Sunday, July 26, 2009

A busy summer...

I can't believe it is July 26th, the Summer is going so fast but in a way it doesn't bother me one bit either. I am looking forward to next Summer and hopefully starting our family by then. We've been so busy with so many friend and family events this Summer that it will be nice to go on vacation to Cape Cod in 2 weeks...looking forward to that -A LOT!!!

After the Recital I had 3 1/2 weeks off before I started dance camps, and we really didn't have much going on in those 3 weeks except we went to Indiana, which I already put in the blog. But as soon as I went back to work we were extremely busy...

1. I started dance camps right after the 4th, and taught 5 camps per day my first week, 8 camps per day my 2nd & 3rd weeks, and have 11 camps per day coming up this week. After last week my 3rd week of camp, ended up in urgent care. I had been feeling achey, and extremely tired all week, and had a pounding headache for the majority of the week. On Friday it was my day off, and I really didn't feel well, had a fever, and cold chills, and then sweating profusely. Went to urgent care on Saturday, and the doctor said I was extremely dehydrated, and congested, and needed to rest, and take it easy for a few days. They tested me for the flu and that was negative, I just needed to hydrate more during work, and listen to my body when it tells me to slow down.

2. I visited with an old friend from 4th grade, Nirvana, one afternoon. We were best friends in 4th grade and hadn't seen eachother since. She moved away in 4th grade before the year was up. We had a great time, she brought her 2 year old daughter Sophie, and we drank 2 bottles of wine and caught up-it was great!!

3. Gary's Aunt & Uncle from Arkansas were up for 3 weeks. Aunt Cathy & Uncle Larry they stayed with Ron & Judy. HIs cousin Greg, and his wife Angie were also up and their daughter Brenna was also here. It's always nice to visit with family you don't see very often.

4. 2 Bridal showers have taken place. One for Gary's side of the family and one for my side of the family.

5. 1 Wedding. Hayley, Gary's cousin, and one of my dancers, and assistants got married to one of my friends brothers. We've known these "kids" for years and think they are both great people. the wedding was beautiful, and we got to catch up with a bunch of old friends, and it was lovely.

6. Gary had his 20th Class Reunion. It is the only class reunion they've had. So he helped plan it, and it was a lot of fun. I knew some of the people. I am 2 years younger than all of them. But it was nice to see him catch up with old friends, and he had a great time seeing everyone after 20 years.

7. I did a demonstration for the Summer Reading Program in Adams. Beth (my sister-in law) is in charge of it. They have guest speakers, and their theme this year was "Be Creative". So I talked about different forms of dance , and took some of my assistants with me to demonstrate. Afterward I read them my favorite children's dance book, and a good time was had by all.

8. Gary rode in the Spoker Ride in Sackets this past Saturday. It's a 50 mile bike ride and it benefits the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Gary and my cousin Paul both did the ride. Gary has been riding his bike a lot this Summer. He has already riden 1000 miles this Summer. He took 2nd place in his age group on Saturday-WOOHOO!!!!!

9. We have another wedding in August after our vacation, my side of the family.

I think I have hit all the highlights. We have 2 weeks before we leave for a week to Cape Cod, our annual Summer family trip with Gary's side of the family.

I am hoping to get more done in Avery's room but we are just really busy this Summer. More busy than I think we thought we would be. Which is good in a way and also bad in a way.

Good because it makes the time go faster. Bad because we realize how much we actually need to slow down a little.

We'll strike a balance sometime.

Hope your Summer is going by at a pace that's good for you and your family!!!

Love to all~
Here's a few pictures of what's been going on...

Me, Nirvana, and Sophie...

Gary dancing w/ Hayley at the wedding...

Gary & his 2nd place ribbon for his amazing ride...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Avery's Room

Okay so before I went back to work we did strip the wallpaper in Avery's room, and we did paint the top layer of paint and also the ceiling. But that's where we're still at... I packed up her closet...a lot of stuff in there. Not all bought by us, Grandparents, Great Grandparents, cousins, Aunts & Uncles, and friends have also contributed to the amount of things she has in her closet. I had to pack up her clothes, and put a drop cloth in the front of her closet so nothing would be damaged in the transformation.

