Friday, July 29, 2011

Can you guess?

Posted by Angie at 10:56 AM 7 comments
What do the following have in common?

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 Are you following the way things bounce around in my head?
Have you figured it out?
No?
Well...

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Future Papa and I are going on a road trip!
Our very own "babymoon."
How do you afford a road trip when you are saving for an adoption, you ask?
Well...

1.  When you already have to drive from Point A to Point B, you say, hey, why not just take a little extra time to do it?!

2.  You enjoy the great outdoors and see if you can discover what is so great about it.  Hello campsites.  Hello bugs.  Have you heard of my bug warrior skills?  Yeah, I thought so.  So you just stay over there...

3.  You take the money you would have spent on groceries and buy "road trip" groceries...otherwise known as food-that-you-can-either-pack-in-a-cooler-or-keep-at-room-temperature-and-that-can-be-eaten-straight-from-the-package-or-cooked-over-a-campfire

It's gonna be an adventure, y'all!  

And hubby, if you are reading this, I fully intend to (try) to mimic most of the pictures above, but with us as subjects.  You know you love your crazy wife.  Get ready to "cheese!"

I'll be taking the week off blogging...but if you check back here on Monday there might be something that automatically posts.  Something that I may have promised you here.  But don't be fooled, it's not me posting...it's this crazy computer magic timer...

Side note- how cute is this?!
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But enough about me.  Did you go on any fun vacations this summer?  How about babymoons?  Are you planning one?  Or are you waiting to see how our camping disaster adventure goes to decide if you want to try it?  Did I ever tell you about the time my husband and I worked as adventure camp counselors and lived outdoors for two months in New Mexico?  No?  Well, then you have even more to look forward to hearing about when I get back...

Much love,
Future Mama

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan!

Posted by Angie at 8:32 AM 8 comments
Picture this:

Future Papa and I sitting on the couch.  
Flipping through Instant Watch Net*flix options.  
Nothing jumping out.

Future Papa starts flipping through the family category.  
We see this cute face.

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That looks interesting.

We read about it.

If Dora and Diego popularized bilingualism, Kai-lan will weave together being bilingual and bicultural. Ni Hao, Kai-lan reinforces the idea that being bicultural and bilingual is being American.

The show will familiarize the viewing audience with elements of Chinese and Chinese American cultures to promote multicultural understanding in the next generation and goes beyond featuring culture as only ethnic food and festivals. Instead, it celebrates growing up in an intergenerational family, having friends from diverse backgrounds, and habits of the heart that are Chinese American.

We watch the first episode.
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I LOVE IT!
And off I go into dreamland.
Thinking about watching this with our future Taiwanese son or daughter.
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Also, Ni Hao, Kai Lan has a great website!  
Full of activities and recipes
to make with little ones.
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And so,
in the quiet moments of my day,
and sometimes even in the not so quiet ones,
I dream on about the future.
Much love,
Future Mama

PSST!  Many of you have asked when we are going to have another auction...we are hoping to do one this fall :-)  But until then, check out this adopting mama, who is having an action for her Korean adoption!

Monday, July 25, 2011

A funny list

Posted by Angie at 8:45 AM 1 comments
First, a humongous thanks to all who participated in the "I wish I knew" post last week!  (Yep, I typed out the whole word, humongous, instead of huge.  I also made it bigger.  That is just how awesome you are.)  I know all the future mamas enjoyed reading your advice, myself included!

Now for the funny list.  Check out this hilarious list of dates.  I know it is annoyingly small, so click it and then click it again and it should get big enough so you can actually read it!
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The next time I find myself circling through adopting blogs, whining about waiting, or putting off work, I just may pull up this list again and start planning a date for my husband.  Let the hilarity begin!

Much love,
Future Mama

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What I wish I knew

Posted by Angie at 12:36 PM 13 comments
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For this post, I want to try something a little more interactive than usual.

The prompt is simple:  Mothers, what is something you wish you knew before you became a mama?  What words of encouragement or advice would you give to your pregnant or pre-adoption self?

Complete the sentence:

I wish I had known that__________________.

As new comments (or e-mails, if you'd rather) come in, I will add them below.  Can't wait to see what we come up with!  I'll start with a few from some friends of mine...

You will love your baby more than you ever loved that pre-baby body.  Stretch marks, scars and post-baby curves are worth it.

