Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Snow Days!

Finally a snow day!!! I had given up on getting a snow day this year, but thankfully we awoke this morning to a little snow and icy patches on the roads. Just enough to cause a mess cancel school! I have major scrapbooking that I need to do today and so that is my goal. My poor nephew is almost 7 months old and has not even one scrapbook page done. When Madison was born, that was a gift I gave for her baby shower that I would scrapbook her first year. I diligently scrapbooked and kept up with each event. When Baby Eddie came along in August I gave him the same gift...a scrapbook for his first year. It's just since he came along on August 3rd it was the beginning of the school year and I haven't really had a chance to start his. (Madison was born on March 3 and so I had all summer to gather her things together and begin her books). Well, you know it's always more difficult with the second child. Enough excuses...I'm off to my dining room table to scrapbook for the day!


Monday, February 25, 2008

12 Months and Counting...

Today, Februay 25, 2008 marks the 12 month or 1 year anniversary of my Log In Date (the date China officially received my paperwork). Last year this time I thought I'd be much closer than I actually am at this point. At times the situation in China with wait times is scary and frightening. I cling to the hope that China has never in the past not granted children to those who were logged in or 'in line' with the CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs). So with patience and prayers I believe I will one day meet my daughter.

You Know You Are an Adoptive Parent or Should be When......
1. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to kiss them goodnight has made you lose sleep.

2. You realize DNA has nothing to do with love and family.

3. You can't watch Adoption Stories on TLC without sobbing.

4. The fact that, if 7% of Christians adopted 1 child there would be no orphans in the world, is convicting to you.

5. You spend free time surfing blogs about families who have experienced the blessing of adoption.

6. It drives you crazy when people ask you about adopted child's "real" parents.

7. You have ever been "pregnant" with your adoptive child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth.(2 years!)

8. You had no idea how you would afford to adopt but stepped out in faith anyway, knowing where God calls you He will provide.

9. You have ever taken an airplane ride half-way around the world with a child you just met.

10. You believe God's heart is for adoption.

11. You realize that welcoming a child into your heart and family is one of the most important legacies you could ever leave on this earth.

12. You know what the word "Dossier" means, and you can actually pronounce it!

13. You have welcomed a social worker into the most private parts of your life.

14. You shudder when people say your child is so lucky that you adopted them, knowing full well you are the blessed one to have him or her in your life.

Author Unknown(copied from a blog that copied it from another blog that copied it from another blog.....)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Week One

I've finished the first week of the John 3:16 study. Unfortunately I have missed attending church the last two Sundays because of illness. Last week I had allergy/sinus congestion and this week I was struck with a stomach bug. Terrible!! But, I was able to listen the the Pastor's message online thanks to technology! Anyway, the one question that struck me most this weeek was on day four. What do you think is the most unlovable thing about this world? Of course immediately the first thing to come to our minds is usually rape, murder, drugs, lying, cheating, ...however as I thought deeper I began to see what I really think is the most unlovable thing about this world is Complacent Christians! Why? Because we know better and like children we continue to live our life as if we don't even know the greatest gift of all. I'm totally pointing my finger at myself here. But, if I know the greatest thing about this life (John 3:16), then why am I not shouting it from the rooftops? What God expects of me is far more than what I obediently do. I must confess that and ask for forgiveness daily. I'm so thankful salvation is based on a foundation of GRACE and not works. Because not one of us would measure up if it was based on our efforts. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Crime Stoppers

