Friday, July 27, 2007

Giving Thanks!

Cousins Pete and Patti

Can you stand it? (pinch) Nicholas

When Nicholas hated Papa!

Nicholas sweet angel

Nick and Yaya 2004

Cousin "Beana" - aka Nick's slave!

Yaya & Papa - Florida 2007

Auntie Cindy & Auntie Rhonda (Rhonda is obviously older)

Yaya & Papa (my folks) Christmas 2006

Niece and Nephew - Justin & Christina - Christmas 2006

Parkers - Lake George 2006

On the raft - Lake George - 2006

Lake George 2006 (Michael & Nick)

The original Parkers (Michaels mom & dad) Lake George 2006

Our Henry

Nick and our Tooney

Grandpa - aka Michael's dad (and Nicholas)

Auntie Kiki - aka my sister Michelle (obviously older)

Me and my Tooney

Best Friends! Lynnie (center) is obviously the eldest of us all! xo

After the last post regarding our agency and social worker, it got me to thinking that I would like to feature people that are important in our lives that we wouldn't be here without. So, I'd like to post some pictures of those individuals who've influenced our lives.

OK - Now, I don't want any complaints about these pictures!! None! If you have a gripe, send me a different photo and I'll consider changing it!

xoxo Lor xoxo

Well, I guess we're going to Africa!

Cute picture of the two brothers!

We're still waiting for our fingerprinting appointment.... it should come in the mail shortly.

This week we received confirmation from our adoption agency Wide Horizons For Children that our Homestudy is officially done!! Yah! I do want to take a minute to give credit where credit is due.

When we decided to adopt, we didn't say, "hey, let's go to Africa". To be honest, it didn't even cross our minds until later when we started doing research. We started to see Ethiopia come up on adoption agencies website's. We probably discussed it briefly, but that's about it. We were pretty sure that we'd be adopting either domestically from the foster care system, or from South America. Pretty quickly the foster care system proved too much for us (emotionally and risk wise with a three year old in the house). We thankfully decided to work with Wide Horizons For Children who is based here in the Northeast and has a Bedford NH satellite office. After going through the application process, we were "matched" to our social worker. I got a phone call one day from our new social worker Roy. We spoke briefly about what comes next and scheduled our first appointment to meet at his office. I'm going to admit, I was a little dissappointed when I first learned that we'd be dealing with a "man" for our Homestudy process as I've heard from other people how "detailed" the discussions can get. That was immediatly washed away as soon as we met Roy. He is what I like to call "a gentle giant" - tall and calm, just the opposite of me. Anyway, Roy is a wonderful guy with a fantastic sense of humor (very important) who is really perfect for his job.

During our first meeting with Roy, we started to talk about different countries etc, etc, etc. When he started to talk about the Ethiopian program, something in him lit up. He was very passionate about everything and had nothing but encouraging things to say about the country, culture, and adoption program that they offer. Michael and I left there, sat in the car, turned to each other and said, "well, I guess we're going to Africa"! My eyes fill up just thinking about it now, only a few short months later. So, it was our dear social worker Roy who we were lead to by God to show us the way home. If you're out there Roy - "YOU ROCK". Inside joke, he's got a great sense of humor and he's waiting for me to get my Rob Halford tatoo...

Since our instant decision regarding Africa, I've thrown myself into reading, blogging, and a ton of time online looking at everything from crib outfitting to white parents raising a black child.

If anyone you know is the least bit interested in adoption, please direct them to the link on the right "Wide Horizons"... they won't be sorry.

Ciao -

Friday, July 20, 2007

How's your geography knowledge??

So, you think you're a super sleuth when it comes to geography?? I recently saw and played this neat game about the locations of African countries. I won't admit my score unless some of you brave souls are willing to take the test and then post your score. I'll at least tell you that my score was higher than Michael's! :) No surprise there, right!

So, if you're up for the challenge, click the link below and give it a whirl. It only takes a few minutes (unless you read the brief history description on the left side of the page).

Good Luck and don't forget to post your score!

