Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Friday, December 21, 2007

Just a few holiday thoughts..

I have so much in my life to be grateful for. The Lord has blessed us in so many ways, ways in which I do not deserve. I can't believe the point I am at right now in my life. I have come so far in the last 10 years. I lived through a divorce to come into something so much better. I guess it is true that we have to die to our old ways before we rise to the beautiful life that we dream of. I have come through so much sorrow and pain only to be blessed with a husband whom I did pray for but realizing now that God blessed me with more than I prayed for. I also dared to pray for a family and when I was told that that dream would not come true, God again answered my prayer with the gift of adoption. We will eventually become a family for a small child who would not otherwise have a family. We need her just as much as she needs us. Now knowing that it could be several years before we get to hold our precious daughter from China, God has again stepped in and given us the miracle of all miracles. Never believing that I would feel a child grow inside me, never believing that I would hold a newborn of my own, praying for that even though we were told that it was impossible. Now God has blessed us with this pregnancy. It is a miracle, there is no other way to describe it.

May God bless you all during this Christmas season.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Slightly different plans...

Well, guess what? I'm not going to sugar coat it and I'm not going to beat around the bush. I'm just going to come right out and tell you right away. Ready? Here goes...

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I'M PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's right, the rabbit died! I can't believe it and neither can Dwaine! Can you tell I'm a little excited?! I'm using a lot of exclamation points! I just found out for sure today because I had a blood test yesterday. I am about 5 weeks along and should be due around the middle of August. That will be a hot one for sure!

After two doctors told us that pregnancy was not possible for us, the miracle of all miracles happened. It truly is a miracle. I do believe that for sure. I never dreamed it would be possible. We are still going through with our adoption, we will have two children just like we wanted in the first place. They will be about the same age.

Now the next news which I have just been cleared to tell you all is that my brother is expecting also. Stacy is pregnant and is due in May. Our children will be about 3 months apart. That is the coolest thing ever and I can't help but think how excited our parents would be if they were here. They would be grandparents from both children at the same time. I wish they were here.

Well, I have more people to tell so I need to get going, I will keep you posted...


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Giving Thanks

I did not publish a post on Thanksgiving and I know I am doing this a little backward but hey, it's my blog and I can do what I want with it, right?

Here are the things I am thankful for in no particular order:

  • My health - mostly because I am getting a little older now and think about this a lot.
  • My husband - because he is the highlight of my life. We truly came to be together through what I believe is divine intervention. God brought us to the same place and it was only through luck, really that we came to meet. Who else could have brought him to Columbia Missouri from Oklahoma of all places!
  • My family - my brother first of all and then my aunts and uncles and cousins. I am also thankful for the time I had with my parents. I had really great parents and even though they were taken from me too soon, I am grateful for the time that we were together.
  • My new family - this would include David, Ryan, Carrie and Dwaine's family who have taken me in as one of their own.
  • My wonderful friends - you all know who you are. Thank you for being my friends because without you, I would not be where I am today, I am sure of that.

Those are the main things I am thankful for. Happy Belated Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Long overdue post...

Hey everyone,

I know it has been a really long time since I posted last. I have promised to tell you all about our "mystery trip". Some time ago, I set up a vacation for us to celebrate Dwaine's 50th birthday. He knew that we were going but he had no idea where we were going. I even packed his suitcase for him. We got up to leave very early on the morning of Nov. 8 and headed to Kansas City to the airport. When we checked our bags, the lady at the ticket counter asked us where we were going and of course I had to tell her. That's when Dwaine found out that we were headed to San Francisco. I had planned on staying there a couple of days and then driving up to Napa valley to stay at a B&B there. We rented a car also and my brother let me borrow his GPS. Let me just make a side note here. That thing is the best device EVER created for mankind!!! I LOVE IT!!

Anyway, we stayed at the Holiday Inn at Fisherman's Wharf. It was a great hotel and right on the wharf. San Francisco is small enough that you can walk pretty much anywhere which is what we did. The first day we wandered around the wharf and went to Ghiradelli Square. We walked through Little Italy and up to China Town. We walked all the way through China town to the main gate.

