News of the day
Friday, August 24, 2007
We still haven't closed. It may be this morning, but looks more like it will be Monday.

I've been at the mobile home every day painting. Remember, it wasn't supposed to be ready till mid-September so we offered to help paint it to speed things along. It's been C-R-A-Z-Y!

The plan is to move everything over tomorrow morning. So I'll go and clean it this afternoon.

Hubby and D are going to the Texas Rangers baseball game. Our church's choir is singing the National Anthem. So if you're watching the Rangers/Seattle game tonight see if you can hear them. They won't get home till 1 or 2 a.m.!! Of course hubby has to go since he is the director :O). It will help for D to be out of my hair. She has been wonderful through all this though. She's having an adventure of it.

There is still so much to do it is overwhelming!

We went to meet the teacher this morning. D got an awesome teacher for 1st grade and I am so excited. She had a wonderful teacher in Kindergarten and I so hoped to maintain that momentum. She is already reading on a second grade level, have I ever told that here?? She's a smart cookie!

School starts Monday. So I think we'll stay in a hotel tomorrow and Sunday night so we're not living in chaos for Sunday (big day in a Pastor's house) and the first day of school. Then we'll dive into the chaos and swim for our lives!

Ok, gotta run - but want to leave you with this hilarious Ebay advertisement!!

Have a great day!
Quick Update
Monday, August 20, 2007
No, we didn't close on Friday, praise God! We thought maybe it would be tomorrow, but the Title company is being slow which is still fine with us.

We spent 10 hours at the mobile home today painting, trying to help them get it ready for us. It is slow going. We go back tomorrow to paint some more. I'm exhausted and about to go to bed, yes at 8:30 p.m.

Things are just super crazy here. So I'm not online hardly at all. I'll try to check in every now and then.

Thanks for asking about us, I'll try and do better at keeping you posted!
Oh this just makes me so sad . . .
Thursday, August 16, 2007
This is an article on a day off from work in an effort of procreation. When I think of all the children in those orphanages!

But the clincher was when I read the REGION! Can you guess?? Here's the link to the article. I'm not copying the actual article into my blog - I just can't!!
Check this out . . .
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Check out Pickel's blog for her Signing Time give-away!
It's my party, I can cry if I want too . . .
But, believe it or not - I don't want too!

I guess it's a good thing to be knee deep in packing boxes on your fortieth birthday. Yep, that's right, today I turn the big 4-0. Can you believe it?? Me either!!

I've got so many blessings and certainly plenty of excitement to keep me busy. I thought this day would be harder than it's been, but so far, so good!

Hubby and D took me out to lunch in Shreveport at Monjuni's. Yum-O! It was a weird thought to think that 40 years ago, my Mama was in the hospital in that same city after giving birth to me. Oh what a hot day to give birth (currently 103*).

I'm awaiting the flower shop delivery person, then I'm off to the DMV to renew my driver's license. I wonder if I'll have to take a senior citizen eye test??
An update on us
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Yes, things have been extemely chaotic around here! We've been packing and making four different stacks. 1. Goes to the mobile home. 2. Goes to storage. 3. Goes in the garage sale pile. 4. Trash.

Everything is falling in line, and it is entirely possible that we may truly close this Friday! It's unbelievable.

The mobile home is nothing fancy. It will be like staying at a lake house for the most part. It is plenty big enough. Not as big as our current house, but we'll do just fine. Really the only parts that aren't as big are the bedrooms. It has stood empty for a few years, and the owners were fixing it up for their daughter to live in while her husband is stationed in Kuwait. But she decided to go ahead and build a house out on their "home place" so they stopped mid-way through since there was no urgency. BUT the wonderful thing is that she had already had Sattelite Internet and DishNetwork set up there and, so we'll have the use of that for 3-4 months until her new house is finished and then she'll transfer it over to the new house. Yay! I don't know if satellite internet is as fast as DSL, but it's got to be better than dial-up!

We rented a storage unit and it's about 1/3 full now. We've been taking loads over each evening. The storage place is just around the corner from where our new house will be built.

The architect got the first stage of blueprints drawn up and we've been going over them, placing electrical outlets; TV hook-ups and telephone outlets where we want them. It is so exciting to see those drawings of the house we've been dreaming of for a couple years at least.

I packed up Viktoria's room yesterday for the most part. It's all done except the clothes in the closet and the top shelf of her closet. This is truly a blessing that everything is happening so fast. I did really well, just a couple teary, melancholy moments. It is so good not to have to feel guilt for packing away her room. I'm sure I wouldn't be able to do it yet, if not for this move. But I must admit that it will be nice to not have an empty baby's room standing in wait. If things move fast and we get a child home before we get the house built, then we'll just get the baby stuff out of storage and set up the third bedroom at the mobile home then. We're storing the baby stuff and Christmas stuff right near the front of the storage unit so we can get to it easily.

