!! HAHAHAHAHA

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Kristi wins for favorite adoption blog

She won't be receiving a leg lamp as a major award, but she will get a lot of attention brought to her blog and Haitian adoptions. Seems Adoptive Families magazine named her blog "One of our favorites."Bringing Home KobeAn adoptive mom tells her story and provides updates as she waits to bring her son home from Haiti. So let's give a big standing ovation to our dear sister, Kristi as she waits, not-so-patiently to get her sweet, handsome boy home!!

I told you that you were the blogging queen, did I not??

Monday, January 5, 2009

mundane monday

We started homeschool again today after our Christmas break. Suprisingly it went fairly smoothly and well. Everyday we endeavour to start school at 8:30, but today we actually got a head start and began our day at 8AM.

What I have spent time contemplating though is bumming me out. I realized that since the first part of December, I have been wishing away time. I wished away days when I knew offices were closed in Haiti and no ones files were being reviewed. I wished away days when I knew our DNA test would eventually be back ( which we still haven't received any news). I wished away the first few days of this new year in anticipation of the government offices re-opening and hoping that we come out of MOI soon. Maybe that is what the year of 2009 will be known as in our household, the year of wishing away time. I so want to be able to stop and enjoy everyday, but with the two boys missing, it seems almost impossible to do.

I am tired of relentlessly checking my email to see if the DNA results are back. I am just as tired of waiting for word that we are out of MOI. All these hurdles represent just one more thing that needs to be accomplished before Jerome and Richnightder can actually come home. No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to focus on much of anything for any length of time. I almost feel like I have ADD. All my thoughts revolve around getting news that we are closer to get these boys home. For God's sake, I am obsessed. I need to find some diversion, besides eating Christmas candy.

Tomorrow I am going to throw myself into the kids' homeschool day. I am going to focus on them without checking email every 2 seconds. I am going to enjoy doing science with Madison and trying to help her understand atomic weights of elements and working with combining elements. I am going to let Thomas read to me from Mr. Popper's Penguins and not let my thoughts drift to Haiti. I am going to try and live in the moment. Uffda, that will be a challenge, but I am going to give it a whirl. Madison and Thomas deserve to have me fully in the moment and not wishing away time; time that encompasses them too!!