Actually it's from Ohio to Ukraine, back to Ohio, then to China

Monday, January 7, 2013

the daily grind

Oh yeah - I'm back to being a workin' outside the home gal. So far, so good. 

I was so nervous about going back to work after staying home for a few months, but it is going well with many thanks due to Damon. He's been really helping out around the house & getting dinner started while I pick up Wes on my way home. 

Keeping Wes caught up with reading will prove to be a little more difficult though. When I was home we worked for about 90 minutes on letter writing, reading, numbers, etc., but now that just isn't possible. By the time I get home, I have to work on dinner, then there is only about an hour before Wes goes to bed (kid needs his sleep). I hate to take up every spare minute of free time at the table working though. Any ideas on how to fit the learning in when we are all tired & would much rather hang out or watch tv?

And I'll be honest - I am not dying to drill him with schoolwork stuff after working all day...I would much rather be doing what Katie is doing. 

Sleeping all afternoon on a heated throw blanket - living the life :) 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas 2012 with the Wes-meister

When you are five years old, is there anything better than Christmas? I don't think so!

Monday, December 31, 2012

We are not going to Moldova...probably ever

So I guess the title of this post is not what you were expecting to read (or maybe it was, I probably have never met you & don't know you that well)...we are no longer in the Moldova adoption program, but never fear - we are still adopting! 

After MUCH prayer and thought, we have decided to pursue a China Waiting Child (special needs) adoption. We have been in the process for Moldova for almost three years, and I honestly feel like we are no closer to our daughter now than we were a year or even two years ago. I've felt that way for a while (like a long while), but I couldn't admit it to myself, let alone anyone else. I felt like I was giving up our dream of adopting, but that wasn't it at all. 

To go back in the day with you for a second, in 2006 when Damon and I were first looking at countries for our first adoption, I was 27 years old. I desperately wanted to adopt from China, but to adopt from there, you have to be 30 years old. Now the anxious person I am wasn't going to wait three years to even register a dossier, then begin the lifetime wait for a child. Good thing too because with the insanely long wait for China, we still wouldn't have a child. No joke. And because 2006 was a while ago, I am now old enough to adopt from China. Getting older does have some advantages. 

Special needs adoption, again? It's funny how the longer an adoption takes, the more God softens your heart for children with special needs - at least He has with us. After dealing with Wesley's SIGNIFICANT medical issues, we pretty much said we wanted a "perfect" child this time around. I wasn't kidding either. And just like with Wesley, the longer the adoption took, the more my heart and mind got in line with God's. What do you know? Maybe we're getting to the reason why this adoption is taking so long...

It's been a very emotional journey so far and I am sure the emotional roller coaster isn't over yet, but for the first time in a long time, I feel hopeful. And hope is a necessary part of the adoption process - believe me! 

Thank you so much for your prayers, even though I've been sorta absent in the blogging world. I intend to do a little recap for you of 2012 because I really have taken some great photos of Wesley this year. That kid is getting so big! 

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Who is another year older? Staci is!

It is officially my 34th birthday. Wow. If you ask me tomorrow though, I'll have to calculate in my head how old I am. Anybody else do that? I completely forget my age, but that probably has more to do with the fact that in my head I am 23. I don't need time to calculate that number though!

I honestly didn't feel any older until I used a very powerful hand dryer in a restroom today and saw my loose hand skin rippling in the wind. I'm not sure how that ended up being such a poignant moment, but it's just a glimpse into the craziness that is my head. Be thankful you're on the outside!

{I have a few photos to show you, but I am working off less than 4 hours sleep last night & I cannot figure it out tonight - I need some beauty sleep} 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

decisions - the good, the bad & the ugly

If you are anything like me, making decisions isn't your strong suit. Especially if it's one of those big ol' life-changing ones like marriage, children, where to live, your job. So often I struggle with doubt, even when God has shown me His way and I have followed it.

What I am getting to is my decision to leave my employer. It's been prayed about and discussed between Damon and me for at least 18 months now- you know back when we thought the adoption would happen "any day now," but I digress...

The situation has progressively gotten worse until it was at the point that I would get sick every morning before work from dread. You don't have to be a psychologist to know the toll that will take on a person, and subsequently a family. I had turned into a person that even I didn't like to be around. And you know it's bad when you cannot stand to be around yourself! I was constantly mad. I did a lot of yelling. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't stop thinking about work and the way people were acting there. All around unpleasant person. 