Painting her room was liberating!!! Another day of progress. We plan on putting wainscoting on the bottom of the wall, in a light green. Then we are going to stripe her walls in a light pink (the color is called tutu-how appropriate), and light green, and the off white color that is already on there with a thin brown stripe also. We are still fooling with the widths of the stripes. We've been at a little bit of a stand still since I've been back to work, plus our weekends have been filled up with different events lately.

So below are some pictures of the start of Avery's room...we'll post more when we make a little more progress.

Take care & love to all,

Avery's Room before...

Avery's Room after stripping wall paper and painting first color...

Avery's closet...:)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Are you a Mother...a Father...

We've had a really busy Summer since I've been back to work, so I haven't found the time to post, but I have a little time this morning. We have lots of news on Avery's room, and pictures of before and the progress we are making. I have lots to talk about from a wedding we just attended last weekend of 2 very precious people to us. I have lots to say about family that has been up for the last 2 weeks-great people and very fun!!, and also what's happening in our families lately. I have lots to say about my work schedule, and how camps are going. I have stuff to comment on like things we have been dong in the community. Gary 's reunion, and other things too. But there is one thing that I will probably comment on in this post then on all the other stuff later this weekend. I've let this "thing" kinda sit for a couple of weeks, and that's probably a little bit why I haven't written anything lately. I've been letting this sit in my mind to sort it out, and I think I was just too mad before that I think it would have come out too mean, so I've let it sit for about 2 weeks, and now it's okay for me to comment on...I think.

We've had a busy Summer so far as I stated, and some things have happened, and some comments made and I think some people just don't know what they are saying, and even though I try to let it roll off my shoulders, here is my outlet, and everything comes out in this blog, and I have to say something or I wouldn't be a good "Mom" to be (you'll get that comment later on in this post):)

I have a question, when does a woman really become a woman, or a Mother? Is it only when she gives birth to a child? Because this is what I thought in my mind. I thought that just because someone gives birth does not make them more of a woman or necessarily make them a Mother. There are things like responsibility, maturity, love, and morals, and a whole realm of things that make a person a good Mother. I've met and seen some people who are "Mothers" and let me tell you, they should not be allowed to have children, and should not be allowed to call themselves a Mother.

As someone who is dying to become a Mom, it has been hard in the last 7 years, and especially the last 2 years to break that Mommy wall. You really can't and I understand that, but it's a club you can't get into to and people snub you until you actually have a child in your hands. I know I can't understand a lot of things because I don't have Avery right here and it's a right of passage to give birth in some people's eyes, so does that mean I will be less of a Mom because she didn't come from my belly? I think as an adoptive parent, I will struggle with this from a lot of people throughout my and Gary's life too. I think that Avery will be our daughter and I will not see the differences that everyone else will see all the time. She is just Avery to us, now and forever.

Someone said to Gary recently, that a woman becomes a woman when she gives birth, and that's when she becomes a Mother. And a man becomes a Father when he holds his child for the first time. That statement has been bothering me for the past 2 weeks. Granted it came from an 18 year old. But it did come from a friend. I have been trying to let it roll, let it roll, and for my sake and Gary's sake and for our daughter's sake-I can't. Avery is our daughter, she will be born this Summer, or already is born. God had specifically picked her out for us, he has picked us as her parents. We have had 2 years to prepare for her, mentally, physically, made our house a home, and already we have given her so much love, even though she's not here. This journey of parenthood that we are on was chosen for us, meant to be. The statement about when a man is a Father, and a woman a Mother is complete &*$%#!!!!!!!

I think I'm still processing these comments and I think my attitude of what is acceptable to say to us and what is not has completely changed with these comments. Since our news of getting through review, and on into the matching room, my confidence is up, and I feel like a new person. As if to say, "There!! Those of you who didn't think this was ever going to happen, take that, progress, finally, you happy now?"