Notice the street signs are even written in Chinese.

The next day we had a tour scheduled that would show us the sights of San Francisco. First stop was the Golden Gate Bridge.

That was the main highlight of course. We also saw China Town again and got some history behind the cable cars and the street cars they use for transportation still. The cable cars are of course infamous but the street cars are antique and from all different parts of the world. One street car we saw was from Italy, another from Philadelphia and another from Switzerland. We saw the "painted ladies" which are a row of Victorian style homes that you see in just about every postcard. They were also featured in the television series "Full House". We saw the house where some members of the band "The Grateful Dead" lived and made some of their music. We went up to the highest point of San Francisco which is called Twin Peaks and saw the entire city from there.

After our tour, we did a little sight seeing on our own. We strolled back through China town and got some lunch. We had our first experience eating dim sum. This is a type of Chinese dish that is like a dumpling filled with different things. For example, we had some that was filled with shrimp, rice and vegetables. Another was filled with salmon and another was filled with pork and vegetables. Very, very tasty.

Dwaine has become quite the expert with chopsticks!

After lunch, we went to ride on a cable car. We first went through the cable car barn where all of the cable cars are kept and where the cables all come together under the street. It is a very interesting operation. Here is a picture of the huge wheels that power the cable cars.

That evening, we met my aunt and uncle and my little cousin who live in San Francisco and they took us out for a wonderful dinner at a place called Tadich's. It is supposedly the oldest restaurant in San Francisco. It was a great time and my aunt baked an apple pie for Dwaine to help celebrate his birthday. We visited with them at their house for awhile and had a lovely time.

The next morning we were off to Napa Valley. It was raining all day and after we reached our destination that afternoon, we checked into our beautiful B&B, had a little champagne and wine and cheese and went to sleep around 7:30 that evening. It was sooooo wonderful to sleep so much! Of course, after a glass of champagne, I was ready to fall asleep anyway.

The next day we did a little exploring around the valley by ourselves. It was very crowded because it was a holiday weekend (Veteran's Day). We did not know exactly where to go or what to do but we enjoyed the day none-the-less. The next day we had a tour planned that took us through the valley and to 8 different wineries where we tasted and bought a few bottles of wine to bring home. That was a great day because it was organized and we didn't have to worry about driving and tasting wine that day. The weather was glorious. All in all, it was an extremely enjoyable day.

Here are a couple of pictures from Napa.

We had a really great time. We are trying to do as much travelling as we can before our daughter joins us. We have quite a bit of time to do those things. I like to try to stay focused on the times that we have alone together because they are priceless! I can't wait until our daughter comes but for now I am trying to enjoy as much time as I can alone with my husband.
That's it for now. I will try to post more often because it has really been too long since my last post. Hope you are all doing well.

Kelley & Dwaine

Monday, October 29, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to Everyone!!

Happy Halloween! Hopefully you are all doing well. I feel bad because I am so bad about writing but we have been so insanely busy lately that I feel like I am meeting myself coming and going. What have we been doing? We have been taking a dance class on Monday nights. West Coast swing. It has been really fun! We might actually start going to dances now. On Tuesday nights we have been helping at church with RCIA which for those of you who don't know what that is, it is an adult education class for people inquiring about the Catholic faith. Thursday evenings we have been taking Bosco to doggie classes. Bosco is my brother's dog who we are dog sitting for. He is a 70 lb. German Shepherd puppy. He was out of control but doggie classes have helped him immensely. That pretty much fills up our week. Now for the weekends and whatnot. David is home on leave for one month. He graduated from his specialized training and might I add that he graduated first in his class. In a few more weeks, he is off to Korea. We are enjoying our visit with him.

Ryan is getting ready for Halloween. He has his costume all ready to go. He says this year he is dressing up as a pimp. Great. We are trying to bring him up in a stable Catholic household and he is dressing up as a pimp. Somewhere, I think that something has gone terribly wrong!

