Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lightly, not tightly

This might be a long post, I apologize in advance. Some of these are just my thoughts I need to document for me, some are in response to questions I've gotten over the last couple months.

We've been back from Guate 2 and 1/2 years now. In that time, pretty much every option of increasing our family has been on the table. Fertility stuff, international and domestic adoption, even embryo adoption. And to be honest, we've really enjoyed our time with Eliot, knowing he won't always be an only child.

We'd actually never really considered the foster care system. Not that there was ever anything wrong with it, in fact, we've known several families that have done it. But for whatever reason, it was never on our radar.

Then we moved to the city. And planted a church. A church dedicated to restoring the city.

Then we met Emily. Emily runs an agency dedicated to helping/educating/training families wanting to foster or adopt. Not only does she run the agency, but she has four beautiful girls adopted from the foster system. We met for lunch one day. It must have been some powerful pizza cuz some serious light bulbs started going off.

As I processed the idea, I had a few things I had to come to grips with if we were to go forward with this. First of all, we would be taking a risk, maybe risk after risk, of falling in love with a little one, only to have something happen. The birth family is a major player. We're not used to that. We would have to hold lightly, not tightly to the idea of adding to our forever family until further notice even though we'd have a little one in our home.

Secondly, this journey isn't and CAN'T BE about me and my needs to be a mom. I could easily argue that a main motivation in Eliot's adoption was ME. This process is different. The focus needs to be on what's best for this particular child, and that may be chillin' with us for months while their birth family figures a few things out.

We have to trust that each child will be in our home for the exact amount of time they're supposed to be and while they're here, we will love on them as if they were going to stay.

And to be honest even further, we started the journey down the fertility road. Minimally, understand, but we opened the can. We (I) didn't even make it two rounds. I couldn't justify the time, energy and money. I turn about 7 kinds of ugly once you start adding stuff to my system. And the worst part? The constant wondering if it's a 100% waste of time. It didn't make sense.

Similar to fertility, there's no guarantee in fostering. Essentially, we could be spinning our wheels. The difference? In the meantime, we're using our time, money and energy to love on kids whose worlds have been turned upside down, hopefully adding some stability and protection, and doing a little bit more to restore the city.

We know this route isn't for everyone but secretly I'm hoping that by being open with you, that it'll sneak onto your radar. We've already heard some alarming statistics and the need for more families. And some of you out there have more to give. You're not done.

If you have questions or just want to hear more about it, please ask. It's my new favorite thing to talk about besides Tenley on Wings of Love.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Funny Valentine

Step 1: strip the crayons of the only clothes they've ever known.

Step 2: Shred them (not your fingers) with recently-never-used cheese grater onto wax paper

Step 3: Watch as Mommy carefully uses the iron to melt crayons in between wax paper (keep asking, "Mom, what is that?" which implies the child has never seen mommy using an iron before.)

Step 4: Let dry, cut into heart shapes, punch a hole, cut strips of yarn, tie, and hang in the windows.

I am tempted to leave this post at this point. However, this would be inaccurate to the true experience of doing crafts with boys. At least this boy. Or maybe I should say crafts FOR this boy. Yes, it looks as though Eliot is a very helpful participant. Let me add a few more steps.

Step 2 1/2: Since we're already on the floor, take this opportunity to stop watching the crayons melt and do push-ups instead.

Step 3 1/2: Carpe Diem that ball of yarn! Realize that if you run in circles around the table, you can actually trap mommy.

Step 3 3/4: Realize step 3 1/2 can be done even quicker with your bike.

Eliot was over craft time pretty quickly. We took a few minutes throughout an entire morning to complete something that should have taken 30 minutes. Russ was working in the office all morning and when we finished our project Eliot told him to come look. He kept yelling "Happy Birthday, Daddy!"

Monday, January 25, 2010

So excited!!

If you kept up with our Guate-drama from the start, you know that two ENORMOUS blessings that came out of it were my friendships with Sharon and Melissa. You saw my HOLY-FREAK-OUT to see my Sharon again in the last post. (more on our great weekend later!) Then, if you have hung on through the summers at Camp Mohr, you know that sweet Mel is still in the Guat. Now, don't get me wrong, she loves her some guacamole but if she had a choice, she would be stateside w/ her amazing family.

