Sunday, February 22, 2009

A day in the snow

This morning, we decided to take advantage of the snow in the nearby mountains, so we headed up to Mt. Pinos which is about an hour and a half away. We found a small area with a tiny tiny hill...or maybe you would call it a mound. We all had fun sledding, making snow angels, and playing in the snow. We just go for a short time, especially today the girls were tired. As we headed down the mountain, we called in our pizza order to this fantastic pizza place we discovered...Mike's Pizza Company. They have some of the best pizza and cheese breadsticks...all lowfat I'm sure! They get so busy, we found it is easier to order our pizza as we are coming down the mountain.

Here are pictures from Robert's Blackberry, not very good but you get the idea!

Mardi Gras

It's that time of year when Mardi Gras is celebrated in New Orleans and 'Fat Tuesday', the time before Lent starts in the Christian calendar all over the world. Basically we go all out and indulge ourselves before we have to give up things for Lent (some Christians follow this, others don't). We had a Mardi Gras shin dig at our house Saturday with friends from hubby's work. It was potluck except I made red beans and 2 different King cakes, so it was a little easier than completely hosting the event. Luckily I found bunches of beads and decorations when I was in New Orleans last July, it definitely made the evening more festive. It was a really great time to catch up with people and for the girls to play with an old friend and a new one. I wish I had taken a picture of the cakes, they really turned out. I was worried since I never made a King cake before.


So we received word that our dossier (which includes every single detail of our life right down to the color of our roots) completed the translation stage and was submitted to the Kazakhstan consulate here in the U.S. I truly thought it would take longer and was so excited that it is on it's way. I kept thinking about our little boy, when we would travel, how are we going to get our house in order, where are we going to put him, is he okay.... I tell people it's like a roller coaster because I get worried how this is going to change our lives and then the next minute I get excited how this going to change our lives. Then I just have to let go and trust things will work out and leave the worrying to God, but that can sometimes be hard.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Travelin' Texans to become 5?

Well, we have big news to share (with all 3 of my We are expecting to become a family of 5 this year. And no, I'm not pregnant. We have begun the adoption process to adopt a little boy from Kazakhstan. This might come as a shock to friends or family that just happen to be reading, but this has been in the works for a while.

Since I was a young girl, I have always been drawn toward adoption, in fact, I never wanted birth children...of course, that has changed. We have 2 wonderful, beautiful biological girls who are precious to us. So, why another? Why adoption?

I think both of us just felt we weren't finished growing our family. And I decided I was done being pregnant. We've had the sorrow of one lost pregnancy and the joy of giving birth to 2 wonderful daughters. Although I treasure the moments of my pregnancies in which I felt the babies kicking or seeing their ultrasound, I just knew I did not want the experience again. I knew there are children out there who need a loving home. They need to know what it's like to have a family and we have lots of love to go around as well as resources to handle the challenges that will inevitably surface.

We are hoping for a boy. To be honest, at first, I was drawn towards having another girl, I mean we have 2, we know what to expect. On the other hand, I knew my husband was missing having a boy to share his passion for sports and other 'manly' pursuits. My husband also rightly pointed out that it would probably be hard for the girls to accept another girl in the family. I agree with him, I think a boy would perfectly complete our family.

Why Kazakhstan? Well, about 2 years ago, I was talking to a mom who recently adopted a child from Russia and she mentioned Kazakhstan. So I started looking into adoption from Kazakhstan. I actually knew about Kazakhstan as I knew an international student from there when I was working at a university. Also, my husband's company has a presence there and he has talked to a colleague who worked there.

Before I started looking into Kazakhstan, I was researching all kinds of options, from domestic adoptions, to foster care and even thought about emergency foster care. I also had to think about our family and our daughters and how this would impact them. I just knew a child from Kazakhstan, hopefully a Kazak child or mixed Asian child, would fit in with our biracial family. (In case you didn't notice, I'm caucasian and my husband is asian.) I looked into China, but it seemed to be getting harder for adoptions there and most of the children available are girls.

So I just want to invite you along for the ride as we begin our adoption journey. Buckle up, it might be a bumpy ride!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I talked with Olivia for about the past 2 years about donating her hair. It was originally my idea but when she saw a picture of her friend in the salon who had donated her hair, she liked the idea of donating her hair (or maybe it was just the idea of having her picture on the wall?). She had been growing her hair out for about a year and a half and her hair reached the right length. In fact, I felt it was just getting too long. It would get tangled, and she hated when I tried to brush her hair.

We made an appointment about 2 weeks ago, but then the girls both became very sick with fevers and ear infections. We had to cancel the appointment and Olivia was upset and still wanted to go...but she was just too sick. So on Monday, when it was a holiday and we had some time, I made appointments for the girls for hair cuts. Claire just needed a trim. I told Olivia she would get her haircut that afternoon. I realize now, it just wasn't enough time for her to feel ready for the haircut. She protested and I said we'll see what the stylist says and Claire will go first and she can think about it.

While Claire was getting her hair cut, Olivia had time to think about it and look at the pictures of all the kids on the wall who donated hair. I told her she could get a little cut off or get it cut off short to donate. She decided to go for it. I was worried she was going to flip out afterwards, but she seemed fine. And she looked so cute and stylish with her hair cut in an A line bob. She looks so different now because she usually wore a ponytail with her hair completely out of her face. Now it sort of frames her face.

Unfortunately, the next morning on Tuesday, the full ramifications of what we did surfaced. Olivia started moping around not wanting to go to school. She followed me throughout the house and clung to me. This is so unlike her, she loves school and is very independent. She had tears and said she missed her ponytail and I tried to comfort her and explain what a great thing she did to help kids who did not have hair. I tried to explain that her hair will grow whereas some kids never can grow hair. Oh, I felt like the worst mother ever, I pushed it on her too much. I walked her to class and explained to the teacher she might have a bad day.

Later her teacher said she was fine and he even took a picture. I think she enjoyed getting the attention. Tuesday night, my wonderful husband suggested we go to dinner at Denny's to celebrate her haircut and donation. I think this helped tremendously.

Wednesday, she told me she thought it would be different, that her hair would have been longer. Then I searched on the internet for Locks of Love, the organization that receives donated hair to make hairpieces for children who have temporary or permanent hair loss. I showed her pictures of some of the kids who received hairpieces and pictures of kids, like her, who also donated their hair. I gave her big hugs and told her how proud I am of her. I reminded her of her Uncle Jay who routinely donates his hair and 2 of her school friends who also donated their hair. I think she is now beginning to understand what joy her sacrifice will bring to another child.

Happy V-Day!

The day before Valentine's Day, Olivia's class had their party. Claire was able to come along and participate too. The heart box was a gift of decorated mini chocolate cupcakes to Olivia's teacher. It doesn't look nearly as good as the picture in the 'Hello, Cupcake' decorating book.