Chris has only 6 weeks left of the police academy then he will be finished. He is looking for a job and applying anywhere he can. I think that he and Stacy will eventually get married. She is a really nice girl and I am glad they get along so well together. They make a really cute couple. He has changed a lot since they have been dating. I can just see little changes. They are good changes.

We made a flying trip to St. Louis a couple of weeks ago to visit Dwaine's sister, Patti. Dwaine's niece, Sarah was visiting Patti and it was nice to see them. We went to Forrest Park and rode in the paddle boats. We had a nice visit.

Dwaine's family is coming here this weekend to visit David. His folks will be up on Friday and will be staying until Monday. I am sure there will be a few more here visiting before the weekend is over also.

Next week is our mystery vacation! I can't wait to go. Dwaine still doesn't know where we are going. I have the trip all mapped out complete with planned activities. As soon as we get back, I will let you know how it went.

I feel like I am supposed to keep everyone up to date about the adoption. There just isn't much to tell. We have been logged in over 8 months now. China finally finished matching all of the people who were logged in in November of 2005. That tells you where we are in the process. This month, referrals will start coming in from December of 2005. Hopefully it will start picking up now. November was a huge month for referrals. December isn't supposed to be as large. Either way, we still have a ways to go.

Now, this brings me to my next subject - quilt squares. You know you can do it! Summer is over now and we are all settling in for winter? Don't you need a nice winter project? How about making a quilt square for Ryleigh's quilt? You remember how to do it? Cut one 8x8" square of cotton fabric. Make sure it reflects who you are. Write a wish for Ryleigh on a note card and staple a small piece of the same fabric to the card. Send it to me. If you need help or more info, e-mail me. I only have about 40 squares so far. I need 100 all together to make the quilt.

Ok, that's it for now. Have a wonderful Halloween!


Monday, October 15, 2007

Kelley's Birthday

Kelley finally talked me into posting to the blog. I am pretty slow to try new things, but I guess that it is time.

Kelley's last posting was on the day of her birthday. That evening, late in the day of her second annual 39th birthday, she was a greeted with a surprise birthday party. About 18 friends and family had gathered at a local restaurant, and when the two of us showed, gave her a nice send-off into her fourth decade. Of course, she is now acting a lot older than she did that evening. Needless to say, she slept well that night (notice the glass of blue tidy bowl).

David will be arriving back home this Tuesday night. He will be home for four weeks before shipping out to South Korea. He will be stationed at Camp Walker, South Korea, for at least the next 12 months. We are sad about him going so far away, but very happy that he is not going to be stationed in Iraq.

Ryan's band is heavily into band competitions at the moment. They are in the middle of a span where they compete in band competitions on 4 out of 5 Saturdays. No time for sleep-in-Saturdays for him.

Chris is doing real well in the academy. He will be testing near Kansas City this weekend.

Carrie, too, is doing real well in all of her endeavors. She is enjoying this year much more than last. She is especially happy with her new living conditions. Her new roommates and apartment are much more to her liking.

No trouble, it seems, in keeping busy while waiting for Ryleigh. It doesn't do a lot to limit our frustrations, but it does make the time go faster.


Friday, October 5, 2007

Pictures and thoughts on my birthday

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to post a couple of pics since I am downloading from my camera.

This is a picture of my favorite guys when David was home for Labor Day.

And here is a picture of Iris. She is a sweet dog.

Today is my birthday. The big 4-0. I can't believe I'm 40. I don't feel 40. I don't really want to be 40. I think back to when I was in college and realize that it was half of my lifetime ago. I can't believe it. One of my best friends from college passed through Columbia last week and we met him out for dinner. I haven't seen him in years. We talked about our college days as if they happened a couple of years ago. Now we are 40. Man, that is huge! I am old! The only good thing is that Dwaine will be 50 in a couple of weeks. That makes me not feel quite so old....