OK, yes this was the scene outside of my third grade classroom around 9:30 a.m. this morning! Interesting, huh? This is what went down...around 9:15 they announced we were under a "lock down" and so I locked my classroom door and went on with usual business. We have drills a few times a year and have had a couple 'real' potential problems. But, nothing really on campus like today. I noticed after a few minutes that I heard a helicopter circling our school and he kept getting closer and closer. I called another teacher's room and asked her if this was the 'real thing' and she said she thought so.
OK, my kids were diligently working on a reading assignment and I kept walking by the classroom windows looking at the helicopter. Then I see 3 young boys running around outside as if they are looking for a place to hide. They crawl under one of the portables you see in the picture. I totally freak out for a second! I mean, I'm seeing real criminals right outside my window! I call the secretary and tell her and she calls the police (who were already on campus or really close) they proceed to come around the the portable area and 2 of the guys come out. The police had very large gun aimed right at them. (I think at least one of the boys were armed too) The police were yelling at them "get down, get down" and my kids heard them. They were looking at me like, 'what's up?' Meanwhile the third boy is still hiding under a portable (the one on the side of the picture with the red door) and the police didn't see him for a moment. I call the secretary again and tell her where the third guy is. Finally they get him out too. They handcuffed them all and away they went.
You can read the whole story here.
Overall, it has been a very exciting day! My kids did very well with all of the commotion and we're all thankful that nobody was hurt in any way. Needless to say, I'm ready for the weekend!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Today is my 33rd Birthday! I usually try to take my birthday off and enjoy the day. However I have been off many days this year for different workshops and I just didn't feel like I should take off this time. I'm also trying to conserve all of my sick/personal days for my future trip to China. Tonight mom is taking me to my favorite restaraunt for dinner. I think I'm purchasing a very nice present for myself...I'm researching different digital cameras and will go test them out on Saturday. The shutter lag time on my digital camera is to long and it's only a 4 megapixel with a 3x zoom. The LCD screen is also too small. So I'm donating it to my classroom use in order to upgrade to a better camera. I've got a lot to learn between now and Saturday. I'm not that tech savvy, but I just want a camera that will quickly snap a picture without a lag time and also one that I can see the image clearly on the lcd screen. I have several trips planned this spring and summer and a good camera is a must! So happy birthday to me! This will be my birthday theme song for this year!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

John 3:16

Ok, now for a serious post. One of the main reasons I decided to start this blog was to be able and keep a journal of devotional thoughts, prayer requests/praises, and a general record of what God was doing in my life. Currently I am visiting a wonderful church with plans of joining very soon. One reason I am visiting there now is to attend their new study of Max Lucado's new Bible Study 3:16. And so I have diligently started my workbook with the hopes of actually finishing this study and not quitting after one week. I think I was much more diligent at these things in my teens and twenties.

This is definately the most popular, well known scripture in all of the Bible. However I am praying the Lord will show me new truths within this passage. I want to glean as much from him as he will share. This first day was about having hope, being hopeful. The tough questions I've dealt with are "What is one situation in which you could use some more hope?" (what I have to choose only one???) and "Do you face any situation in which you are resisting hope because of fear?" Now that is a real toughy! I don't like to get into psycho babble (like the Saturday Night Live skit Deep Thoughts with Jack Handy)...but I've been thinking of this some primarily in the area of Romantic Relationships. I have sort of lost hope of meeting my husband and it could be because of a fear of rejection. Every now and then I think there may be a glimmer of 'hope' like when I meet a married person and they say..."I didn't marry until I was 38 or 45 or ___". They are trying to give me hope and for a moment I receive it.

However, recently when I have had the 'promise' of a date (these are rare times!), whether it is someone setting us up or an internet dating site, I have this overwhelming fear of him rejecting me (mainly because of my issues with my weight). It's convoluted really, because when I'm in my right mind I think I have everything going for me, I'm successful and try to live my life according to God's plan so why would anyone reject me? But then, after so many men on eharmony 'close communication' with you when you haven't even communicated you know they are doing it soley based on the picture of me they are looking at. So in my opinion it is all rejection based on my weight.

Since I describe myself as 'happily single' in my profile I should make a disclaimer that most of the time I am, it's only when I'm asked these serious life affirming questions that I realize the fragile aspects of my character! What I need more hope for in my life is the hope that God does have Mr. Wonderful out there for me, the hope that my adoption will actually happen before I turn 40, the hope that I could ever lose weight and enjoy excercising, the hope that one day all of my debt will be paid off, and ultimately the hope that with God all of this is possible!

I once read or heard someone say that our lives would forever be changed if we prayed expectantly...praying with the expectation that God hears us and will answer our prayers. However, way too often I leave God in a box and compartmentalize my life. I take control of most of it and only invite him in when it's convenient for me. What a tremendous amount of blessings I must miss by doing that!

