Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Adoption Profile: Wedding Bells!

With the end of the home study drawing nigh, I realized I need to get started on our adoption profile book. The social worker has asked that the first draft be completed before she comes to the home visit so she can proof it and make suggestions.

I was on the lookout for an inkjet printer so I could do some printing on fabric (which is not something a laser printer like I use for my Etsy store can do) and Mike found a printer/scanner in his parents' garage sale. At first I felt meh about getting something so big and we didn't really *need* a scanner but it was free and I need the inkjetyness (new word alert). However, it's a just in time blessing because I have very few of our wedding photos on my computer and, for whatever reason, I feel like starting with our wedding although that won't be the beginning of the profile. We are, if you can believe it, almost to our 10th year of marriage! Our photographer was just edging into digital photography and shot half traditionally and half digitally and this was before photographers were giving out cd's, haha. He was pretty cutting edge and a fantastic photographer. I hate that he's not in Memphis anymore but I'm glad he was around to do our photos. I mean, look at this bridal portrait:

I still have people telling me how much they loved our wedding which is so cool because I really wanted our wedding to be a party, a celebration, with bright colors, happy music, and people laughing. I have to give a lot of credit to Mike's mom for how wonderful everything was because she's an amazing planner! I didn't have much of an idea of what I was doing but between her and the seriously talented people involved, we did have a wedding to remember. Wes, who officiated and was funny and warm during the service, did the best premarital counseling ever. I think he's a big chunk of the reason Mike and I have had such a solid marriage.

As far as attendants, we only had family and a few close friends. I asked my sister and Mike's sisters to be bridesmaids but didn't want my friends to have to shoulder the cost burden of being a bridesmaid--we were all really tight and starting out at that time. But, I still had my closest friends (Cathy, Christine, and Christy...all names you've seen here!) come to the bridesmaid luncheon and all the fun things they could participate in. Sometime I'll tell you about the bachelorette party and the bridal portrait sessions! By the way, my sister has requested that her photo not be on the internet or uploaded to any online sites so I've covered her face. I'm not sure what I'll do in the adoption book but I'll figure something out.

Mike had his dad as best man and his brothers and my brother as groomsmen. Some good friends (Jason, Frank, and Eric who is Cathy's husband) were ushers and were kind enough to stand on the stage with us because we had an uneven number of ladies and gentlemen. I loved it. I love men in tuxedoes and I enjoyed the look of the couples on stage rather than all the color on one side. Here's Mike's family. We all look so young in these pictures, don't we?

See? I wish this was in color.

I don't really have many photos from the reception. I only scanned what I wanted to use in the book, but I do have this picture and I love it! It's Mike's Uncle Paul. Doesn't this look like something from a Godfather movie or something Rat Pack-y?

I know everyone thought I was crazy but I had this photo framed. But even the doubters agree is looks so darn cool in Mike's office. There's a photo from Ryan and Leah's wedding that I regret not getting. I wanted it to hang with this one. It's Boppa dancing with a huge football player. He's doing the electric slide or something (we only played motown and swing at ours so no electric slide pics, lol...I do have one of him dancing at our wedding that I *totally* need to post, though. It's hilarious) and the people are surrounding them and slightly blurred. Such a fun, quirky photo that would look great next to Uncle Paul!

I guess that's all for now! That was fun. I definitely feel more inspired to do our profile book. :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

On Interviews and Ultrasounds

Autumn at the Memorial Park Grotto.

Wednesday, Mike and I went to our joint interview at the Bethany offices. We had a slight glitch in the babysitting schedule so Autumn ended up coming along. She did a great job being patient and was crazy excited to be a part of the process. Although initially disappointed that we wouldn't be taking a baby home that day, Autumn perked up and drew a picture for our social worker. It was a picture of "mama, papa, me, molly and her leash, our new baby and a rainbow." So sweet.

We found out for sure that we are almost at the end of the home study. At the joint interview, we scheduled our separate interviews and last week I purchased the online classes and two of the required books. We finished one of the books while we were on Easter Break. After that is the home study and the review of our profile book and then it's time to wait for a birth mom to choose us! It feels like this has taken forever and no time all at once. With that in mind, don't forget to stop by our Etsy shop! I'm also taking custom jobs for items such as stationery, party printables, or word art so definitely email me if you have some ideas.

Oh, random subject change, I had my thyroid scan yesterday. I won't get the full results until my appointment May 17 but the ultrasound technician said she didn't see anything scary or really big. That could mean anything but I'm going to take it as a good thing! I also got my labs back and, of course, everything came up clean like it always does. We'll see what the doctor says when I see him next month. Thank you so much for your prayers!

Monday, April 16, 2012

There are worse problems to have BUT STILL

I know I've been terrible at blogging this week. I think there was some poor planning on my part with going to the beach for Easter and then, this past weekend, an AWA aikido seminar in atlanta. The seminar was...kinda terrifying. And great. :) I am hoping a couple photos will show up sometime so I'll go into more later when I have some "illustrations." I'm exhausted and out of gas but I do have a quick funny story.