Friday, September 28, 2007

It seems like forever...

Yes, dear friends and family, it seems like forever since my last post. I have been extremely busy for the last month it seems. It really isn't an excuse either, I really have been busy.

First and foremost, we have been trying to get my dad's house ready for sale. That has involved some travel to Quincy on the weekends and it isn't finished yet. That has been a big project and even more so trying to do it long distance. We are doing some sprucing up before the sale and just trying to go through and get rid of stuff and sort out what we want to keep.

Chris has settled in here and is really liking the police acadamy. He has done well so far and he has been at it about a month now. We are taking care of his dog while he is in school. They don't allow pets where he lives of course. The dog and I get along for the most part. He has his off days where he likes to dig and chew on stuff that doesn't belong to him. Sometimes I think he is mentally challenged. His name is Bosco and I don't really know if he actually knows what his name really is. He has been called many other things besides that - for instance, Bozo, stupid, dumb sh*^, jerk wad, butt head, etc. I have been taking him to doggie classes and he has really done well at that. He minds much better and it can actually be a pleasure to take him for a walk now. I walk him, not vice versa. It used to be the other way around.

David came home for Labor Day weekend. He is doing great! He will be home in a few weeks and will be here until Dec. We will be looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. All of my family will be here. It will be great! The only one we will be missing is Carrie. I wish she could come home for every holiday.

Dwaine and I are planning a trip to celebrate our birthdays. He will be the big 5-0 in Nov. and I will be the big 4-0 next week. I can't tell you where we are going yet because I am surprising Dwaine with the place. I booked it today and can't wait to go. It is going to be a lot of fun. We will be gone from Nov. 8 to the 13th. I will keep you posted on the mystery trip...

We are both off from work next week too. Dwaine is planning on building some fence in the back yard. Wish us luck on that. I hope to do a little work around the house myself and want to plant some mums and maybe some bulbs for next Spring. We are going to do some fun things next week too since it is my birthday. We are going to the pub crawl and maybe to the Octoberfest next weekend.

Well, I just wanted to touch base with you all and let you know that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. We are doing well, hope you are too.

Love to all,


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Happy 6 month anniversary!


Well, we've officially been logged in for 6 months now. We started filling out our paperwork over 1 year ago. Looking back on time, it seems to have gone pretty quickly but looking at what awaits us seems like an eternity. Every month, Dwaine and I celebrate our LID anniversary by eating out at this Mongolian barbecue called Hu-Hot. It is a "make-your-own-stir fry" place. Seems kinda odd eating at a Mongolian place. Isn't that the reason that China built the Great Wall in the first place. Oh well, they have really good food. Yesterday was especially cool because we met with several local adoptive parents. Several months ago, I met up with two other women who live in the area. We became acquainted because we use the same social worker. We decided it would be great to just meet once a month and include our spouses. Well yesterday, we met and our group is up to 8 couples. Now we are trying to decide how to make our group more interesting by having different topics of discussion when we meet or maybe a book club type thing. How cool is that? Next month is my turn to plan the meeting place.

Next, I want to say thank you to my secret pal. She has struck again. The theme for August was music. So we are sending each other a CD or some other form of music whether it be lullabies or children's music. My secret pal was really creative. She sent me a toy karaoke microphone that can play music and record also. She recorded the sweetest message from her daughter to me and Ryleigh. She also sent the cutest little Golden Book about adoption. She is the greatest! Hope you are reading this because I want to thank you again!

Next, I want to say thank you to my good friend Kim who has given me a quilt square for Ryleigh's 100 wishes quilt. She took a lot of time and put a lot of thought into it. There is enough fabric that I can cut a square for my quilt and still have plenty left over to make something else. I might have a small pillow made too. She wrote the greatest poem to Ryleigh and it brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for being a great friend.

I have 39 squares now. I just need 61 more. Hint, hint...