I've got to run, the insurance lady is coming for a walk through in order to insure the new owners. It's a madhouse!
Friday on as the house sales . . .
Friday, August 10, 2007
Contract signed by both parties - check
Earnest money given to appropriate Title Company people - check
For Sell by Owner Sign pulled up out of the yard - check
Closing date next Friday? - Aaaagh!!
Yep, the buyers are closing on their current house next Friday and want us out of here by the 24th. I picked up 12 boxes at the supermarket last night, I wonder how long it will take me to fill those up??
Only problem is the double-wide isn't scheduled to be finished with its remodel till mid-September! Guess what else? We haven't even seen the double-wide yet! This may be a true adventure for us! We go tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. to see it.
We rented one of the only available storage units (10x16) in our small town, but it won't take long for us to fill that up! Oh well, this is a living by faith and the seat of our pants thing at this point!
After 18 months of living our lives in limbo, this living life in the moment thing is a little scary! Whoa!
Offer on the house!
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Well, just when I thought we weren't going to have any viewings of the house today, the phone rang about 1 hour and half ago. An elderly man (80's) and his daughter (60's) came to look and made an offer. We accepted the offer and collected earnest money and the option fee!

Woo Hoo!

Double-wide palace, here comes your queen! Actually, Hubby and I were talking earlier, we're not exactly going to be slumming in the double wide. It's newly remodeled, all new appliances, new deck, on the lake and at least the same size as our current house if not bigger LOL.

We'll be in the country, though, so no DSL for a while eek!

Post Institutional Toilet Training
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Virginia has a great post on Toilet Training and our post-institutional kids. She also has listed some other great links on the topic.
Tuesday Stuff
Well, the lady from Sunday is back pedaling. Doesn't want to sign a contract, but wants us to "hold" the house for her. I don't think so! She's a bit strange. Not sure if I really want her in my house, you know?

We just got through showing it to another older couple (from Minnesota, Amy!) and I liked them. They really liked the house and yard alot. I would be happy with them living in my house LOL.

So, we'll see. It's just been for sale for 3 days afterall.

It would have been cool to sale it in 24 hours though :O)

**Don't worry, we won't simply " hold" the house for her. She called again this morning, and I made it absolutely clear that without a contract and earnest money, we won't hold it. I've got another showing already scheduled for tomorrow. I do wish the couple from this morning would go into contract, though because I really liked them. I think they would love my little house :o).

p.s. We've got a place to move now if it sells. It will be ready in about a month, around the time we would close if we sell the house in the next few days. I'll be the queen of a double-wide for about 6-8 months, but it will be an adventure :o). Actually, it's pretty nice for a mobile home (no offense intended if you live in one, I just never have - so it'll be new).

Sunday on - "As the House Sales . . ."
Sunday, August 05, 2007
We walked in the door after church this morning and the phone was ringing.

We've got our first offer.

Full asking price.

Oh my goodness, where will we live!

If her financing goes through we will have sold our house in 24 hours!
For Sale By Owner
Saturday, August 04, 2007
**Edited at 10:05 p.m.**

The sign is in the yard.

The realtor said she would advise us to try for sale by owner for a couple of weeks before listing it. She is a personal friend, so I'm sure that's the only reason she is willing to give up the 6% commission. That's a good friend, eh? Actually, she sold us this house 5 years ago. D was 19 months old when we moved in here.

Our realtor friend said if we sale it by owner, she'll guide us through the contract and closing business.

I've been scrubbing floors and baseboards yesterday afternoon and today. I'm talking hands and knees scrubbing. My triceps are screaming!

We met with the builder yesterday and talked with the architect. So this thing seems to be really happening! Eeek!

**Oh my goodness, what a day! We put the sign in the yard around 10:30 or 11 this morning. We had 6 calls today, 4 of which were VERY interested. 3 showings. 2 possible offers to come on Monday! We may be homeless soon!
Music on my blog . . .
Friday, August 03, 2007
I've had a couple questions lately in the comments about the music on my blog. It is coming from the Photo Show of Vika down below.

The name of the song is Kemp's Jig.

I thought it kind of went with the photo-show since it's kind of happy, kind of sad sounding. At least to me.

I personally am not the big fan of music on blogs. It gets annoying to me sometimes. I even turn the sound down every time I come on my blog to scroll through my blogs that I read everyday.

I will be taking the Photo-Show of Vika off the blog either today or tomorrow and replacing it with a more non-identifying photo. This is my own choice, no one has told me to do this. I just know that she is not ours anymore, she belongs to yet another mommy and daddy. But, I wanted to share her preciousness with all of you who have followed our journey. You can really see her personality in the photos, don't you think? From a PAP (pre-adoptive parent) point of view, and not just a person looking at a cute kid point of view, you can see many things in these photos that tell you why we knew in our hearts that she would be just fine. She had great eye-contact, relaxed into us when we held her, could concentrate and interact on a looking at a book, leary in the beginning (checking out D), and just all around a great girl with a goofy, fun personality. I'll always, always miss her. And love her. And pray for her. Always.
Good visit with the Realtor
Thursday, August 02, 2007
The Realtor stayed about an hour and a half this morning. She's gone back to the office to run the numbers but her estimate of what we can ask for our house pretty much "as is", is coming in at what we had hoped to get in our most hopeful scenario! If her numbers continue along the lines she is thinking, we will be able to ask 51% more than what we paid for our house right at 5 years ago!