In early June the decision was made for me to quit but no one knew. Due to my contract, I had to give a two month's notice, so in early August I put in my notice. You may be wondering why it's September and I'm done working, but I'm getting there. My Grandma passed away, so I was off work for almost a week. It was in that time that I realized what a different person I was when not worrying about work. Damon and I talked and decided that I needed to just use my accumulated vacation time to finish out my two months, and I did just that.

So Friday, September 14th was my last day in the office, but I did have to go in today to help with payroll, then again next week for a meeting. I was only in the office for about 4.5 hours today, and I left the person I used to be. I realized as I was driving home that I was gripping the steering wheel so tight I was leaving nail marks in my palm, my teeth were clenched together, and I was replaying the day in my head with my blood pressure continually escalating.

I catch myself and started to pray about the anger and resentment inside of me, and I realized that me being able to leave that job is such a blessing in my life. I have time to focus on me, my family and my home. This last week I've been a lot closer to the person I want to be and that is always a good thing.

Now if the stinkin' adoption would move along, I'd really be great ;)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Adoption news

I know I promised to update you on the adoption news like two weeks ago, but it's been crazy around this place! I am now staying at home and LOVING it (a girl could used to this). I honestly don't know how I ever had time to work. My closets are clean, I'm selling stuff on eBay that has been sitting around our house for years, I'm cooking dinner, I'm ironing Damon's work shirts, and I'm getting a room ready for that little girl. 

So getting around to the real reason you are reading this post...our agency called a couple weeks ago to tell us that we needed to update our dossier. We updated a few documents in April, but we needed to update all the rest. While we were at it, we updated our home study to reflect the fact that I am no longer working outside the home. Of course updating everything was crazy-difficult due to the  Secretary of State's office making me go back to several counties in southern Ohio to have the elected official sign our certified copies. Don't get me started...

Anyway, we were told that once we update our dossier, we are eligible to receive a referral. Now if this actually happens, then this is BIG news!! Obviously this isn't our first rodeo though, so we are overly cautious. When I first got off the phone, I was dancing around super excited, but then reality set in. We get excited to be disappointed, wait a few months then get excited to be disappointed yet again, wait a few more months and repeat the whole process. 

Obviously we are so ready to get our daughter home, so we will stay on this roller coaster and continue praying that her referral comes soon. I'm getting tired of waiting!! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

becoming a stay-at-home mom

I'm not going to to lie to you, I never thought I would have a blog post about staying at home. I have much respect for women who can stay home full-time with their children (even more for homeschoolers), but it hasn't been for me...until now.

I have put in my resignation from my job and starting in just a few weeks, I'll be here to put Wesley on the bus and be here when he comes home. The change has been a long time coming, and I think it is going to be beneficial for our family. The stress and strain from my work had really begun to affect our home life, and that isn't what Damon or I want for ourselves or our family.

The pay I made was decent, but we made the choice that even though we do not have all the money saved for our adoption, we know God will provide for us. Even though it goes against our Dave Ramsey philosophy, we are willing to take out debt to get our daughter home. I figure if there is any "good debt," it has to be adoption debt. At least that's what I would tell Dave if we ever talked about it.

I will begin a new position in early January, but for now I am going to enjoy the holidays and my family!

Check back this week because I am going to let you know our recent adoption-related news, and it seems to be good :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Ladies and gentleman, we have a kindergartener

Wesley has officially started kindergarten - and he loves it! I have never known a child so excited to meet new people and experience new things. I wish I was more like that.
The pictures where Wes is wearing a teal shirt are the first "official" day of school. Our district phases in the kindergarten kids over three days.

The navy shirt photos are the first day with all the kids and his first bus ride, which is really the most exciting part when you're five. All his grandparents were at the house to see him off - such a blessing to have family that lives close!

Do not be alarmed by the large number of pictures I'm uploading. I never get this many good pictures, so I'm going to to post them all because it's my blog & I can do that :)  

the three of us
the "serious" face

the "excited" face

the "I am pretending to be a teenager" face

I love this picture!!

and this one as well

Wes with Doda and Pappaw

Wes with Grandma

my big boy getting on the bus

Wes will dance you out of here.

Friday, August 24, 2012

I'm an emotional girl, I can't help myself

Most of you win't get the reference to a Teri Clark song there in the title, but that's okay, it made me smile.

This week has been an emotional one for our family. Wesley starts kindergarten today (in 5 hours actually) and my Grandmother (my Dad's Mom) passed away. Grandma moved back to Ohio from Florida just three weeks before she passed away from lung cancer.

Last night was her memorial service, and I enjoyed getting to spend more time with my whole family, which it seems we don't do often enough. My Mom asked if I wanted to speak during the service, but I declined because I wasn't sure what to say and I didn't want to stand up & just cry the whole time with people wondering what I was saying (you know you've seen those people). I am so proud of my brother Scott though who read a beautiful poem.