Now about the family...
Two new things. David is coming home for Labor Day weekend!!!!!!!!!!!! Also, he found out that he will be assigned to go to South Korea for his first tour of duty. Hey, it's better than Iraq! He will spend a year there and we are praying that the Iraqi conflict will be fizzling out by then. It could happen. I am sure we will always have a presence there but hopefully, the fighting will be minimal by then just in case he would be assigned there next.

Chris is moving to Columbia next weekend. He will be in the police acadamy until Christmas. Then, we are trying to talk him into staying here and finding a job in good ol' Columbia. That would be so great to have family who actually lives in the same town for once. That hasn't happened since I lived in Quincy. We are meeting with a realtor next week to get dad's house ready for sale. Hopefully that will go smoothly. Please keep us in your prayers for that reason. Sometimes things like that overwhelm me. Mostly because I let them. Anyway, please say a prayer that the house sells quickly and for what we are asking for it.

I have deeded the house in Chris' name so when the house does sell, he will have a great down payment for a new house when he is finished with school. The price of real estate in Columbia is very reasonable. (That's a big hint to my bro')

Well, I am rambling on now and am really tired. Time for me to go to bed. Hello to you all and hope you are doing really well. Thanks for the comments in the last post. (I love to read them)


Monday, August 20, 2007

I've been tagged....a long time ago.

Well, I have been tagged by my friend Heather in Philly to do this survey. Heather is one of my on-line adoption friends whom I have actually had the pleasure to meet while we were in New Jersey. She has the same log in date that we do. She tagged me several weeks ago but I keep forgetting to write so here goes...

5 THINGS I WAS DOING 5 YEARS AGO (10 years was not a good place in my life)

  1. I had moved into my own home that I bought by myself. My condo I loved.
  2. Living the single life and spending a lot of time with friends
  3. Made a trip to San Francisco to visit family and friends.
  4. Worked 2 jobs. The job I work at now and a part time job and Columbia Regional Hospital
  5. Did not know my husband yet. Pouty

FIVE SNACKS I ENJOY this one's easy.

  1. Chips (any kind)
  2. Chocolate (any kind)
  3. Movie popcorn
  4. Ice cream
  5. Pistachios


  1. My highschool fight song. (amazing because I graduated over 20 years ago)
  2. My college fight song. (I think I can remember the words)
  3. All of the songs that were in my wedding
  4. The words to "Oklahoma" (my husband and his sons will get a kick out of that one) ROTFL
  5. "I can't help myself" by the Four Tops. I have it programmed in my phone as Dwaine's ringtone.


  1. I would make sure my little brother was set for life.
  2. I would donate money to our church.
  3. I would make sure all of Dwaine's kids were set for life.
  4. I would buy a completely frivolous car that would make people think I were going through a mid-life crisis.
  5. We would both retire so we could raise our daughter by ourselves without the need for daycare.


  1. I am completely OCD about keeping the house clean.
  2. I am too anxious and worry about a lot of things that I shouldn't worry about.
  3. I chew on my fingernails when I am nervous.
  4. I make excuses not to work out.
  5. Obsessing over how long the wait will be with our adoption.


  1. Go to the movies with Dwaine.
  2. Go out to eat with Dwaine.
  3. Go on vacation and travel with Dwaine.
  4. Go for coffee with Dwaine
  5. Anything else having to do with Dwaine.


  1. My hair permed!!! How awful, someone should have told me...
  2. Polyester pants. That should tell you how old I am.
  3. A belly button ring. Yeah, yeah, I had one. Now I have a gut instead so I don't think I will be wearing one of those again.
  4. Anything spandex.
  5. Anything that has a 70's look. I hated it in the 70's so why would I want to wear it again.


  1. My ipod. I really love that thing.
  2. My brother's GPS. We bought it for him for Christmas and that thing is the coolest thing ever!
  3. My dogs. Does that count as two things?
  4. Our lawnmower. I know that sounds really lame but we got a new one and I like to mow.
  5. My computer. It is so amazing what technology has become.

