Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Patience is a virtue!!!

Well, there has been some change on the adoption forefront none of it really good. I had heard that courts were opening on September 28th and that was good news. We then were told it would be October 7th and that was ok then, we found out that courts are now not opening until October 12th: THIS STINKS! I really try hard to stay positive and not get impatient but sometimes I feel my patience cap being tightened to the point of a huge migraine. I was wishful thinking that Grace would be home before Christmas or shortly after, it looks like now it could be January. I refuse to think February because that sounds like and feels like one million years away. We were also told by our agency that we cannot travel until 8 weeks after passing court. My Dad today said that by the time we go get Grace we will have to bring home her husband as well. He was kidding of coarse but I thought that was funny. A sense of humor is very important in the adoption world, a not so type A personality would be good too. I can do the sense of humor but the type A is too ingrained. For now I will pray for the earliest court date possible and know that all is in divine order.

I will keep myself very busy and post some pictures of Grace's new room. It is a work in progress and I can't wait until it is done. I have painted the rocking chair, found the crib and all of it's parts from storage and will paint that this weekend. My aunt Chris gave us a darling changing table that I get to paint and a wonderful high chair. I can't wait to decorate her room, when Morgan was a baby I was determined to NOT make her girly so I did her room yellow, blue and red. I am so sorry Morgan! She's all girl now though. Needless to say Grace's room will be pink, pink and more pink. I told someone the other day that I feel like I am nesting. I have cleaned out all of the closets, the storage room and I am painting the kitchen this weekend. Gosh, at this rate and if things keep getting postponed, I will have the entire house redecorated and organized by the time Grace gets here... yep, I am nesting - tweet, tweet!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The cutest prayer ever!

Tonight I tucked Carter in, and as I usually do laid with him a while, we remembered that he forgot to say his prayers. I am so glad we remembered because after blessing everyone we know (each by name), he then said "please bless that we will have enough food and water". This really touched me and I know that without us adopting Grace the fact that we even have the blessing of food and water would not be a reality to my children. We have spent a lot of time talking about how lucky we are to live in this great country and how blessed we are to have ample amounts of food and water. The saying "finish your meal because there are starving children out there" takes on a whole new meaning for us now. Wow kids are great! How pure and close to God they truly are... No new adoption news yet. Fall is in the air and I feel a court date coming on...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mozart in training and Swiss Days?

Carter at his piano/violin recital, he really is getting good!

Is this what Mozart looked like after a brilliant performance?

Jenson doing his part to add to our family orchestra
Note: Shane and Amber play the finger cymbals only...

Or is this what Mozart looked like after a brilliant performance???

Ok kill me, I made Carter try this hat on at Swiss Days to see if it would fit Grace.
Isn't it adorable?

Shane found an animal he actually likes...a goat!
It looks like the feeling is mutual. He even brought her flowers.

These baby goats kept escaping from their pen at Zermat (the resort we
(stay at in Heber City, Utah).
Oh how I love my boys!

I often try to take cute pictures of my three kids and typically
these are the reactions that I get...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

One step closer!

WOW! Today after many, many, many trips to the USCIS office to revise, revisit and request an updated I-171H it finally arrived today in the mail. I know Carter will be sad that we no longer have to go there he quite likes it! I am so excited and feel one step closer to going and getting our sweet Grace Damot McMillan. Yesterday we received a special treat via
e-mail, five more pictures of Damot and a 40 second video clip. These were all taken by a very special family that had just gotten home from picking up their child from Ethiopia. I am in deep gratitude for them taking the time to do this, it truly is a special gift. The pictures are amazing, she is so dang cute I can't even stand it. She has the most beautiful eyes, lips, chin, well everything about her is special and I love her! It was so beautiful because Shane called me this morning, I had forwarded the video clip of her to him out of town, and he said "I want to tell you that I have watched the video several times and I can't wait to go get her and hold her, she is amazing and I love her". Even as I write this I am crying, what a blessing to love someone you have not met (unless we have...). Our adoption coordinator told me that courts might open next Monday, that is so exciting. Now we wait and expend all of our prayers and energy toward a quick court date and swift travel to bring Grace Damot McMillan home to her family here in Bountiful, Utah. I can't wait to hold her, kiss her, squeeze her, read to her, rock her, feed her a bottle, and Shane can't wait to swaddle her in a blanket (inside joke, he once gave Morgan heat stroke from swaddling her in too many blankets, in Arizona 110* weather). More updates to come...I am getting progressively better at consistent blogging.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Parenting 101