Click under "countries (middle section) and "beginner level".

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The current #2!

This is our favorite #2! For now, but I guess he'll continue to be number two and the new baby will be #3! I thought that I'd pay tribute to our little peanut as this week he's celebrating his first birthday... Happy Birthday Snoopy!! We love you very much!

Unfortunately he doesn't look quite like this anymore since this photograph is from last October - how quickly they grow. As I am typing this, my constant companion is sighing in the not very far distance with exhaustion. He's had quite a day of lounging - his little eyes are but slits right now and his breathing is becoming increasingly slowed and relaxed. Oh no, wait, he heard a bird outside and got up to check things out. Well, that was quick because he's already back, taking a slow drink of water and looking for the next place to turn into a little donut; usually the wing back chair in my office - and, without further ado, the wing back is no longer vacant!

So predictable - Good night all and Good night dear Snoopy, our forever beautiful #2~



Sunday, July 15, 2007

Michael's first entry-

My name is Michael. I’m 38 years old and married to Lori for 6 years. Together we were lucky enough to have one spry, bright, shining star, Nicholas – who will tell you he’s “phhhrrreee years ode”. Our other baby, Snoopy, can’t tell you he’s only 1; although you know it when you meet him. Like his brother, Snoopy is a spry Golden Retriever with personality you’d think was almost human.

For work, I’m a Marketing guy. In life, I’m a dad and husband. I work to live. Although I consider myself lucky to truly love what I do.

I’m unashamed to admit I’m simple. To me, there’s nothing better than time spent at home. Be it teaching Nicholas how to throw a Frisbee or lacrosse ball; hurling myself down a slip-n-slide; connecting with my confidant and lover, Lori; hanging out with Snoopy; or puttering around the yard. It’s all good to me.

That’s who I am; today anyway. Change seems to be the constant these days. And things will certainly continue to evolve in our little family. These are exciting times, and I’m enjoying the ride. I know the ride is only a fraction as exciting as the destination. I can’t wait to see what wonder Ethiopia will give our family.

Friday, July 13, 2007

This picture of the Blue Nile which runs through Ethiopia speaks for itself!

Our angel Nicholas

This is our beautiful son Nicholas. When he was born he changed our lives forever. I will never know this kind of love between a mother and her child in any other form of my life other than "mom". It is this love that led us to the only option we thought made sense, adoption.

We have left it up to God to decide if we are to love, cherish, and raise a boy or a girl. Doesn't much matter (it did when we began the process) to us. The right child has already been chosen, it's just a matter of time until we are all holding one another.

After much research about adoption we were literally pulled into Ethiopia by absolutely everything about the country, the history, the children, and the process involved. There are very different paths for adoptive parents to take, but this was simply not a question once we were made aware of the possibility.

We are truly blessed to have so many friends and family that are supportive and are continually asking for updates on our journey/adventure, Mom, you're the biggest (surprise). That's another reason that I thought this would keep us all bonded in a circle of awareness throughout the process. Our decision to adopt really impacts the lives of everyone around us. So, anytime someone wants a brief update (I'll try to post something every week unless there's nothing to report) they can simply log in and read on!

I've been reading other families stories and blogs and thought, heck, why don't I get my thoughts and feelings out "on paper" too. All adoptive parents are at different stages of adoption and we can all learn from one another as I already have this early in the process.

Okay, okay - what's our current status right now you ask?

We are currently waiting for our fingerprinting appointment/CIS approval. Our dossier for Ethiopia is basically done other than a few little things and we'll button it up and have it ready by the time we're approved by CIS. It's amazing how you become a mini expert (or so you think) on these subjects when your faced with them in your lives. That's another reason for starting a blog. It's a glorified journal with pictures etc. that's much simpler for me to do. We'll be able to look back on this one day and giggle about all of the terminology "we once knew oh so well"!

Well, this is the end of my first entry - I'll alert Michael that I started it and hopefully he'll be able to add to this as well. He is a much better writer than I as he has his degree in journalism!