Babies change marriages drastically, affecting your sex drive, motivation, energy, and need for affection. I wish I'd known how hard it can sometimes be to balance baby and Hubby. She's my world and he knows it. I wish I was better at this balancing act.

They grow up quicker than you think.  Enjoy them :-)

It's OK to take time for yourself. It doesn't make you a bad/irresponsible/neglectf​ul/unaffectionate/etc mother. It just makes you human. 
 
What would you add?

I wish I had known that I should have been focusing just as much on my attachment toward my son as I had been on his attachment toward me.  I had always thought that there is no way I would have to deal with that even when other adoptive mommies talked about it.  I only dealt with it for about 9 days, but it was a hard 9 days!  Some mommies deal with it for months!

Take the time to just sit and watch your children....just looking at them learning and changing and being so darn cute!  Before you know it they are 5, 6, 7, 11 years older and it feels like it was just yesterday that they were holding our their chubby little hands out for you to pick up and cuddle them! You are going to be an awesome Mama! Cannot wait to see what your little bundle looks like!

I wish I had known that my kids relationship with me would mirror my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I realize their sinfulness magnifies my own sinfulness in how I walk with God. Yet at the same time I realized that as dependent on me as they are, I am just as dependent on God for my needs.  Pretty humbling...and only drew me closer to God.   And I also wish I had known that moms really do wipe their kids snot on their clothes if a tissue isn't handy, that I would use my saliva to clean their faces, and that if they were going to vomit I would catch it in my hands.  On second thought, maybe it is good I didn't know that stuff. ;)

I wish that I knew how slow some parts go and how fast other parts go. That first year was excruciatingly painfully slow. Yes he was cute, and yes he was small but all of those nights just sitting in the recliner just wishing and hoping he would just sleep. And then there were sometimes that I just wished he would get bigger and do more. Then he turned a year old, and now he's two. Where did it all go? He's not a baby anymore. It seems like it's going by so much faster. So enjoy the moments to their fullest, the good and the bad. 

I wish I had known...just how much he was going to watch ME.  The example I hope to set he sees...and the actions I wish he didn't...he does.  When I am on the computer just a little too much, or the phone, or the tv.  When I spend time with him, or my husband, or with Jesus.  He sees it all.  I only hope that the good outweighs the bad! 

Much love,
Future Mama

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

An Easy Dinner

Posted by Angie at 8:34 AM 2 comments
 

The Dinner:
The soup pictured above is one of my favorite new dinners.  I can get it for under $2.00, it cooks in the microwave in under 5 minutes, and it reminds me of our future child.  And it is YUMMY!  You should be able to find it in the ethnic foods aisle of your grocery store (we get it at Kro*ger).  For those of you trying to save money, or just needing an easy meal, I totally recommend it!
Enjoy!
Much love,
Future Mama

P.S.  Thank you all for the sweet comments on my tree art.  Y'all made me blush over and over again!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tree "Masterpieces" (a nursery update)

Posted by Angie at 8:17 AM 22 comments
To introduce this next instillation in my "nursery series,"
I am going to tell y'all a little story...

Our tale begins in the wintry month of December, Christmastime last year.  We arrived home late and began unpacking after being in the car for hours, visiting family.  As we unpacked, we discussed the possibility of Future Papa's brother coming to spend a couple nights with us later in the week.

Future Mama: "If he comes, I want to get those pictures hung in the guest room before he gets here."
Future Papa: "What pictures?"

Wrong answer.  Just before we left on the trip, I had spent weeks planning and two full days making pictures to hang over the bed in our guest room.  And let me just say, as a rule, I am not a crafty, artistic person, so these were a huge achievement for me.

Future Mama: "Really?  What pictures"
Future Papa: (pausing, knowing that he answered wrong...but unable to come up with anything better after such a long day) "Uhh...what pictures?"
Future Mama: "The trees I spent daaaays making before we left.  The project I have been talking about for weeks?!"


Future Papa, not missing a beat, replied in a legitimately sincere tone "Oh, those pictures.  I call those masterpieces."  And with that he went back to pulling his shirts out of the suitcase.

What could I do but laugh in this situation?  Here we were, after a lovely but exhausting trip, hours in the car, trying to get the suitcase put up, in a situation that could have absolutely exploded.  But with a simple joking yet loving comment, Future Papa saved the day from my bad attitude.  Ha!