Someone should have told me that being a parent to two teenagers was going to be this ... interesting! It takes a lot more strategizing, patience, emotional exhaustion, forced communication, and sheer energy than I ever thought possible, it makes raising an infant seem effortless. Shane turned 40 in July and I am of coarse A LOT younger (by two years) but creeping into my 40's at lighting speed. We have giggled lately about the fact that we are going to be starting the whole parenting adventure over again in a matter of months. We have joked about how dang tired we are at 9:00 pm and wonder how having a baby in our family is going to immensely change our lives. Don't get me wrong we are both very energetic, healthy and fun loving people but it has been 8 years since we carried a diaper bag/car seat/changed diapers get the picture? A good friend of mine who had their last child later in life (around 40) told me that it was the best thing that ever happened to them. That this particular child kept her and her husband young at heart and young in general. Don't get me wrong 40 is NOT old or even close to it. I feel like a spring chicken but I am not 20 any more (thank God), and it's been a long time since we did the baby thing. But, compared to the teenage era I expect it will be a welcome change. A crying baby and poopy diaper seems so much less complicated than wondering where your teenage daughter is at five past her curfew and if your teenage son is spending enough time on homework rather than facebooking!@#$%^ They grow up so stinking fast. I wish I could just sit Morgan on my lap and rock her, read her a story, put her to bed, turn out the light and know that she is going to stay there until morning. It's so fun to have these little people who are still dependent but growing ever so independent. What an exciting adventure parenting is, and what an new adventure we are in for! It's been about a month since we received our referral and last week got a medical update on Demot. I don't know if her name is spelled Damot or Demot? It has shown up both ways. Carter likes Demot because he thinks the other one sounds like a swear word. He is so darn funny I can't stand it. Her medicals looked good! She has lost a little weight and I do not know if that is normal or not? I keep comparing her weight and height to other babies I see here in America and of coarse we continue to pray for her well being. I have put together this little pink picture album that I carry everywhere I go and shamelessly show her picture to people even if they do not seem interested. I am such a proud mama. I started buying her a few clothes and remember how fun it is to shop for girls. Yesterday Morgan and her friend Jane found these little pink high tops and I could not resist. People in our church have been so overwhelmingly excited and gracious about this adoption. The youth group is going to spend and evening making blankets and hats for the orphanage. And the women's group is going to do a huge service activity mid November. We have been so blessed already by this adoption. We have bonded as a family and come together for a common cause. It is not like being pregnant at all, it is actually like the entire family is "having a baby". Anyway, life in the McMillan family is crazy and fun. The kids are keeping me very busy - I call myself the "Official Shuttle Bus Driver". I started teaching dance again last week and every time I step into that studio with those little people (2-4 year olds) I remember why I do this job at all! They are just little gems and I love em! Hopefully I will get a few pictures of Demot this week from families returning after picking up their children, but then there could be a dry spell for a while. The next court dates are scheduled for October 9th and then travel would be 4-5 weeks later. We of coarse are awaiting our new I-171H and boy has that been a process... we are also awaiting our court date. This definately is a game of wait, wait, wait and wait some more. Good for the patience and good for the soul.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sitting, Stretching, Surprised!

Yesterday we were blessed to get 3 new pictures of Grace Damot from a family who just brought their little girl home from Ethiopia. They so generously took the time to capture her sitting in a bumpo chair, stretching her arms way up (my Mom calls it the "So Big" picture), and a funny picture of her looking very surprised. I must admit she is the most beautiful little girl. Her eyes speak of wisdom, charm and a lot of personality. The same family that took these pictures told me that she is a "spitfire". For those of you that know my other three children God certainly does know what he is doing! Her pictures are hanging all over our house and so every corner I turn there she is, it makes me smile just to see her face. I feel those longing feeling of "I'm missing you" that I never knew would happen with an adoption. I must say sorry that I cannot post pictures of her yet, she is not "officially" ours until we pass court. We are desperately hoping to have her home by Christmas which would mean a late October early November court date. In the adoption world I am learning that what I want and what really happens are not always the case but I will exercise my faith and energy that God will bless this adoption process to move swiftly and that all will be in place for a timely finale to this beautiful journey. The good news is that school has started which means a plethora of activities to keep my wandering mind busy. With football games, lacrosse, school work, carpools, teaching, piano lessons etc... I have a lot to occupy my time and hopefully assist to pass the time quickly. I have a lot to do to prepare for the arrival of a new baby in this family. After I had Carter we were done having children therefore I gave everything away. This means I get to begin the joyous process of collecting baby items. I will tell you that so far I have purchased far too many darling pink clothes, a binky, blankets, toys and I have the colors of her bedroom all picked out. Every time I bring a new outfit or item home the entire family celebrates as if it were something for themselves. We are already having a blast. I have also spent a lot of time researching Ethiopia, I have a lot more to learn but really want to capture the place that Grace Demot orginally called "home". For now I will leave you with some pics of my kiddos and some of our crazy antics of the summer.

Three blind mice / bugs at California Adventures

Mexico 09 - Always an adventure

McMillan Family 09

This captures their personalities perfectly!