Wednesday, March 31, 2010

5 more weeks and counting

Well in 5 more weeks I will officially be off work. My dance business closes for 3 months of the summer and I thouroughly enjoy ever minute of it with my kids. You have not heard from me much lately because I have been extremely busy and stressed as I get every year around this time. I also do not like to be negative with my posts, but sometimes, this is just real life right? I know I am not alone. Why the stress you may ask....well, we are gearing up for our spring dance show, our 10th season.  And yes I am a profectionist... 100%.  I have to wonder when this door will close for me. I can certainly say my passions sure have changed over the past couple of years...being a voice for orphans is certainly one of them. 

 This time of year I usually find myself exhausted with all the planning and working but it makes it harder when your husband is also finding himself feeling the same way with his job.."burned out" !  I can't turn to someone who is already exhausted himself can I?  Yesterday it hit me when a friend told me that her cup is so full!! I thought wow, and told her "My cup is feeling quite empty". I need to fill it back up. It is my fault my cup is empty and I know I need to work on filling it back up again..NOW! I know we also as a family need a break and some time away. In 16 years we have never taken a real vacation and I think something like that would be so great for us to do.

Don't get me wrong... I love the studio, I am proud of where it started and where it is today. I love the kids that I am blessed to work with every week....I am fortunate I have had the many opportunities to even lead some of my students to the Lord. There is nothing like that! At the same time my own children/family tug hard on my heart strings!   I can be home most of the day, (which is great for Gracie and I) but when my two older kids get home, I go to work. I think it for sure was hard on me this year when I found myself missing many of my sons basketball games! I guess I am lucky over all these years I have not really had to miss anything before. I always worked it out.

5 more weeks of hard work as we prepare to celebrate a decade of dance..then this mama is going to enjoy her time of rejuvenation.  I will have all summer off with my kids, life slows down, and I look forward to putting more time into my passions of helping make a difference for orphans! The past couple months I have been  collecting "Dresses For Orphans". My goal is to collect 200 dresses, and we have recieved 100 so far. Thanks God. My dream would be to personally deliver these dresses myself! We'll see what the Lord has planned!
Here are some of the cute faces I am blessed to teach each week! (3yrs old)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring for a day..or so

The weather suddenly has begun to act like spring. 70 degrees that last couple of days and tomarrow is suppose to get close to 80. Grace loves loves loves to get outside and play. Here are a few pics from the part last night and this morning with her. This serious face did not last long. She laughed so much we could not believe all the giggles! I have a feeling this mommy is going to live outside! Yeah!!

Daddy put a xmas jacket on as we went out the door...oh my....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Adoption tax credit increased!!

From the Blog of For Such As These Amidst the intense controversy of the health care bill signed into law by President Obama yesterday, there’s at least one provision every orphan advocate can cheer. The adoption tax credit was preserved for another year...and increased in value!
To encourage and support adoption, the adoption tax credit was expanded by President Bush and Congress in 2001. This increased the value of the credit from $5,000 to $10,000, and indexed it for inflation (meaning the credit would increase each year to keep up with inflation.) For 2010, its value had risen to $12,170. However, the 2001 increase was scheduled to “sunset” at the end of 2010. This would mean that any adoptions finalized after December 31, 2010 would be eligible for—at most—a credit of only $5,000.
This sunset has now been extended one year. That means that it will need to be extended again before the end of 2011. For the present, however, this extension comes as very welcome news for families considering adoption or in the adoption process.
Specifically, the provisions contained in the health care bill include:
The current adoption tax credit has been extended until the end of 2011;
The value of the adoption tax credit has been increased from $12,170 to $13,170.
The increase is “retroactive,” meaning that any adoption occurring after January 1, 2010 is eligible for this higher credit.
The credit is now refundable. This means that even families that owe zero taxes can receive the full tax credit in the form of a tax refund to help with their adoption-related expenses.
To read the legalese in the bill itself, see page 903 of 906

Friday, March 19, 2010

Foto Friday-at work with mama

Gracie love to go to work with me at our dance studio...the kids adore her and spoil her so much. It reminds me of when Amanda was this very same age when i began the studio and she would love to be with me and not want to leave when daddy would come to get her. So sweet!
Peek A Boo!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Get To Know Me better...Ask Away..

This week I would like to invite you to ask me any Questions that you would like to ...from adoption, to family time, to whatever comes to your mind... that is nice of course! Ask away and I will post answers next week Monday!

Happy St. Patricks Day-Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Words from an Adoptee...

The day I was "Caught off Guard" (read the highlight to go to that post) By the comments from a bold woman, I was happy when I read this comment from Kim. I know not everyone comes back to read the comments so I wanted to post what she said and give hope to others through her words! Here is what she said about adoption and being an adoptee from Korea also! Thank you Kim, you made my day

"I can give you the other side...I am truly happy that I was adopted. My parents loved me, I got to go to school and to college, and now I believe that I have a successful career and a family of my own that could never be replaced. I know not only about my own culture, but also the cultures of other countries that I probably wouldn't have had the privilege to learn about.
Yes, people can say things that are certainly not appropriate and I believe it is either due to ignorance or lack of education. And many of these people choose to live a life of scorn, anger, complaints, or being introverted. I'm sorry that the woman said that to you. You are not alone when people say things like that. But, there are many of us adoptees out there who will back up pro-adoption any time, anywhere!"

