internet marketing The Big Sis Diaries: May 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007


Still no news. Siiiiigh. At least we haven't heard anything negative? (Trying to see the silver lining here...) It's true that we don't know if we're in the batch of court cases not going through until June 8th, so it still could go through at any time- but again, the waiting is killing us!!!!

To change the subject (which I have to), a brief report on the rodents-in-the-house situation: there have been more than ever. I can't count how many LIVE mice have been brought into the house these past few weeks, and we've had several adventures trying to get them out. Sadly, we can't always save all of them. I think the solution is to always close the doors when they're out, instead of leaving them open so they can wander between the house and the yard like we did before. We've been trying, but I think we have to be more careful...somehow Coco snuck in with a chipmunk yesterday and it took us hours to get Coco away from it (though we THINK the chipmunk got out alive...I don't know what to think if it didn't!)

I hope that this long weekend will bring a flood of fresh, positive information on all fronts along with the gorgeous weather we've been having lately! (Though it's 93 here now, which might be a little too good.) I'm leaving for Michigan with my mom tomorrow to visit my grandparents, and we'll be back Wednesday evening. I think a change of scenery will be good for us, and hopefully when we return we'll be met with some welcoming news!

Monday, May 21, 2007

More Delays

We've heard so much different information today from the forum about cases getting through court, and what SWs have said about that, etc. Really the only conclusion I can draw is that many, many court cases are getting delayed for a reason no one can fully understand. Our SW was not too helpful in clarifying, but we gathered that we won't be able to travel at least until the end of June, early July- but at this rate we easily could travel well into July. This is absolutely ridiculous- it's making me insane. Forgive me for ranting, but I've tried to be positive, and throughout this whole adoption process, we've had absolutely nothing but bad luck. It's a good thing my family doesn't believe in "signs"- we would have given up a loooooong time ago. I would say that the only consolation we have is that we at least know the child we're getting and therefore we know we'll adopt eventually, but that makes me feel even more frantic to get over there and get her!! It's easy to feel selfish right now, and trust me, I have been thinking a lot about myself- but what makes me truly crazy is thinking that every day, LG gets one day older and spends one day longer away from home. A friend, who really doesn't know much about the adoption process, tried to comfort me by exclaiming, "You have a wonderful, loving family and your parents are doing all the right things. Why can't they just let you bring her home????" I wanted to hug her, but more than that, I so wanted to believe her. WHY can't it be that easy????

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Whiling Away the Hours

Since there's nothing we can do at this point but WAIT, I've been trying to distract myself as best I can. I've seen some movies (Lucky You, which was bad, and Waitress, which was very good) and today, I went shopping- but for me this time! I got some really cute summer clothes, which made me feel better right away. I did get a belated Mother's Day gift for my mom, but nothing for LG this time: my mom counted the clothes we bought for her in the eight weeks since her referral and, not including dresses (which we had several of) she had eighteen t-shirts!!!! Isn't that incredible???? I'm telling you, that travel date better come before we break the bank trying to get LG's wardrobe up to the size of Paris Hilton's! (We are, of course, returning some of what we bought.)

With nothing new to report, I thought I'd mention what my family has decided to do about LG's name. We have had a (very pretty!) name picked out for her for a while, but I'm not going to officially announce it until later. It's not a huge secret, but I thought it would be fun to introduce it along with her picture (if we can EVER post it at this rate...grrrrrrr!)

Friday, May 18, 2007

No News is Good News?

Who came up with that saying???? The fact that we still don't have our travel date is certainly not good news!!!!

That's right- still nothing. My mom e-mailed our SW at the agency today who said that no one went through court this week (which actually isn't true, since one person on our agency's forum got a travel date yesterday) and that they were seeing a pattern of cases going through court eight weeks after referral. We're eight weeks exactly today. I don't think this would be so frustrating if it wasn't for that we have had so many troubles so far- spending weeks trying to decide whether or not to keep our first referral and then turning it down; switching agencies, etc. In a few weeks, it will be two years exactly since we sent in our application. Of course, that includes our move, which certainly slowed down the homestudy process- but still. After two years of dreaming for my sister, maybe you can see why I think we need to get her home SOON! Our SW said she would look into details on Monday or Tuesday for us to see exactly how the court cases are going along. I guess the fact that only one person got through court this week probably means that our case wasn't even tried, which I guess is good, because it means that it wasn't rejected a second time (I'm not sure if that makes any sense, but I'm trying desperately to be optimistic!)

In any case, I think I've done a pretty good job distracting myself. The house is VERY empty since my dad took the boys to Norway on Wednesday for my grandpa's 8oth birthday party on Saturday (I would have gone, but when I opted not to, it was when I thought I would be missing over a week of school for Ethiopia. Looks like that won't be the case NOW...) That leaves just me, my mom, and the cats. I never knew how quiet it could be without two boys in the house. For once, I miss the constant sounds of GameBoy noises, shouting, laughter, and my mom's voice yelling at one or both of the boys to take off their muddy shoes before tearing around the house that make up the background music of my life at home. Hopefully a little girl's voice will be added into the mix very soon????

Friday, May 11, 2007

Pulling My Hair Out

I'm telling you, this adoption journey has been the most turbulent one. It won't stop throwing curveballs at us!!!!