Max says "amid the day to day we don't even acknowledge the deadness where hope used to live". I see how that is true. And so I'm asking God to restore my hope for things in my life. NOT because if I have hope he will magically send me Prince Charming, but because I should BELIEVE and have HOPE that he knows what his plans are for my life. John 3:16 starts with God and ends with life. That gives me hope!

Baby Eddie

Baby Eddie is the sweetest baby in the world! I know, Madison was too. But he's sweet in a different way. He's so bashful. When you talk to him he just smiles and ducks his head down. He is a very happy baby. Lately he has become a jumper! He loves to jump around on your lap when you are holding him or jump on the Johnny Jumper thing that hooks onto the door frame.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Adoption Timeline

Adoption Timeline
(I’ve kept the official payments highlighted in pink for those who are interested in the cost of international adoption)

2003 Single friend adopted a daughter from Russia, started looking into international adoption
2004 Started getting Finances in order, through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University
2/21/05 30th Birthday, Significant “Soul Searching”
Fall 2005 Felt definite “tug” into motherhood, ready to have a family, realized I could be a single mom if that is what God had planned for my life.
12/3/05 Attended AWAA meeting in Chattanooga by myself
12/13/05 Attended another agency meeting with mom
1/1/06 Officially decided on AWAA, my friend Candace is adopting with them also!
2/1/06 Completed Tax Return and had enough money being refunded to pay off car and pay for online application! God is good!!!
2/11/06 Completed online application!!!!! ($250)
2/16/06 Mailed in Statement of Sexual Orientation and Acknowledgement of Policies and Procedures to AWAA.
2/22/06 Received Adoption Approval Letter and was placed on the Singles Waiting List!!!!
3/3/06 My niece, Madison was born! I love her as my own daughter and can’t wait for her and Molly to meet!
3/19/06 Began decorating nursery for Molly and Maddie to share
5/7/06 “Announced” that I’m adopting for the first time to my Sunday School Class! It’s so good to share happy news with people. It’s been hard containing my news since December
5/22/06 Still waiting to be released from the singles waiting list. It’s really hard to wait when you want to begin the paperchase! Emailed Leah, the singles coordinator and she said it would be a couple more weeks until the next batch is released.
6/2/06 Mission Trip to Gulfport, MI to help victims of Katrina
6/12/06 VBS at Haywood
6/19/06 Started keeping Maddie for summer
8/1/06 First round of Hep B shot
8/12/06 Still waiting…I was hoping to be into the paperchase this summer, but God has other plans. I am now hoping to be released from the waiting list in September. I’m concentrating on paying off debt, sticking to a budget, and saving money for the first payment.
9/5/06 Second round of Hep B shot
9/22/06 Leah called today…I’m officially off of the singles waiting list! Exactly 7 months from today! I’m so excited!!!! Praise the Lord!
9/23/06 Faxed in the release form for single applicants and mailed in the signed copy of the policy and procedures.
9/28/06 Mailed in signed agreement to AWAA and paid initial $2,000 fee.
Ordered 3 Long Form birth certificates from ($30)
10/3/06 Received birth certificates ($19)
10/4/06 Email from Rachel…let’s get started!
10/5/06 Met with Rachel for the initial meeting, went over paperwork
10/6/06 Faxed in order for TBI background checks for Mom and Me ($58)
10/7/06 Got Passport Photos Taken and Mailed in Application ($112)
Mailed in I600A ($685)
Express Mail Fee ($14.40)
10/10/06 I600A form arrived in Memphis at 11:18 a.m. and was signed by D. Howard
10/10/06 Received Dossier Guidelines Packet
10/11/06 Received TBI Background Checks
10/18/06 I received my Fingerprint Appointment, but mom had a slight glitch with hers…we will have to resubmit her birth certificate and marriage license ASAP.
10/19/06 2nd home study visit with Rachel, paid Home Study Payment ($1,500)
10/20/06 Dr. Visit…flu shot, HIV test, TB test, Hepatitis Test
10/21/06 Mailed mom’s info to USCIS
10/22/06 3rd home study visit with Rachel, Dr. visit to check TB test results and pick up notarized form and letter
11/5/06 Received passport!
11/13/06 Home Visit with Rachel
11/22/06 Mom and I get fingerprinted in Nashville
1/12/07 Received Form 171H from USCIS in Memphis!!!!!
1/13/07 Mom and I attended Maddie’s first “recital” then we went shopping. I overheard a lady talking about adoption and introduced myself. It turns out she is a single teacher also and we’re both using AWAA! The conversation got more interesting when we discussed names…her name is Maribeth H. and her daughter will be Holly H. and my daughter will be Molly M. My…what us teachers do to our children with the name thing! Maybe Holly and Molly can be friends! One last thing I’ll take as further confirmation from God is that in the midst of our conversation a ladybug flew into my hair! Of all things???? Thank you God for confirming my decision for me today!
1/19/07 Had all documents certified and authenticated in Tennessee ($42.00)
1/23/07 Made copies of all documents at Kinko’s ($20.24)
1/26/07 Sent Dossier via Fed ex to Leah at AWAA ($10.68)
Made the following payments:
Mid Payment ($2,000)
Translation Fee ($695.00)
Post Placement Deposit ($1,000)
Courier Fee ($150.00)
US State Dept. Fee ($91.00)
Chinese Embassy Fee ($260)
2/2/07 DTC (Dossier to China)
2/25/07 LID!!! It’s official, I’m logged in! The current wait time is about 2 years, I’m hoping for a speed up, but trust the Lord knows best.
6/2/07 Received a $3,000 grant from Steven Curtis Chapman’s ministry, Shaohannah’s Hope. Praise God for this confirmation and help!!!!
7/12/07 Brown Envelope Received!
8/03/07 My nephew, Eddie IV was born!
1/3/08 Re-fingerprinted at the Office of Homeland Security
2/14/08 Received updated 171H