There ya go. That took a lot of thought. I think I will tag Shelby, Marcy and Tamara D.

Have a good week, everyone.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The latest...

Well, here's the latest on the Gelnar homefront......

Since I wrote last time, absolutely nothing has happened. Ok well a few small things have happened but nothing too major.

First, I just want to say that it is hotter here than h-e-double toothpicks!

With that said, now we can move on to business. I told you that David graduated from boot camp at Fort Jackson a few weeks ago. He is now in Maryland doing specialized training for the job which he chose. He will be studying generator mechanics. He will be at Aberdeen Proving grounds until the middle of October. Then he hopes to have enough time off to be home for Thanksgiving. Here is his address if you would like to send him a letter. I am sure he would appreciate that very much. Here goes: David Gelnar, Charlie Company 16th Ordinance Battalion, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD 21005 .

No new news on the adoption front. Still waiting. It is hard for me to explain but the wait is slowly increasing and we are looking at 2+ years. We had a major slowdown as soon as we were logged into China and it doesn't look like it will speed up anytime soon. We will have been logged in for 6 months on Aug. 25th. Please pray that it speeds up.

Don't forget those quilt squares! I'm gonna bug you until you send 'em.

I also want to thank my secret pal - you know who you are. We are doing a secret pal exchange through my on-line adoption group. I don't know who she is but she has sent me some pretty neat things so far. July's theme was fireworks. She sent me the cutest little cheer outfit that is red, white and blue. She sent a soft and cuddly bunny and some red, white and blue hair barrettes. It is so cool to receive these little gifts for Ryleigh. It makes it all seem so much more tangible. So thank you to my secret pal, you are the greatest.

Well, I gotta go move the water in the back yard. Our poor grass... Pray for some rain - or even snow. I am ready for winter!!!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Well, it's been 5 months...

Happy 5 month anniversary to us! It has been 5 months since our log in date. 5 long months since we finished our paper chase. 5 long months we have been waiting so far. It has actually been one year now since we began the adoption process all together. 1 year since we first went in and asked our social worker what our options were. 1 year since we decided to pick China. 1 year since I have felt a huge relief from the pressure of trying to get pregnant. That one year has its advantages. I dread thinking of how many more months we will be waiting. I try not to think about it. Last post I was really feeling the pressure of the wait. I guess it comes with those paper-pregnancy hormones.

Here's the latest update on our family.... David graduated from basic training yesterday!! HOORAY! What an accomplishment that is! We are so very proud of him. Also, today is his 26th birthday. Happy birthday, David! Dwaine and Ryan drove to South Carolina to his graduation and they are taking him to Maryland for his next round of training. This won't be anything nearly as demanding as basic training. He will graduate in October. I was unable to go to this graduation due to work conflicts. I am planning on going to the next graduation, though.

Ryan is off to band camp next week. That lasts for two weeks and then it will almost be time to start back to school. This summer has flown by! He hasn't had a whole lot of free time this summer due to summer school and now band camp. He has kept really busy. That is good for him, though.

Chris will be moving to Columbia to start police academy here at the university. He will be here until Christmas time. I am looking forward to him being here and I hope he decides to move here or somewhere close to Columbia. He has found an apartment and will be moving here around Labor Day weekend.

We are getting ready to sell my childhood home. Since Chris is not planning on coming back to Quincy, we are going to put the house on the market. That is a tremendously difficult thing to see happen. I grew up there and did not know any other home besides that one. There are a ton of memories that come flooding back when I think about that house and all of the wonderful holidays and events that took place there. It is also the house where both of my parents spent their last days on this earth. It is a sacred place for me. It was the place I could run to when things weren't going so well here. Anytime I needed to, I could always go home. I still call it my home even though I live here now and have lived here for 20 years. I have lived here longer than I lived in Quincy but 908 Locust is still home.

On a lighter note, I am putting out a plea for more quilt squares. So far I have 30 something. I need 100 in all. So if you would still like to participate, please send an 8x8 square of 100% cotton material and enclose a postcard with a wish for Ryleigh. Also, please attach a small sample of the material to the postcard because those will go into a scrapbook.

