Monday, April 27, 2009

Its always sports season

Above are a few photos that inspire me. One is of Bill and his father at an annual Baseball spring training trip. The cutie sporting the VT hat is our niece Amanda. Emily is our youngest (of 4) nieces and she is the blue eyed babe in UT apparel. Mark is my little brother in the blue shirt with the tiny fish (I framed him to hold this tiny fish and took a picture - like a good sister, I continue to hold it over his head!).

Saturday night we went to a local baseball game with Bill's father, it was a $5 fundraiser for Boy Scouts, it was a good game and we hope to attend several more this summer. Our local hockey team just won the SPHL championship on home ice for the 2nd year straight, and we were lucky enough to be a part of the season. The Curran family is a very sports oriented family! It definitely wasn't a hobby of mine before we were married I but have learned to enjoy these events over time. Bill has started to enjoy fishing, which is my hobby.

We are really excited that very soon, we can take our son and/or daughter to these sporting events that the Curran family frequents. We want to add another generation to the photos above and continue the Curran family sporting traditions!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Deep Thoughts

There are a couple different adoption groups on yahoo that provide a wealth of information. One of the groups is regarding fundraising necessities and techniques. Fundraising is an essential part of the adoption process due to the fees and costs associated with it. Today a lady posted a comment that evoked a lot of emotion that I thought I would share. Here is her post:

An old man at the dog park said a few rude things to me today. He asked why we are adopting when we "can't afford it?" I explained we can afford to support and raise another child but we need help paying the fees. He said, "You have a child already, why do you need another?". I said we don't need another, we want to raise another child for the joy of it. He then said, I want a house in Hawaii for the joy of it but he can;t afford it, so he won't buy one. I just walked away. On my way home I had a chat with God and he reminded that he called me to adopt, his wisdom is not like the world's, he is bringing our child home according to his plan. I have known this man for a little while and I know this man places little value in the things I hold dear and that he is a bit of a curmudgeon. He needs pity and grace not my anger and judgment. But I still feel a little mad and a little hurt.

Here are some tidbits of the posts that followed:

It happens all the time. Most people don't get it.There is a difference between a house and a child. A child is a soul, irreplaceable and created by God. A house doesn't hug you back.

For our first adoption I had a woman say, "Why on earth would you PAY for a child when you can simply HAVE another?" My non-Christian thought is this: PEOPLE ARE STUPID. My Christian response is that I need to extend grace even when it is undeserved.

I get so frustrated that as time goes on, LIFE has less and less of a priority in our society. A
child is priceless.

Some people can be uninformed. There are 60 scriptures telling us to care for orphans. For some, that means adoption, for others, missions trips, etc.

The reason I post this discussion, is because I understand both points of view. I do understand where the old man is coming from, but I also agree that life has less and less value in our society. A child is priceless. If someone can spend $50K on a nice car, and this is more important to them than paying adoption fees - that that's okay. I do feel like education is of the utmost importance and is the main reason we started the blog. All I ask, is before you make comments that could be hurtful to adoptive parents, educate yourself first. Many things that are said are hurtful and potentially rude. Bill and I both enjoy answering questions about this process, although I have to admit at times I am very sensitive and get offended by judgement.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Metaphorically Speaking....

While sitting on a park bench on my lunch break today I saw something that put the adoption into perspective for me. I saw a homeless person pick up a pigeon that obviously had a broken wing. This person went to great efforts to chase the pigeon down, and at times it looked like he would give up his venture and move along. But he was persistent and finally he carefully picked up the injured bird. Admittedly I was a little worried as to what I would see next. Would this person do something to further harm the bird? I was really hoping that wasn’t the case because I am a sucker for animals (except snakes). Fortunately for the bird (and selfishly for me) this man’s motives were all good.

I was touched by what I saw as the man gently stroked the bird and seemed to look around to try to find somewhere safe to put the bird. Perhaps he was hoping a veterinarian would magically walk by and fix his little injured friend. I started to think metaphorically about our adoption. Michelle and I are the people trying to pick up the injured little bird. Our “bird” is a scared, possibly sick little guy/girl(s) who doesn’t know that we are coming to help him. He doesn’t know that our paths will soon cross and that we will pick him up and gently stroke him and try to make him all better. Just like the pigeon in the park, our little bird will be scared and unsure of us even though we are there to help.

As Michelle knows, I often need to think/speak metaphorically to get my point across, even to myself. Today I couldn’t help but think of this man’s adventure to pick up the sick bird and then the gentle touch he offered the bird as equivalent to the adventures we are having with the adoption. Right now we are the ones chasing the bird. Soon we will pick up the little bird and nurse him to health. It’s funny how God puts things right in front of us sometimes to make us think about what is actually going on in our lives.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

2nd Place Trophy!!!

The race is over! Bill ran the Race for Autism this morning, and just finished! I am unfortunately out of state on business, so wasn't able to partake in the race this morning, so my post is a mixed bag of emotions. He ran the 5K in 24 minutes, 12 seconds (male winner was 14 min 37 sec & female winner was 18 min 03 sec). I have to throw in (sorry Bill), that he was passed by a young child - but of course he was cheering him on! BILL WON 2ND PLACE IN HIS AGE GROUP AND RECEIVED A TROPHY - GO BILL!!! YAY!!!