If anyone has been counting the weeks from when we got our second referral (not including the one we turned down, which we had received about six weeks prior to the one we accepted) we have been waiting for a travel date for seven weeks. Families generally travel about nine weeks after referral acceptance. But that isn't our concern. FIVE families, all with referrals received two weeks after ours, got travel dates today for the week of June 8th- but we heard nothing. I'm thrilled for them, of course- but I admit I'm filled with many other, stronger emotions! I'm upset and very frustrated that, after all this, we don't have a travel date, and I'm also very concerned that our case isn't getting through court. If that is the case, I don't know when we'll travel.

Maybe I'm over-reacting and acting very selfish. It's just that the "not knowing" is driving me insane, especially since we have to make plans, etc. Most importantly though, I just want our baby girl home!!!!

There is a bit of good news, though: we received an update yesterday that LG grew another centimeter and gained another pound. That puts her right in the 10th percentile for both height and weight. She's healthy and doing great. I couldn't be more pleased about her condition! I'm just getting really antsy to meet her...

*I just want to add: Carsten overheard my mom and I talking and expressed his incredulity at the situation by pronouncing, "This is so not fair!!!!" The fact that he knows so much is kind of funny- travel date, referral, and even names of people from the forum are part of his vocabulary. My mom and I must talk about it too much- not many 7-year-olds know anything about adoption!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cats and Mice (warning: not for the faint of heart!)

I'm not sure what my house is turning into, but it feels like a big mousetrap. Granted, our house is new and relatively clean, so it doesn't seem like the typical haven for all rodents. But with cats, that's a different story.

I was standing in the kitchen yesterday when I saw Coco batting at something- something moving. I knew immediately what it was. As soon as I cried, "Mouse!" my mom and I pretty much locked ourselves in the office while my brothers chased our kitty around, trying to get a better look. The poor little guy didn't last long. Coco apparently pushed it under a bookcase, and the boys were giving us a very graphic description of how it was twitching. I was upset, but there was nothing we could do except wait for the helpless mouse to die. Kristian bravely took it outside and gave it a proper burial as the rest of us vowed that that would never happen again.

And it didn't- if "never" counts as 18 hours. This morning, my mom was feeding the cats when she all of a sudden saw Coco become extremely alert. She then darted across the basement and started playing with a little gray ball (do you see where I'm going with this??) My mom ran upstairs and hasn't been down since. We assume it's dead, but none of us wants to go check- we reserved that job for Kristian.

We're relatively new cat owners- we've had Coco and Fifi for a little more than year and a half, and this is the first spring we're letting them out. For all of you parents to cats out there- how common is this occurence?! I'm not sure I can put up with this every day of every spring and summer for years to come!!

*UPDATE: We found the dead mouse in the basement. Or actually, it was Coco. I mustered up the courage to go down to run on the treadmill tonight, and as I was running, I saw Coco playing with something small and limp. I knew what it was, but I was too chicken to go look at it- I made my dad go down and get it. I don't even know where they find these mice, but I hope we don't get too many more "surprises" this summer.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


That's right, the article came out today!! They only used one picture, and it wasn't a bad one (surprisingly!) although you can't see it here (I copied and pasted it from the website- I censored it to keep my last name and town private):

May 3, 2007

****** teen collects pajamas for orphans in Ethiopia

Kids in Kenya are going to get pajamas in the next few months, thanks to donations from *****ians. The pajamas were collected as part of the Sweet Dreams Project by Susanna *******, a sophomore at ****** High School.

In a recent interview with The ********, Susanna said she started the collection for a personal reason, but it quickly grew into a much larger endeavor.

“My family is adopting a little girl from Ethiopia,” Susanna said. “We’re really excited about it.”

It wasn’t just excitement in the air. Susanna got inspired to help an orphanage in Africa.

“What I did was start to brainstorm ways to donate” to an orphanage that is home to children who are HIV/AIDS positive, she said.

This past December, she called an orphanage, A Hope for Children, and found it was in need of pajamas. The orphanage has a headquarters in the United States, but is actually in Ethiopia.

“From there, I talked to the head of the orphanage in Ethiopia,” Susanna said.

Then she began to e-mail the principals of the ****** schools to see if she could hold her PJ collection at one of them. She ended up requesting the assistance of students at **** ****.

“I actually got a really overwhelming response,” Susanna said, she received 130 pairs of pajamas. “In total, I have about 200.”

There are 87 kids at A Hope for Children in Ethiopia. Each child at the orphanage will be able to get one pair, and Susanna will donate some pajamas to another Ethiopian orphanage where Susanna’s soon to be sister is living.

Whatever is left over, Susanna said, will be donated to a shelter in *******.“They are going to go to people who need them. I think that I would’ve been able to get more ... but we are taking them ourselves,” she said. The *******s are scheduled to pick up baby Eraye — Susanna’s new sister — within the next month. That’s when they will take the pajamas.

The project is just the beginning, Susanna said. She hopes she could continue collecting for orphanages through her senior year; that’s why she chose this to be her senior interest project, though she won’t be a senior for another school year.

A senior interest project is a not required half-year project offered at the *HS. Lisa ******, a business teacher at *HS as well as the senior interest project coordinator, said that the project gives students a chance to come up with their own ideas of something to learn and master.

Beginning in their junior year, students have the chance to learn about what a senior interest project is and whether they want to register for the course their senior year.

Once students pick their idea, they must state what they plan on doing, and how they plan on doing it. If approved by Ms. ******, the students are then paired with a mentor, a professional in the field in which the student wants to work.

You'll also notice that they said that they said that the pajamas were going to an orphanage in Kenya. Obviously that's wrong, but the rest of the article was accurate, so I'll let them get away with it ;-)

I also got my shots today. A painful reminder of good things to come!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Year Of Kristians...

Happy 11th Birthday, Kristian!

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