Like I mentioned before, the Oil and Gas business is booming here and people are moving in left and right. Middle class/middle range homes are selling quickly. She actually thinks she may know a buyer already for us. This is what has been happening lately in our town, the sign doesn't even get stuck in the yard before they have a buyer for your house! I'm trying not to get my hopes up and it doesn't help that hubby had to run back to a meeting right after she left and we haven't had a chance to talk.

I just prayed that if it's meant to happen that it will happen quickly and obviously. So, I'll just keep praying along those lines.

She gave us the name of the builder who built their house and his cost per square foot is even lower than the other builder we were thinking of ($59 per square foot). When I watch HGTV, I can't believe the cost of housing in other parts of the country! Of course I'm sure the salaries have to be equally higher there too, but still!

To answer Chelley's question, it will be built just for us. Not a tract home. I guess it would be called a custom home? This is the plan we are looking at for now with a few changes. It will probably end up a little over 2,000 square feet after we add our changes. It's not a mansion, but it has a lot of what we're looking for in a house and we haven't been able to find already built. We figured out we could build brand new, just what we want for the same or less than an already built house the we don't love. So, it's exciting for us.
How D is doing --- Girls -vs- Boys --- New House
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Several of you have asked how D is doing with everything. She's doing wonderfully, resiliently well from what we can tell. It is always un-nerving for her to see Mommy cry, so once the first few days passed, and I wasn't crying as much, she seemed less "on edge."

She was just barely 5 when we met Viktoria in Russia and she really remembered her only as being a baby. When we got the new picture from the data-bank a couple months ago, she didn't even know who that girl was. It was hard for her to wrap her mind around the fact that it was Viktoria, growing up. 17 months is a long time to US, it must be an eternity to her. She just wants a sister.

I think Viktoria was more of a thought to her at this point than "real." We've kept the lines of communication open with her, telling her if she wants to talk about Viktoria it's completely ok. Or if she has ANY questions that it's ok to ask - any time. She has amazed me how well she is handling it.

On the topic of requesting a girl or boy referral. This is tough for me! I've ALWAYS pictured having two girls. From the time I was little. Of course that is probably because I am one of two girls and that's all I know.

I have three nephews that I love as dearly as if they were my own sons. I love them to pieces and always have. But for my own child/ren, I've always had a dream of girls. Two girls. Not three or six. Two.

Actually, my "two girls" dream has an alternate version. I've always thought, "I want two girls. Then if a third child happened to enter the equation, it can be a boy - no problem." But I want two girls! How do you change a lifelong desire?? Especially one that you never realized was so deeply ingrained?

Hubby and I talked this over today a great deal at lunch. He says he will truly be fine with another girl. But I will also keep praying and considering switching to being open to a girl OR boy.

I've thought too, like someone commented, that we can be open to a sibling group of a boy and girl. But our homestudy would have to be changed and our I-171H would have to be changed too.

New House? What's up with that? Well, the month after we got home from meeting Viktoria (April '06), we found out that a church member was wanting to sell some land. So - we had planned that once Viktoria got home we'd proceed with building a new house. We're kind of outgrowing our present house. Who knew little kids take up so much room! We were on hold with that not wanting to change everything up in the middle of Viktoria's adoption with a difficult region and all. Well, now that we'll be virtually "starting over" we are going to go ahead with our plans. The market in our area is hot right now and houses are selling like crazy at greatly appreciated prices. While new construction is still super reasonable (about $60-$65 per square foot!) So, even if our house sells in a week and we have to live in a mobile home for a few months, we'll be ok per our agency rep. So we are quite excited about this dream that has been on hold for over a year. We're meeting with our realtor friend in the morning to see what she thinks we can ask for our house and what updates she thinks we should make for the best profit.
The Meeting
We're still digesting things from the meeting yesterday. They talked alot with us about grieving the loss of V.

We discussed what options we have open to us, we didn't learn anything new on that front than what we already knew, but it was good to go over things. For us personally, it comes down to three options, really. 1. Continuing in Russia in a different region 2. Switching over to open-domestic where a birth mother chooses us out of a book 3. Quit.

After we left, hubby and I talked and he said, "ok - if we had to say right this minute what we would do - I'd say go to Russia in the new region, expand our age range and consider being open to a boy or girl" I said, "go to Russia in the new region, raise our age range a bit (not as far as hubby considered) and I'll keep trying to come to terms with switching to the boy or girl thing."

We decided in the meeting that for the month of August we are going to take a break from the pressure of deciding. Nothing can be done in Russia until our agency is re-accredited anyhow.

That's easier said than done, though. We've been "living" adoption for pretty much 7 years! D's adoption process started in 2000. After we got home with her, we concentrated on paying off her adoption so we could start the next. Now we've been in the process of this adoption for 2 1/2 years itself - and counting.

So, we'll see how we do on that. Day by day, one step at a time.

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