At 3:30am, I woke up with the words I wanted to say. Since it's too late to speak at her service and I may have been too scared, I'm speaking them here. Here goes...

My Grandma & Grandpa would have been celebrating their 62nd wedding anniversary on earth the day she passed away. I know that she made the choice to go when she did so they could celebrate their first anniversary in heaven together. Sure my Grandparents argued - I can still hear my Grandpa saying "Patty" in a resigned tone and my Grandma following up with "Bobby" in a more staccato, quick tone, but more than anything, you knew they loved each other. Not a fleeting "emotional" love, but a true, abiding love that ran away to Richmond, Indiana and got married despite their parent's objections that they were too young. In additional to my parent's marriage, my Grandparents are a wonderful example to me of what it means to love unconditionally. That is the one thing that will stay with me and I hope to pass on to my children.

And hopefully now I can get back to sleep. If not, it's gonna be a LONG day! I'll post kindergarten pictures soon & update you on the adoption.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Moldova adoption movement? Could be soon...

So we received an email today from our agency with what may be good news in terms of bringing home baby sister by autumn (my self-appointed goal, by the way with little to no basis in reality). The gist of the email is that they don't expect any significant movement on us until April or May. I consider this good news because it means something is likely to happen after that. We are one of the first in line to receive a referral once things are all straightened out!! 

So I guess that means it's time to start getting her room ready and stop using it as a catch-all for everything...yeah, gonna be a lot of work. 

You know what though? We picked up the most awesome armoire the other night to repaint and put in her room. Here are two photos: 

And the kicker...we got it out of the neighbor's trash. Obviously Damon wasn't keen on being seen pulling something out of the neighbor's trash, but this was SO WORTH IT!! This armoire is solid wood and weighs at least two hundred pounds! Painted up this will be a great piece for baby sister's room. Along with the headboard and footboard that also need painted for the room. Yep, lots to do. 

Please keep up your prayers for us - we need them!! 

Thank you so much for taking the time to check in on us!  

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy 5th birthday, Wesley

Wesley turned 5 today! 

We had a little swimming party at the YMCA and a family party before that. Talk about a long day!! Mom & Dad are exhausted, but so is Wes, so it works out. I haven't uploaded all our pictures yet, but I will soon. {Now I know I always say that, but I'm having my tonsils out in two weeks, so I'm serious when I say I'll have some free time. How I'll feel is another story...} 

Please pray for Wes as he's been having a difficult time at school, which so far ranks as the understatement of the year. We're working hard to get answers and find out solutions that work for all parties involved. Please pray for me as work has been rough {another understatement}, and please pray for Damon as he's been working very hard to eat better and has been losing weight like a fiend. And of course the ol' stand-by prayer - for our daughter in Moldova. We haven't given up hope that this year is our year to bring her home!! 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry CHRISTmas

Merry CHRISTmas from our family to yours

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

9 lessons I learned while not blogging the last three months

So I've obviously been MIA in the blogging world. To catch you up to speed in the DSW (Damon Staci Wesley) household, here's what I've learned in the last three months. 

Lesson #1
While I always figured Wesley would break a bone, I never knew it would happen in the middle of the night when he woke up to go to the bathroom. But it did.
We went to one hospital, but they couldn't treat him because he was a child, so he (and me by default) got to take an ambulance ride to a children's hospital. Wes was in a lot of pain, but not too much that he couldn't at least enjoy the ambulance ride a little bit.

He healed amazingly quick - just three weeks!  

I love this picture of my brave little guy :)

Lesson #2
My parent's rock. Now this "technically" isn't a lesson I learned because I've always known how great they are (except for when I forgot in my teenage years), but for our adoption benefit garage sale, they worked with me and Damon in our garage in humid, upper-ninety degree heat for three days straight! My mother-in-law was a big help as well.

Lesson #3
There is nothing more adorable than a boy and his dog.

Lesson #4
Wesley loves his Grandma's convertible.

Lesson #5
Dogs can get hives (seriously), but Benadryl and a super-expensive trip to the emergency vet takes care of it right quick.

Lesson #6
Being 33 is the same as being 32.

Lesson #7
Halloween and trick-or-treating is crazy-exciting even for a kid that doesn't like candy. {Wes was a spooky ghost}

Lesson #8
Go Bengals!! {I know this isn't a lesson, but I just wanted to post the picture}

Lesson #9
Don't go so long between blog posts. I need to remember that it's okay to just type a few lines.

So what have you been up to these last few months?

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