Monday, July 28, 2008

It's nice to know


That all the people I love see the same moon when they look up...even if they are far away from me at the moment. My Mom and Dad have the added perk of being able to look at this same tree from their balcony in St. Croix too! I hope our kids in Colombia see the moon and know someone loves them.

(Sound familiar but can't place it? Try this as a reminder! YouTube - somewhere out there - an american tail )

I just can't wait to see the moon from Colombia!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hey! We've got a check-+!

In the interest of progress reporting, we have obtained another checkmark on our list of "Dossier things to do". And even better than that, I'm saying we actually have a check-plus! (Since I don't have a visual aid you can just picture me as the teacher's pet over here, smug with a smile that resembles a sneer and all!)

This week I finally got my Employment Verification Letter from my employer this week signed,notarized and ready to apostille -- CHECK!

We also received our packet from the Psychologist with our MMPI-2 tests on Thursday. (I finished mine Thursday evening (I told you, teacher's pet!) and Bill is working on his in the dining room as I type this in the office. This, I am counting as the "plus" in our check-plus. We still have a bit of time before we can count our psychological exams as the next BIG checkmark.

Now, if you'll allow me just a moment to reflect (rant? obsess? pick a verb...) on this test I'd appreciate it. For those of you who aren't familiar with the MMPI-2, it's 567 questions (no, that's not a typo but at least they are all True/False) that is designed to be particularly telling about our personality makeup among other things.

Some of the questions were obviously designed to identify certain things, like paranoid tendencies. Personally though, I couldn't help but laugh at this one:

“someone is trying to poison me – T/F”

There were some that were incredibly vague or really too broad, in my opinion, because whenever you throw many or most in the mix of determining, for example, whether people are generally liars or whatnot, the answering gets kind of tricky. I mean, yeah, I think just about everyone has or would tell a lie at one point or another.

Then you have the nevers to address. "I have never used alcohol to excess?" Well, unfortunately that would have to be false if I am to be honest because, even though I usually drink one or two drinks every one or two months or so, I have on occasion had too much to drink.

And then there's the questions of physical symptomatology that probably sounds worse than it is when answered truthfully. I mean there was one that asked about numbness, tingling, and "falling asleep" sensations in your limbs that I had to answer that I do experience these things daily but I didn't get to say "but my hands fall alseep because I have CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME, not a psych issue!"

And, finally, what could possibly be my personal favorite question at the moment “there is often a fullness in my head or nose – True or False?” Well, it's true but if you could now please clarify for me what exactly my nasal allergy symptoms have to do with my psychological health????

Call me crazy [pun fully intended, by the way], but do any of you know how hard it is not to self-analyze your own responses to these questions? Have you considered how hard it was to commit to an answer to some of the vague, could-go-several-different-ways questions?? Do you even comprehend how badly I wanted to write a letter of explanation of some of my answers to go with that stinking test??? Brutal.

I did realize in my test-taking experience that while I tend to be kind of idealistic with my tiny little nucleus of the world, I don't have the same idealistic opinions of the general public. But we've got a check-plus, and that's progress in my book.

(Sorry for the super-long post, by the way, I guess I had more to say about the silly test than I thought!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How I love to hear the whispers...

I recently received a very special gift - a copy of the daily devotional Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles E. (L.B.) Cowman - and I was thrilled! Of course, it came just in time. Early on in my blog I talked about all the "Little Signs" that we encountered as we were just beginning to make the first steps toward our adoption. While sometimes these signs must seem like flashing neon lights clearly meant to grab our attention, more often than not they are more like little whispers that if you aren't careful you just might miss them.

Today's reading in my new Streams in the Desert book is one of those "little whispers". It starts with an excellent verse - "And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you ... blessed are all they that wait for Him." Isaiah 30:18 - and the reflection that accompanies it is sprinkled with phrases and thoughts that grab me.

For example, the closing passage of today's devotional which reads:

He cannot gather the fruit till it is ripe. He knows when we are spiritually ready to receive the blessing to our profit and His glory. Waiting in the sunshine of His love is what will ripen the soul for His blessing. Waiting under the cloud of trial, that breaks in showers of blessings, is as needful. Be assured that if God waits longer than you could wish, it is only to make the blessing doubly precious. God waited four thousand years, till the fullness of time, ere He sent His Son. Our times are in His hands; He will avenge His elect speedily; He will make haste for our help, and not delay one hour too long.

Yet another gently whispered reminder that, even though things may be going rather slowly with our paperchase, God's timing is perfect. I guess we just aren't ripe yet! *wink*

OH! And did I forget to mention that the person credited with composing the reflection for today's entry is Andrew Murray...no kidding.


(quoted text is from Streams in the Desert, by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman; devotional for July 22)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Simple beauty



I really have nothing special to say today, but I was reviewing the pictures from my trip to St. Croix and came across this one - and I really like it. Not bad for a picture snapped out the window of a moving car!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

EXTRA SPECIAL FEATURE!

Feliz cumpleaños a mí. Feliz cumpleaños a mí. Feliz cumpleaños estimado Jenn. ¡Feliz cumpleaños a mí!



(The cake was actually from my 30th birthday three years ago. Today we'll just ignore the zero in the middle of the threes...)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Today's was another great reading...

Brothers and sisters: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 8:18-23

And the gospel? I'm still absorbing it. At the beginning of mass I asked that my ears be opened to hear what I am meant to hear... and what did I hear? This:

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.” Matthew 13:1-9

That's a lot to absorb. Excuse me while I go reflect for a while. Have a wonderful Sunday, all.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

So, how are things going with the adoption?

I certainly haven't posted anything lately that relates to the adoption (unless, of course, it's attached by a long and tenuous thread...) so I thought I would bring you up to date on that. It's pretty simple, really. We are still waiting for the homestudy to be completed by our Social Worker. We have a pretty lengthy list of dossier items that we still need. And we are still praying like crazy that it all comes together.

I'm going back to the bedroom right now to grab my adoption files to try to create a plan so we can get another check mark this week. I NEED another checkmark; it feels like we are getting stagnant and not progressing and I don't want to start getting negative...





"Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength..." Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, July 3, 2008

In the interest of internet safety for all...

As most of you know, and to which many of you can relate, I am quite the blog addict. I can't (make that I won't) even tell you how many blogs are programmed into my reader, where they are conveniently compiled into one place for me to read until my eyes cross. Sometimes there are recurrent themes and the one I have come across lately is watermarking photos. Apparently there are nasty, deceitful people out there who steal other peoples photos and either pass them off as their own or use them for - ahem - let's just say not-so-nice purposes.

Me, I usually search for royalty free stock photos or use non-personal photos (because my honey has voiced a concern over the wisdom of plastering our kids' faces for all the 'net to see) but I know a lot of my yahoo sistas do have lots of beautiful pictures of their GORGEOUS kids on their blogs. From what I read, some people have been misrepresenting themselves on the message boards of support groups. Yahoo sistas, our groups and prayer chat are pretty heavily moderated and I don't think we have a problem there; however, we all do have public blogs broadcast through the blogosphere. I would hate to see any of you taken advantage of. So maybe this is something we should all consider?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

If only the paperchase progressed this quickly...






(Again, had I been able to find a decent Before shot of the kitchen, this would really wow ya! Still, I'm very pleased with the progress our kitchen is making and want to show it off. Now back to that dossier to do list...)