Thursday, December 29, 2011

In only 3 short months...

Well, it has finally happened!  I still pinch myself!  We accepted the referral of 2 little boys (brothers)!  Now, I just can't wait to get over there and meet them.  We will be gone for about 6 weeks before we can bring them home.  Everyone has been so excited for us and supportive.  Probably the most excited person was Julie, she and I have shared so much over the past 3 months, and I know she and her family have been praying extra for us.  I know God has lead us every step of the way.

The process in Hungary is very family oriented.  We will meet the boys and gradually spend more time with them each day for the first 7-10 days.  After that, we will have custody of them for 30 days.  Then the final paperwork will be signed and we can bring them home.

Our only sadness is that our son won't be able to join us but with Skype we can video chat for free every day.  He will get to see the boys and they will get to see him.

I can't post much info now for privacy reasons.  I'm going to try to make this blog private and that will allow me to post more, especially while we are over there.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

European Vacation

Finally posting pics from Europe
In France - Obviously, I shouldn't have to describe what is behind us!  It was amazing and beautiful to see!  Springtime is really a beautiful time to visit. 

On the grounds of the Louvre.  Everything was immaculate and well maintained.  I could spend days in Paris!  Especially if I knew any French :)

The entrance to the Louvre.  I thought it looked out of place being so modern while surrounded by so much history.

The most famous picture in the world and probably the most heavily guarded.  Did you know it is only 20x30 inches?  I read an interesting book on the history and 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa.  Now the painting is behind 6 inches of bulletproof glass and roped off so that you can't get closer than 6-7 feet away.

Bayeux Cathedral in Bayeux France

Cathedral interiors

The American cemetary in Normandy, France

I can't really describe the feelings and emotions I had while walking around the cemetary.  It is immaculate and serene and respectful.

On to London...
Aaron in front of Big Ben - which is actually the name of one of the bells in the tower and not the actual tower.

Yes, we had a few pints while we were there.  This is a famous bar called The Albert.

Tower of London

Tower Bridge

Westminster Abbey - we were there 3 weeks before the big wedding so there was a flurry of activity here and at Buckingham Palace

Aaron in a famous red phone booth.  One thing we noticed here, France and in Wales is that people don't walk around with cell phones stuck to their ears.  Maybe they are a little more civilized??  I can't remember the last time I saw a phone booth on the street.

Aaron with a Chelsea Pensioner.  We met him outside The Albert and found out that he served in WWII.  It is very prestigious to be a Chelsea Pensioner.  One must be a veteran and asked by the government.  You would be provided with housing and medical for as long as you lived.  He is 91 years young.

Westminster Cathedral - Catholic Church we attended on Saturday.  It was built in the early 1900's.  Cardinal Basil Hume is buried here.

Buckingham Palace

On the Welsh coastline

Sheep roam freely in Wales so watch where you step!

Wales has over 1,000 old castles.  Most are in some sort of disrepair.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It's really going to happen!

Today we turned in our final paperwork and it's ready to send to Hungary!  I can't believe it - it's really going to happen!  We don't know an exact timeline and were told to prepare to wait up to 6 months.  I hope it is much faster than that. 

One of the first questions people ask is, "Why Hungary?"
1.  Hungary is one of the few countries that sends pictures, video and medical documents with the referral.  Some countries choose the child for you.  In some countries, you must travel there before choosing and you have a very short amount of time to decide (30 min - 1 hr).  Hungary will give us up to 2 weeks to decide.  We will be able to prepare some things in our home before we leave.
2.  The wait time is relatively short.  Some countries have a 2-4 year waitlist.  Hungary is about 1 year and maybe shorter for an older child (over 5 years old).
3.  Hungary is a relatively modern (Western) country with a stable government.  Government instability can cause the adoption process to be very inconsistent.
4.  After 2 weeks, we will have custody of the child and be able to begin the bonding process right away.  Some countries only allow you to see the child for a couple hours a day until the adoption is final.
5.  Many of the children are in foster homes vs. orphanages.  Both are strictly monitored and regulated by the government.  The transition can be easier for those foster homes because they are already familiar with a family environment.

Here is a timeline of our international adoption process:
12/15/10 - First meeting with Little Miracles (LMI) in Amarillo
2/4/11 - Application accepted by LMI
3/1/11 - Adoption Contract accepted by LMI, begin paperwork
4/25 & 27/11 - Home study interviews
6/28/11 - application submitted to USCIS
8/29/11 - approval from USCIS
9/8/11 - Dossier complete and ready for submission to Hungary

I will continue to update the blog about our progress.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


We had a wonderful trip to Europe.  Right after we returned, Aaron found out he would have to go to China for business.  Interesting stories from him.
We have completed our paperwork for the international adoption and submitted to USCIS.  We received our fingerprint appointment but have to reschedule since we will be on vacation.  We switched from Ukraine to Hungary. 
We are very ready to go on vacation to FL with our dear friends!  I hope DH can relax and leave the phone behind.  He deserves it!  We always have so much crammed in a short amount of time.  This is the longest he will be gone from work since he started working! 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Jumping in feet first!

  This is for Travis - my first blog post.  It's hard to start because I read other people's blogs and think they go through so much more than I do, but maybe I'm just scared to start and put too much out there.  But I'm going start and see where this takes me.

  Work has been busy with trade shows and traveling - first to Indy and then to Vegas.  Vegas is definitely no fun when you have to work, but we went a couple days early to celebrate our 12th anniversary.  Where has the time gone?  I think back and realize that we've both grown a lot the last 12 years.  I've been with this man for almost half my life (15 of 34 years) and I love him more than I did when we got married.  I got off track...

  Vegas is just exhausting when you have to get up at 6:30 in the morning and  work a trade show booth all day.  But we had some friends come out to Vegas so there was at least something to look forward to after the show.  The city (Lost Wages) definitely lived up to its name for DH and me.

  We leave on Wednesday for a 10 day trip to Paris and Wales.  How blessed are we that our work allows us to take these trips!  Paris is for fun and Wales is for work (mostly).  DH decided that he couldn't be that close (in Wales) to Normandy and not go to the beaches so we worked Paris into the equation.  We got a smokin' deal on flights and my friend (love ya, HF) got us into some awesome hotels and took care of the train tickets.  Love Amarillo Travel Network!!  Maybe I'll be able to figure out how to post pics and stuff when we get back.

  Being so busy and focused on work has kept me from keeping with my Lenten goal of reading Mary, God's Yes to Man but maybe a 7 hour plane trip will give me the chance.  I am in the middle of Familiaris Consortio, Pope John Paul II's exhortation on the Christian Family in the modern world.  Weird to think that it was written 30 years ago and still so relevant.  For anyone who questions why the Catholic Church is so "strict" this is a good place to start.  I also gave up chocolate for Lent, and I really think about it several times a day.  I haven't let myself 'cheat' on Sundays, but I might make an exception when I'm in Paris (on Sunday only).  I will leave plenty of room in my suitcase to bring some back with me.  Speaking of packing, is it possible to pack for a 10 day trip in one suitcase?  I will soon find out.

  So here's to Travis for urging me to start writing.  You are probably the only one who will read this!