Some pretty cool things happened already today. First of all, he was able to meet the Grant Coordinator, her husband and their 3 adopted children this morning (they were running the race too). We applied for a separate grant (this is the only grant we applied for) with their agency, and they also have fundraising opportunities so this is how we got involved with the 5K to begin with. 80% of the funds raised will go to Bill and I for our adoption (gets sent direct to our placement agency), and 20% goes towards the Adoption Foundation to assist them in continuing to be able to give grants to families going through the adoption process. Bill was thrilled to meet the Eldridge family and we both feel very blessed for being given this opportunity to raise funds. The Coordinator mentioned that we have received 2 donations thus far. We sent out around 30 + letters, so hopefully more will drizzle in over the next couple of weeks.

Something else cool that happened was our post - race phone call. Bill called me and told me all about the race, meeting the Coordinator and her family, etc. He was so sweet on the phone it brought tears to my eyes. He was really motivated to run the race for the adoption (in general), but 1/2 way through something in his head switched to why he was really running the race. He started thinking about how our son would never be given the opportunity to run races, play in parks, etc - without our hard work. I am super proud of Bill, not just for running the 5K, but for having a winning attitude!

If you are still interested in donating to help us raise funds for our adoption, its not too late! We still have to come up with around $30,000. I will post the address below. It has to be mailed in (cannot be done electronically), and needs to reference the Curran family on the check or in a letter so they can identify where the funds need to be allocated (donations can be used as a tax write-off). Also, if you know of anyone or even a company that would like to donate, please pass the information along. Even the smallest amounts are sincerely appreciated. If you know of a group of people that would like to get together and raise funds by running a race or fun walk, we would love to be involved with that too.

Adoption Foundation of Tennessee
Attn: Curran Family
131 Cherokee Heights Drive
Maryville, TN 37801

Thanks to everyone for their support! When we get a list of all who donated, we will send out formal thank you letters.

Tear jerker alert!

I found this poem online this morning....

An Orphan's Life

I will never know the warm embrace of a mother.
I will never know a place called home.
I will never be tucked in at night.
I will never know all is right with the world.
I will never play catch with my dad.
I will never feel the ocean breeze in my hair.
I will never see the sunrise from the window of a plane.
I will never own the clothes on my back.
I will never eat popcorn in a darkened theater.
I will never run barefoot in a spring rain.
I will never have someone to catch me when I fall.
I will never watch fireworks explode in the sky.
I will never eat until I’m full.
I will never sit in a candle filled church.
I will never see a look of pride on my Dad’s face.
I will never ride a shiny new bike.
I will never dance at my prom.
I will never graduate.
I will never have someone to call for advice.
I will never make it on my own.
I will never stop wondering how my life could have changed -if someone had taken me home- for always.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Not so good, but not so bad

Greetings from the South! We wanted to share a small update we received today with everyone. First of all, we have been pressuring our agency to let us know where we are "in line" for our referral. Since they are not the only agency registered in Vlad, its difficult to determine how many families are ahead of us. We did find out that we are close to the top (not on top, but in the pile) for our particular child request. Even though this doesn't give us a time frame on a referral, it does seem to give us a light at the end of our tunnel.

We have been reading that referral times in Russia have slowed from a 1 - 6 months wait to a 1 - 10 month wait. This was confirmed today as well, so along with potentially good news, comes potentially not so good news!

With that said, we are not frustrated yet. Of course, we would like to move forward with this process as quickly as possible, but feel blessed to be where we are within the process. We are using our time to work on our 'to do' list and educate ourselves about institutionalized behaviors/issues, fundraising, etc.

Thanks for all the support!

Friday, April 10, 2009


Every Friday we receive an email from our placement agency with information various information. Today the email was about confidentiality. Several people have asked for specific information on our first referral, but we are bound to our confidentiality agreement. We felt it may be beneficial to share this information with everyone else as well.

The issue of confidentiality is significant in adoption. There are many strict confidentiality laws and agreements which we and your family are expected to abide by. If these laws and agreements are not followed, your individual adoption process or Russian adoptions in general may be at risk. The goal is to preserve a child’s safety, identity, and right to confidentiality.

During your court hearing, you may be asked to attest under oath to your part in maintaining confidentiality of a child’s information. When you receive referral information for consideration for adoption, you are expected to maintain the confidentiality of this information until your adoption is finalized. This means that you may not share any identifying information (photos, child’s last name, specific birth date, etc.) about the child whom you will adopt publicly or otherwise until the Court Decision is final. Finalization occurs only after the appeal period has passed after your court hearing; therefore, you are bound by confidentiality agreements before and after your first trip, and through part of your second trip.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Child of My Heart

Not flesh of my flesh,
not bone of my bone,
yet still very much my own.

Never forget for one single minute
that you grew not under my heart,
but in it

Author Unknown


Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where
there is no path and leave a trail.--- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The world is round, and the place which may seem like the
end, may also be the beginning.--- Ivy Baker Priest


The longest journey of any person is the journey inward.


I'm only one. But still, I am one.
I cannot do everything,
but still, I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
--Edward Everett Hale

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

No news is good news?

We spoke to our placement agency towards the end of last week, and briefly touched based today. Everything is status quo. She did receive a warranty deed that Bill sent her and is working on getting it apostiled, but other than that - no news to report! Bill and I have recently been reading about Russia's growing concern over our 'economic crisis', and Judges have started to request more extensive paperwork prior to court. We hope to head this off with possibly getting a CPA to estimate earnings for 2009 and 2010.

It also seems that the waiting time for referrals are beginning to take longer and longer. Our placement agency cannot tell us 'where' we are in 'line', but has estimated that it should not be any longer than 6 months. Keep your fingers crossed!