(I hope that our future little one gets this talent from him!  Oh what a gift it is.)

And that is my roundabout way of showing you the bedspread and trees that will be co-existing in the little bambino's nursery.

What do you think of those tree "masterpieces"?  Because, while they took me a bit of time to make, if I can do it, anyone can!  All you need is a canvas, modge podge glue, and some scrapbook paper...

Much Love,
Future Mama

Psst....here's part 1 in the nursery series.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Another His Hands family created!

Posted by Angie at 9:03 AM 9 comments
Two in one month!  This was the first, and now here is the second...
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I'm giddy.  Full of smiles.  So excited for them and for us.
Isn't that just the sweetest picture?!

And of course, this makes me think of our timeline.  The unpredictable waiting list.  Our application was unofficially approved on April 20th and officially became a His Hands family on May 4th.

His Hands (our orphanage) only works with 20 families at a time.  However, their list does not work like a traditional list in which each family moves up slot by slot.  They pray about each child and each adoptive family for the best match.  They have a preference for childless couples (us!) and infertile couples (not us!).

And then of course, there is a new home to complicate things.  A new home (a video of it here, if you are interested) that has the capacity to hold 20 babies.  What number are we again?  Oh yeah, at least 2 less than 20. 

Don't get too excited (more of a note to me than you).  The chances of me opening my e-mail to a referral tomorrow are slim to none.  We haven't completed a home study yet.  And we won't, until His Hands tells us to (home studies are only good for one year, so they tell us when to start one, when were are likely a year out from the referral/adoption, to save us a costly update).  We have not started a home study yet.  And while every bone in my body aches to e-mail them (yet again) to ask if now is the time to start one, I won't.  Because I just e-mailed them a couple of days ago ;-)

God's timing will be perfect.  God's timing will be perfect.  My constant prayer.

Much love,
Future Mama

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Taipei: "A Heaven for Sugar Lovers"

Posted by Angie at 8:04 AM 7 comments
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I recently stumbled across this article, which reads:

If you have a sweet tooth or can’t live without dessert after meals, Taipei is the place for you. This city is loaded with lots of sweeeeeet stuff: ice cream, shaved ice, candies, too-beautiful-to-eat jello, gelatin desserts, pastries, cakes, and endless varieties of sweet treats. Walking along the bustling streets in Taipei, wandering around the labyrinth small alleys, or maneuvering through the crowded Shilin night market, you are bound to run into these hard-to-resist tidbits. Taipei is, put simply, a heaven for sugar lovers!!

Taipei is the capital of Taiwan and we will likely be flying in and out of the international airport there.  What a sweet way to celebrate our arrival to our child's birth country, no?! ;-)

Much love,
Future Mama

Monday, July 11, 2011

Spoil your husband: Part II

Posted by Angie at 7:47 AM 0 comments
So, I am running a bit behind you all in my 4th of July weekend posts!  But with tear-worthy referral stories like this one and this one, plus my adventures meeting Brooke, can you blame me?!  Anyhoo (has that word gone out of style?  was it ever in style?), Future Papa came up to see me for the 4th of July weekend.  Yes, I am still on that whirlwind of a trip for work.  No, I have not had to whip out my bug warrior skills again.  And yes, I am happy to tuck those skills away for awhile.

To reward Future Papa for the 9+ hour drive, I wanted to make him a little something special.  The appliances available to me?  An ancient microwave.
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Which meant that Future Papa's favorite dessert, featured in Spoil your husband: Part 1, was not an option.  And that I would need to get creative.

So off to itty bitty grocery store I went to purchase three ingredients:
1. store brand milk chocolate chips
2. store brand oreo cookies
3. store brand sprinkles 

Do you see where this is going?
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HA!  
I wish.  
Aren't those beautiful?  

You may have seen those before...they are pinned to my pintrest board in the Parties and Gifts section (side note:  Future Mama is IN LOVE, people.  In love with pintrest.  Oh my beautiful little boards...so much inspiration, so little time).  

Enough dreaming.  Here is what I made!  Not as pretty, but I think mine tasted almost as good...

In case it isn't completely self-evident, here is what I did:
1. Melt chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl.
2.  Dip cookies in melted chocolate.
3. Sprinkle the sprinkles.
4.  Put on a cookie sheet that has been covered in wax paper.  Or, if you are cooking frontier-style like me and don't have a cookie sheet, straight onto wax paper on the fridge shelf.  Just make sure they end up in the fridge.