Ok, I'm so happy with my new blog design and entering the blogging world in general. I have a lot to say, but I'll start with a thank you. Thank you so much to Danielle who designed this beautiful space for me to journal my life experiences! I just love it and if you know me I love pink, girly things so it really fits me perfectly.

I was motivated to start a blog for several reasons. The first one being all of the blogs posted to the side of the page which I frequent often. Orginally I was lead to blogs that had to do with adoption. One lead me to another and then you have a very unhealthy obsession of following along other people's life experiences. But hey, if they are posting it on the web I guess they don't mind me peeking into their life!

Another reason I wanted to start blogging was to chronicle my journey through the adoption process. I'll write more about that later, but I want and need documentation about what I've been through while I wait for my sweet Molly to join me.

Last, I was challenged at a recent Sunday School class to keep a prayer journal. I don't know about the rest of you, but I've started at least 20 of those in my life and have maybe about 5 entries in each one. Then I lose track, get lazy, and forget to keep it. So this is sort of my devotion/diary/prayer journal/what's going on in my life online diary. I really like the idea and will try to keep it current and maybe motivational on some days.

The title to my blog is a play on my name. Those of you who know me realize that. Nothing about me personally is amazing at all, however I've found when I step back and look at my life experiences it is an amazing thing. I've been richly blessed with much more than I deserve and I try to keep that at the forefront of my mind. I'll speak of those things now and then and always want to give credit where credit is due, thank you Jesus!

When I was in high school I made crafts, jewelry, misc. stuff to sell at my dad's drugstore. Everything was called a-'maze'-ing designs. Then when I first got my own email it was amazeingteacher@.... so the phrase kind of stuck with me. Well, I'm so happy you are with me! Welcome!

Baby Shower

This weekend I help give a baby shower for my cousin Tiffany. She is expecting sweet Kayla in March. Kayla has a big sister, Kelsey who is about to turn 12 years old. I love planning and giving showers. Any kind of party, wedding, birthday, holiday. I love it all. My dream would be to one day open a Reception Center where I could host showers and parties all year long. Everything from the invitations, decorations, to the food and menu planning. But, all of that requires a lot of money and I don't have money. So, I'll continue to host my smallish parties for my friends and family and be content.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Welcome to my first blog. This weekend I've been inspired to begin chronicling my journey through life. God has lead me on an incredible path so far and I'm excited to see where it leads. I'm just learning how to stick around. I'm trying to make my site show my personality but it may take a while.
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