The above photo is from Sunday in Greenville, at my friend christine's orthodox Easter service. I enjoyed attending. She and her family converted to orthodoxy a couple of years ago and I'm really glad christy (who came with me to Atlanta and is in the photo with me) and I got to celebrate with her. I don't know if you can tell, but I can totally tell I'm not feeling great in that photo. I hurt ridiculously after the seminar! Sore quads, skinned toes, ankle blisters, the WORKS, haha.

But what's really funny: Not long after this photo...where I am, by the way, sitting so height didn't play much of a role, one of the priests called for the children to gather for a photo. He came over, introduced himself to us, and I shook his hand and introduced myself. He very gently said that I should not be afraid to join the children (12 and under!) for their photo.


Christy, Christine and I all had a moment of shocked silence because, well, I look more like a college student than a prepubescent and because, for all that I'm a little under five feet, I'm quite a bit more articulate and well dressed than the typical preteen! And I am Asian! We are a small people!

After thinking about how to put it politely, I, equally gently, explained that I am about 25 years too old for the children's photo (I'm 31) and, in fact, have children myself!

The poor priest apologized profusely, more than once over the half hour we were there after the service! In his defense, Easter week is huge and he was extremely sleep deprived but still! I told him it would be okay if he didn't mind me making a funny story about it. He said it would be fine. :D and so here we are.

Incidentally, after Christine explained who I am ( and he is one of the many who has prayed for me) and why I was in the area, he said he was glad I didn't take him down. Of course, he was just being silly but I did tell him my general policy is to not attack strangers because you never know what they can do! Also, because he already knows my story, I think he understands what I mean when I say I wear my age proudly because the years are hard earned.

What a Sunday!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

This morning I woke up with Great is Thy Faithfulness stuck in my head. We've had a really great weekend with my mom and Mike's family together all weekend but it wasn't without its hardships. A road trip, a holiday, a cute outfit without the matching little brother suit...but the hardest thing happened Friday night.

"Now everyone can come home to God," Jesus said. "Death is not the end of you. You can live forever in Heaven because I have rescued the whole world!"
-The Jesus Storybook Bible

I read autumn part of the Easter story. Most of it, really, because she was so worried about how hurt Jesus was that I went ahead and read to the end of the women finding the tomb empty. Afterward, she asked her usual million questions and I did my best to answer. Mike came in at one point and answered some of her questions, too. I think some of this happened because Autumn was tired but she asks about baby Garrett and Heaven a lot just anyway. She is also quite impatient with the adoption process. Friday night, though, she got downright upset and angry because she misses Garrett. She said, "I don't WANT baby Garrett to be in Heaven with Jesus. I want him here with me. What if he opens his eyes and Heaven and he is sad because he doesn't see us."

I'm sure there are more heartbreaking conversations but that one ranks near the top for my personal list. I tried to explain to her that baby Garrett might miss us like we miss him but that in Heaven, the Bible says there aren't any sad people or things and that if we believe in Jesus, we can go there to be with Him--and baby Garrett.

Of course, after snuggling Autumn and calming her down, I cried. But, in all of this, I'm thankful for Easter because it's the reason I can have hope. Without the resurrection, a bigger story, a divine plan...I'm not even going to think about it.

Great is Thy faithfulness,
O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Thomas Chisolm

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

In which I find out that my neck isn't, in fact, just fat.

Last post, I wrote this:
Every doctor I've ever seen has made some comment about how my "thyroid looks full." Which is a nice way to say I have a goiter, ha. I begin to suspect I just have a fat neck because I've had labs done and they are always correct. I was also tested for some thyroid related genetic disorders when the doctors did the "what caused this" testing last summer. Negative, again. 

Yesterday, I saw the specialist. He told me that I have a multi-nodal goiter and said that it's not unusual for labs to come back normal for this. The nurses took some more blood (after telling me they thought I was a teenager and not a 31 year old) to run a couple of tests the doctors said only endocrine clinics do. In three weeks, I'm going in for an ultrasound. Depending on what they find, it's possible I'll have a node (or nodes) aspirated and tested. Because the swelling is pressing on my esophagus, he prepared me for the idea of having all or part of my thyroid removed. Which, quite frankly, sounds disgusting. Interestingly, though, the surgeon who fixed my hernia back in August does that surgery.

Of course, all of this was prefaced by a "don't worry, only about 2-3% of multi-nodal goiters world-wide are something to worry about." I'm not worried, really, but I am a bit...interested in the test results, partly because there's a possibility this could have something to do with Garrett. The doctor mentioned bleeding issues, autoimmune reactions, weight I said, interesting things. And on a somewhat shallow note in comparison, getting this taken care of could help my insomnia, difficulty losing weight AND lack of energy.

Oh, while I'm writing, I finally listed the word art on Etsy. In addition to what's on Etsy, let me know if you're interested in custom word art, invitations, anything like that. Mike and I are in extra work mode because there have been a few unexpected expenses. Like the family of squirrels living in our wall. That was exciting. And pricey. :) I'm working up some business cards for him to promote his side work fixing computers and setting up networks/computers/servers in homes and small businesses. I'm also putting out feelers to see if anyone might want private aikido lessons for themselves or their kids. Fun times! But I'm grateful we both have skills we can use to ease some of the financial strain!