There has been a lot said over the years about us not having kids. Comments like, "Well, if you were serious about it you would be doing something about it". People just don't understand the harshness of those words sometimes, especially when they don't know any background on us. But people that do know the background still make those comments.

We are good people, making a home for a little girl. Not just a "home", but a home in our hearts, and surrounding her with people and family that love her, and love her already. How fortunate Avery is and will be that for 2 1/2 years almost 3 years so many people have been waiting for her. Have already made room in their hearts for her. In my mind Gary and I are already parents of a little girl. You can agree or disagree, that's up to you, but we aren't going to listen anymore to the nay-sayers.

A little brown eyed girl with black hair has been born halfway around the world and she belongs to us. Somehow our hearts have already met, and are sewn together through love and hope. She will light up our days, and rule our world. We will be her parents even though she has been born in our hearts and not in my belly...she is our Avery. Whether you think her mystical right now or not, she is real to us...I feel that, she is out there and everyday my heart grows bigger and China grows closer.

We are coming to get you Avery...Mommy & Daddy are coming to get you.

Love to all~

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Countdown starts...

Today is the 3rd of the month.
We have been LID in China for 24 months-2 YEARS!!

But now, we start the countDOWN!!!

So here we go...I'm going to start it at 11 months.
"Shi yi"-Eleven in Chinese

Won't you join in the celebration!!

Love to all,
Alli & Gary

Language is important...

So I will put up a longer blog about this later but a short note about language and what's appropriate and what's not. What we will tolerate and what we won't. There are no bending of the rules here...

Because we are adopting a daughter from China, and really not just because of that. I feel we need to remind people of language. I know we all grew up with slang words, and throughout our lives know people who may have used them, in a joke, in passing not really meaning anything by it, or written it, or used the not "pc" version or whatever. But if you are our friends you will learn to use proper language, and will teach the people you hang out with to use the proper language. All of the stereotypes, and all of the "jokes" will stop, and we will not tolerate them. Even if you mean nothing by it, you will need to think of what if Alli & Gary's daughter heard would she feel?... would you feel?-EXACTLY!!

You can't blame it on your age, you can't blame it on someone else said it, you can't blame it on your upbringing, you have a mind-use it!

We ask this of everyone we know. If you cannot respond in the correct way, and educate other people, you will not be a part of ours or Avery's life-Plain & Simple.

Any one comment can turn into 2 or 3 or more. Even if it is something that has nothing to do with us, and isn't directed toward us but we see it, or hear it in the background of life, it's not right and we will not tolerate it, any way, shape, or form.

It's been said that people who Internationally adopt should expect to hear these kinds of words, it's just going to be a part of life, so get used to it. We are not naive, we know that we will have to put up with comments, and whispers, and looks, and all sorts of things. But it still doesn't make it right, that we should expect these things and just ignore them. Especially from friends, and family, and people we know. Why not start the dialog of why we won't accept this language now, before she's here. To explain to people why this isn't acceptable, and try to change the thought It has nothing to do with we don't have children yet, so we don't understand. We wouldn't tolerate this sort of language whether we were adopting from China or not, whether we are parents or not. It's really just called having morals, and standards, and I don't know of any parents that don't want to instill in their children the best they can, appropriateness, tolerance, manners, and kindness. Maybe this world we live in would be a different place if more people were kind and were held accountable for their words, and actions.

We are 11 months from our referral now, so here come some of the rules of our family. This journey is going to be different than anyone else's. The parenting style, her attachment issues, her letting down of her walls, her rules of who she will let into her heart when and where, the way we handle things, the things that we will not put up with as we build a stable, and constant, and safe community of people for Avery. When we bring her home, tear her from the only world she has known for 10-13 months of her life, everything for her is going to change in an instant, in a heartbeat. We will try to make things as comfortable, and as calming, and as stable as we can for her, and we will follow her lead of what those things, or who those people are. You will have to abide by our rules, and follow our lead on this life we are going to build for our daughter. Just as any other parent would...

Okay so it was the long version:)
Love to all,
~Alli & Gary