Fast forward, my friend Jodie (photographer Jodie) started a new blog that I'm a huge fan of.

{stay w/ me!}

Okay, first, go read this poston this new blog that explains it all.

Then, THEN! click here and share your thoughts. Do it! Go Go go!

That's a lot of clicking, but I'm not going to apologize. You can handle it.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Russ and Sharon (and my boss) have apparently been conspiring for months to bring Sharon out for my birthday. (Sharon was my Guatemalan roommate turned very dear friend). Before you watch this, you should note a few things:

*Apparently when I am legitimately surprised (very hard to do) my high voice makes an appearance.

*Russ might have blood sugar issues. Holy shakes.

*Back story: Russ came to Guate a few days early than "planned" for one of his trips as a surprise while I lived there. Sharon and I knew all about it before he showed up. That was 3 years ago. I just confessed this to him about 2 months ago.

*Earpieces are super hot. Be jealous.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Some good news out of Haiti...

***Edited to add, google readers: the video didn't show up in my reader for whatever reason, but I promise it's worth a an extra click!

Note to self...don't watch adoption videos while still at work.

Does this send you over the edge? It does for me! I keep hearing mixed reviews on Haitian adoptions in this time. One of my new blogs I'm in lurve with is a family in the middle of their third adoption. She posted this pic of the UN building in Haiti.

It's unreal. The pics of the devastation make me wonder how any paperwork could possibly get accomplished and what's an adoption without tens, lo hundreds of sheets of paper! I'm excited and anxious to hear more stories like the one up top.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

'Twas the night before the Home Study,

...when all through the house,
not a dustball was stirring, and certainly not a mouse;
The family pics were hung on the wall with care
with hopes that the social worker would soon be there;
the child was nestled in front of a movie with care
while visions of a sibling danced in his head;
With Russ in his toolbelt, and me in my cleaning cap
we got swiftly to work, yelling "No time for a nap!"
Away to the window, I flew like a flash,
Windexing the panes and dusting the sash,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But boxes of stuff we don't need, it was clear,
To the dumpster Russ flew, so lively and quick,
I knew it was gone when I heard the lid click.
More rapid than eagles, with cleaner I came,
I whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, front stairs! now, banister! now, vanity and tub!
On, corners! on baseboards! on, trucks and stuffed cub!
To the top of the mantel! to the top of the wall!
Now scrub away! wipe away! dust away all!"
So into the trashcan the dust-mites they flew,
With my arms full of supplies, and Russell's arms, too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on my phone
The social worker appointment being postponed.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Into the room Russell came with a bound.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
"An extra week we have to prepare,
My gorgeous princess, you have no reason to despair."
And I heard him exclaim, ere he walked out of sight,
Happy home study to all, and to all a good night!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Your long wait is over...

The very mysterious role of film captured select moments from Christmas time somewhere between 2001 and 2003ish.

Our first house!

Christmas fun!

Outings with the fam!

Now you can sleep more soundly and sit back from the edge of your proverbial seat.

Friday, January 15, 2010


While cleaning for our home study (more on that later, FOR THE LOVE!) I found a role of film. Do you know what that is? I hardly remember. We're practically archeologists.

I have no idea what might be on it but I'm super curious! I'm going to hop in my covered wagon and take it to Walgreens to get it "developed".

Any guesses?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My (gan)green thumb.

Last year my cute Mom sent me a beautiful plant for mother's day. I truly did my best but I'm afraid it didn't make it. Hence, the title of this post. There's been a few times I've nursed it back to *health* but it's now past the point of all hope. So, it sadly sits in our office dying leaf by leaf onto the floor, waiting for us to pronounce the TOD like on Grey's.

Why would this dead plant be significant enough to blog about?

Because we have a guest coming over this week. A guest that will make a preliminary decision about us and our home. A guest that could look at the plant and draw assumptions on our ability to keep things alive. Why would a guest be thinking of us in that light?