They were good.  
So mouth-watering, that we ate all of them in one weekend.  
So irresistible, that I went back to the store last night to buy the ingredients again, only to discover that itty bitty grocery store was out of chocolate chips.

I know.

Tragedy.

Right up there with the orphan crisis.

But never fear, dear readers...I bought a bag of sour cream and onion chips and a box of cookies and cream ice cream sandwiches to eat for dinner instead.  Wracked with guilt with my poor decision later in the evening, one of my best friends comforted me.   "Future Mama, you're getting dairy, carbs, and trace amounts of vegetables.  That has to count for something." 

Ha.

Let's all pray that I can keep up with my summer jogging routine.

Much love,
Future Mama

P.S.  Have you seen this great article on raising funds for adoption over at Love Makes a Family?  If not, there are some really great tips!

Friday, July 8, 2011

They have Fall-en in love

Posted by Angie at 8:02 AM 5 comments
Hi fabulous reader!
Happy Friday.
You look just beautiful today!
How's the flattery working?
Because today I have a special family I want to highlight:

They have fall-en in love.

With a darling little boy born in fall.

Their tree needs 136 more prints.

To help bring him home.

To have a tree exploding with red and orange leaves.


Read their full story here.

 Add them to your prayers.

If you have some spare change, add it to their fundraising.

Because this is their son, waiting to come home!

 

What a smile.
Melt my heart!
{You need to imagine me saying that with a southern twang}
All together..."melt my heart!"
Goodness me, I am in too goofy of a mood to be writing a post.
Better sign off before I say anything too silly.
Happy weekend all!

Much love,
Future Mama

The tree above is a Leaves of Love tree.
If you want to read what other people are saying about Leaves of Love, click here.
If you are interested in writing a feature blog post about Leaves of Love, e-mail me!
If you want to be a part of OUR Leaves of Love Tree, click here!
And if you have no idea what a Leaves of Love tree is, you can click here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A referral story

Posted by Angie at 10:51 AM 5 comments
His Hands, the orphanage we are adopting from, has a very active Facebook wall.
This is a blessing for future mamas like me who love updates.  

This morning, I noticed a new picture had been posted to the wall.

Another baby reunited with her forever family.
Words fail.

Praise God for another forever family!
And praise God that we are another step closer to the creation of our own little family.

One day, we will be the ones standing in that train station.
Standing there with huge smiles.
Standing there with tears in our eyes.
And we will be handed a child.
The perfect child for us.
A miracle from God.
Much love,
Future Mama

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I met her!

Posted by Angie at 8:01 AM 2 comments
It felt like a blind date.

What do I wear?

Will we talk about adoption the whole time?

Or should we talk about other things?

How many embarrassing things could I possibly say over the course of one dinner?

Wait, don't answer that.

If you've been reading Expecting a Blessing for any length of time, it's probably no secret that I made a bloggy friend in Brooke from Taking the Road Less Traveled.  If you forgot how God crossed our paths, you can read that story here.

Friday night, with our husbands along as backup, we met face to face for the first time.  I felt the butterflies when I walked in the restaurant.  When I started my blog, I never imagined I would have dinner with someone I met on the internet.  Only crazy people do that, right?!  Ha.  Add me to that list.

I recognized her right away (whew).  We sat down in a booth.  I put the cake I brought for her birthday in the center of the table.
YUM!
We started talking. 

And it went great!  Or, at least, I think it did!  We didn't stop talking for over two hours.  We chatted about everything from our weddings to our jobs to our churches.  We dreamed about our future kiddos and swapped timeline hopes.  We ate delicious Thai food.  We laughed.  And laughed.  And laughed.

Brooke and her husband
We swapped our July Friends For Adoption encouragement gifts.  
Brooke and her gift
 But you will have to wait until my post on August 1st to see what I got her!
Here we are full of encouragement...and cake!
How blessed I am to have an adoption friend like her to share this journey with.  It was so nice to talk to someone who knows exactly what we are going through.  For those of you in need of encouragement, I encourage you to think about Friends for Adoption.  Meeting your Friend in person is certainly not a requirement.  But, you might be surprised, like I was, to see what friendship can bring.

Much love,
Future Mama
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