Friday, March 12, 2010

Foto Friday "Cool Chick"

Gracie always wants mommys things. She took my sunglasses and my phone.
Doesn't she look like a cool little baby?!

She is talking soo much now, saying 3 words at a time, and counting to 5 is her newest things. She can always tell us what it is she wants, or does not want. This little ones is not lacking any love at all! We adore her more than words can express!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

We are Going to the Ball...

Getting ready to go.. Gracie did not want us to leave. :-(

The dudes!! Terry, Rick (Viki's man), Scott (Dawn's man)
The theme was "Remember When"

It was a fun fun night with friends!! "Till Next Year"!!

Science Fair

Here are the two most important people at the School Science Fair!
For Amanda's project she took three of us and tested to see at what times during the day/night we would have the most energy to run on the treadmill, and how fast we could do it in a certain distance.
Bailey's project he took different sodas, teas, and coffee to see which would stain your teeth the most. Sorry for the coffee drinkers out there..hands down!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Caught off Guard!

Im sorry if this sounds as if I am venting, but I have had a seriously long and spriritually challenging week. And last night just seriously topped off the week.  While standing at my childrens science fair last night a woman I know came up to me and said that she saw a program on tv that morning showing some black guys talking about how they wish they would not have been adopted. Im not sure why she felt the need to tell me this story, other than I have an adopted daughter. Humm, any way she proceeded to tell me that the guys were very bitter that they were adopted and felt they missed out on all their black heritage. ( I don't know where they were adopted from)  she said "do they think they really missed out on being on the streets, getting caught up in gangs" etc..she went on and on.. Then she talked about an experience she had in the past working with people of color, she called them black people. Her experience she said was aweful and it changed her view of them forever, she said it honestly made her a racist!!   I was so caught off guard by her comments and my heart rate was getting higher by the minute.  I was pretty much speechless, but I did say to her that every adopted child has a different experience and I also said that I also know many white causaian people that can be absolutly horrible too, and I would not want to deal with some of them. I did not go on, but walked away because I was getting so worked up inside.  I wanted her to know color doesn't matter. Some people can be good and some bad, it does not have to do with the color of their skin.

So later my regrets and anger starts to set in about this conversation she had with me. Don't you hate when you so caught off that you can not thinking on your feet? Or you feel you did not say enough.I was soooooo upset when I got home I could not sleep. Partly because I was mad at myself and partly because it made me realize that some people really are still racist. I never thought she was, but now I know differently.  So what does she think about Asian children? It is unfortunate the story that she heard on tv that morning. Because I do believe we all CAN make a difference in the life of a child! I believe all children are the same weather adopted or not, white, asian, black, whatever the color whatever the race...some children will have a great childhood and some will possibly grow up at odds with their parents or recenting them for some reason. If you are judging others, then who is judging you?? God can handle that job all by himself!!

I can honestly say that I do not even see color! I thank God for that! I see children, I see people, I see a world that God created and we need to do and act and love as Jesus would do!!  We also have friends who have the most beautiful children of color I just love them so much, they are the family who also became inspiration to us to also adopt, and you never know we too may adopt again some day, maybe from Korea, maybe from Ethiopia. These comments made me realize that some people are still seriously stuck back into racial thinking.. ...sadly even some christians I guess. It truely breaks my heart that she feels such a way. Maybe it is her generation maybe not, but it seems my generation or at least the people we hang out with and call our closest friends are not that way at all. I was definetly not prepared for this. God forgive me for not saying more!!  I know if I encounter some conversation like this again i will be better prepared on what more I will say.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Old photos bring back memories...

oh boy, today I guess I was bored and found myself looking at some old photos....really wish I wouldn't have done that. I came across 4 photos that were emailed to me from a lady who was on the same flight as Gracie on her way to the US with her escort. (April of 09)This lady felt bad for our baby Grace because apparently she cried alot of the way here. Keep in mind the flight is over 20 hours long. My poor baby.

So here I was looking at the photos, each one slowly examining each detail all over again. I saw the pain in my babys eyes, I saw tears that must have just been sitting there waiting to drip down her cheek. As I looked at them I was overcome with so many feelings. I could see the confusion in her eyes and just imagine what she was feeling. I remember that day and how excited we were to finally hold her, and at the same time knowing that she was going through a tramatic experience herself.......leaving her foster family, the only one she had known since birth.  I also remeber I could not understand why that travel call was taking so long to get..., but as I look at these photos today I am remembering that God may have been preparing not only our hearts, but without a doubt he was also preparing the heart of my sweet baby and her foster family to say goodbye. The timing had to be just right. And it was! It also reminded me of how far she has come since that day. How blessed we have been. How she bonded to us right away. How resiliant children are and how they adjust fairly quickly to things. I also starting thinking about her birth mother and how I need to write her a letter and send it to the agency so that IF she ever goes back there again there would be something for her to hold onto...something to give her reasurance that the child she gave birth to is so loved by her forever family..... After all, this is the woman who gave our baby girl LIFE! And how Gratefull we are to her for making that choice!!

I can't leave a post with out a here is Grace earlier today.
Thank you Lord for this Precious Gift you have given us!