Because she's a social worker.

But, my blogees, she's not a social worker checking on Eliot's progress like in times past. No, we're past our follow up stuff with his case.

We're starting afresh. In our own backyard.

It's time! We're *eventually* adding to our couch. I say eventually because this is a beast of a different nature. We're in process to become certified foster parents with hopes that one of the foster children we accept will become part of our forever family. Until then we may have kiddos that just need a place for a short time, and we're happy to love on them as long as we're allowed.

So, that's our news thats been cooking for quite some time. As long as all goes well, we could be ready by summer. (*Adoption time line alert! "Summertime" could mean April '10 or Dec of next year or anything in between, before or after!)

Thankfully, I'm much more adept with chocolate chips than plants.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Slow down, you're moving too fast...

The best 3+ minutes of your day. Feel free to share.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Blah and Ack.

Remember this post? In our giddy ignorance, we flippantly made a goal of debt-free by 2010. This weekend the Mr. and I had the Mohr State of the Union conversation and had a hearty laugh. After looking at the numbers, we’re a measly 8% less in debt than we were at this point last year. And that’s with lowering our cost of living and getting a steady paying job. What’s wrong w/ this picture? Blah. Perhaps we should have said debt-free by 3010? That seems more realistic.

We’re taking action. Brace yourselves. The word budget is written all over 2010.

Budgets are your friend, dairy isn’t. Prepare to see that new catchphrase tattooed somewhere on my body in the near future.

Unless that’s not in the budget.

Good thing blogging is free.

Friday, January 8, 2010


One day in the future, you'll be sipping on a great cup of fair-trade coffee, cuddled into your snuggie, reading my book. My book about my trials, tribulations and tan during my time in Guatemala. And you'll come to the part of the story where a new character is introduced. Her name is Alaska.

Is it really Alaska? No, but she's from Alaska and she's hilarious and quirky. And her given name is Maria but that sounds Guatemalan so in efforts to not confuse you, she shall be called Alaska from hence forth.

Alaska adopted M, a cute little chocolate chip only a couple months younger than E-beast. Once they got home from their stay in Guate, they started asking the Lord about kiddo #2. The answer was one that I find rare but if you live in Alaska, not so much. Maybe. Not sure,actually. I don't feel adequately qualified to say what might be rare and not-so-rare in a part of the country that may or may not really exist.

(I'm rambling. Rabbit trails, really. I blame it on the Mountain Dew that has welcomed me into 2010. Oh well, there's always 2011.)

Alaska (the person, not the state) adopted an eskimo* baby. And strangely enough, I think baby N looks as much like baby M as possible. God is nuts. Now that baby N is home and growing, they asked God about #3.

Get this: God has their next baby in Africa. Do you love it? I can't wait to hear what happens! In the mean time, we can help Alaska and fam with offsetting the cost of their THIRD adoption (in 3 years! EGAD!) They've established an account w/ a really cool company that sells great coffee and the proceeds go to the family! You have to check out this link to their "store". Click on the link and check it out, there's even a picture of their cute little Alaska melting pot. Then send the link to your coffee drinking, snugglie wearing friends!

If you drink coffee already, why not let part of that $$ go to your fair trade java yum and some of that money go to BRINGING A BABY HOME TO THEIR FOREVER FAMILY! Clearly, not a choice. Go forth and order coffee! (the missing commandment out of the big 10.)

Also, a little P.S.: Baby M (toddler M by now, actually) is having spinalcord surgery today! Please pray pray pray! Here's their blog link if you'd like updates on his progress and his cuteness.

*"Eskimo" is an actual tribe, not a stereotypical label. Alaska doesn't refer to her son that way, in my ignorance I do, just to clarify.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Holiday Recap {Belated!}

To be sung like the last verse of "12 Days of Christmas"

12 fleas on Daisy
11 towels soaked in rain water (that leaked through our roof into our living and dining room),
10 times I resisted holiday dairy
9 random bug bites,
8 times I gave into holiday dairy
7 presents Eliot found before Christmas,
6 lost receipts,
5 stitches on the Guatemelon!
4 rashes due to unknown penicillin allergy,
3 hours of no electricity,
2 secrets Eliot leaked,
and a tooth falling out of my mouth...

Some things didn't go so great over the last couple weeks. Overall we had a great holiday season but we definitely hit some bumps. Can't complain though, we really had a memorable season for good reasons, too, starting back on St. Leon's Day to our post-Christmas run at the Zoo Lights.

On the way back from Arkansas all 4 of us were in the car (Daisy too!) and Eliot said, "Hey Mom and Dad? Um...I don't think Daisy likes to talk..." Clearly something we hadn't put together yet.

While in AR at Roberta's house, THE Roberta's House, we had eaten the amazing Christmas lunch and were all collected into the living room where ever you could fit. Russ' Great-Grandmother (99 years old! Hello! Look out, Willard Scott!) asked Roberta to play some Christmas carols on the piano. In a moment that is the closest to a Norman Rockwell painting that I'll ever get, we all sang along with the her. After awhile, Russ's Great grandmother started sharing stories of Christmases that she remembered and you could have heard a cheese cube drop. That filtered down to stories from his grandmother and then to his mom and her brothers. And while a good amount of the afternoon was spent hearing great memories, I do believe we were creating one.

That touchingly sentimental moment was soon crushed, though by THE GAME. Russ' extended family started playing a version of Yankee Swap/ Dirty Santa/ White elephant that should really be it's own post. They were not messing around. They started the tradition last year and I'm sure it will be a holiday favorite for as long as they're all still meeting together.

Sorry I'm behind on the holiday post! At least I got it finished! Typically it would just sit in the drafts for the next couple months til I discover it and then promptly delete any evidence of my blog failure.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I realized something early on in this budding year-o-potential. Blogging is a sort of therapy for me. This happens in the height of a moment where I immediately start mentally blogging in the middle of a situation. Like on New Years Day as I'm driving to Urgent Care. I could freak out. I could. It would be easy. But instead, I use that energy to compose blogs. Witty banter with myself. Therapy or en route to crazy town. You pick.

Lemme back up. Eliot and I were heading out to catch a movie before dinner. He and Daisy were in our room, Daisy on the bed. Daisy jumped over the end of the bed at the same time Eliot started to run out of the room. Daisy's body weight slammed E into the edge of the door, splitting his forehead open and causing a nosebleed.

Eliot was obviously upset (read: total freak out) and kept saying, "Daisy's very mean to me." Once the horror-movie-amount-of-bloodshed from his guatemelon was a bit settled and my friend Heather came in to help, I prepared for our trip to the Urgent Care. Similar to this post, mom-mode came over me like a super power.

Urgent Care, I'd like to re-introduce myself. I. am. mom.

We've gone once before when Eliot had a crazy fever on a Saturday night last January. It was 100% awful. We waited for nearly 900 years, over dinner time with a hungry CRANKY 2 year old with little there to distract him. EGAD, the nightmare. We hadn't given him anything for the fever so they could get an accurate reading. Once that happened they gave us off-brand Motrin and THEN CHARGED US $30 FOR 5ML. There were words.

I'm no rookie, you Urgentcare place of terror, I've danced your dance before.

Within a few minutes my purse was full of all things close to Eliot's heart (read: 12 different Lightening McQueens), his tag pen + books, a full bottle of tylenol and some special treats. We even swung through a McD's drive-through where Eliot told me he broke his head and needed chocolate milk. (Dairy, oh beloved dairy)

I walked into that waiting room locked and loaded.

Our experience this time around was the opposite of last time. The place was fairy empty, the staff was great and the apparently newest member of Fight Club? HE. WAS. AMAZING. His stegoMohrus forehead needed 5 stitches. 5 stitches. 5 stitches and not one tear. And, no, the wound is not in the shape of a lightening bolt.

After being strapped to a board, having a nauseously large needle placed directly into his gaping gash and then sewn together, the Chocolate Chip grasped his happy meal toy and get this...said 'thank you' to the doctor.

Puh-lease. Who is this child?

{Awkward} Pictoral Year in Review