Here's an example:

This is from my friend Heather in PA. The wish says: "A girl's got to have a lot of class and a little flash! Have fun with life!"

You get the idea. You can write anything you want just as long as it represents you in some way. I'm looking forward to putting them together. So keep 'em coming in!

Have a great week everyone!


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Just thinking....

I have been thinking about a few things lately. Probably because I have had a little extra time on my hands the last few days. Dwaine has been in Washington, DC and I have been solo for the last 3 days. Sometimes it helps me to journal to get my thoughts in perspective.

I have been thinking about the adoption the last several days. Mostly in part because I have been looking at that stupid Rumor Queen site. This last month there were again, only 7 days worth of referrals. That puts us into the middle of November 2005. We were logged in Feb. 2007. If they only do one week of referrals per month, we will be dead before we get to go to China. I know that is very pessimistic and usually, I am not so much so but for some reason, I can't stop thinking about it lately. I don't want to be a mom who takes her kid out in public and everyone thinks the kid is her grandchild. I don't want to be too old to take good care of my daughter.

The other thing I have been thinking about is my dad. For whatever reason, he has been on my mind a lot lately. He will never see my children. He will not be a grandfather. This makes me incredibly sad. I miss him more and more all of the time. Just when I think it gets better, then it hits me all over again. I really hate that. He was such a good person and I always want to be like him.

I miss you, dad.


Sunday, July 1, 2007

Hello again

Hi everybody,

Just a quick update and a few miscellaneous items. Mostly though, I wanted to send a few pictures.

For those of you still interested in contributing quilt squares, I still need many more. I think I have around 30 now from various parts of the country. So far most have been from my Yahoo group. They have been very unique and all very cute. I can't wait to start looking at quilt designs. I mentioned that I have around 30 squares so far. Did I mention that I need about 70 more? (Hint, hint) You can send one, or more than one. I know many are looking and working on it. So far, I have only received 2 from friends of mine from here. All others have been from people from my online group. So be original, and make it something that represents who you are. Remember, the fabric should be 100 % cotton and preferrably pre-washed. Please enclose a postcard with a wish for Ryleigh and attach a small piece of the fabric to the postcard. If you have any question, please e-mail or call me.

On a side note, I mentioned that we had just gotten back from New Jersey. Here are a couple of pictures of Carrie in her pageant. She competed last year and placed in the top 10. She did a much better job in the pageant this year. Her singing gets better all of the time and of course she sang for the talent part of the competition. She was more confident and less nervous this year. She didn't place at all but none of the girls that placed last year did as well this year. I guess it is because you never know what the judges expect. They are different every year. We are really proud of her though. She came home this week and will be here until Tuesday. We have all had a nice visit and she and I spent a day at the spa last week. We have been having a good time. I wish she could come home more often. She will be going to Washington DC to spend the rest of the summer with her boyfriend, Gus. Then back to Westminster to begin grad school in the fall.

David is doing well. We haven't heard from him this weekend but last time Dwaine spoke to him, he sounded really good. He had rifle training a couple of weeks ago and scored high enough to be classified as a sharp shooter. Maybe those video games have paid off ;)

Dwaine and I are doing just fine. Still waiting to start remodelling on our house. I can't wait! We are refinishing the basement, getting new kitchen cabinets and countertops and combining the two back bedrooms to make one large master suite with a huge bathroom. We are putting an additional bedroom in the basement so we will still have three bedrooms. We are also adding a shower to the downstairs bath to make it a full bathroom. Right now we are waiting on the contractors to give us the word to order the cabinets. We are waiting on them to finish up another job before they start ours.

Well, hope you are all doing well and all of you please stay in touch.

Also, congratulations to my friend Becky who is expecting her third child! Congratulations!

Love you all,

Kelley & Dwaine

Saturday, June 23, 2007

It's been awhile....

Hi everybody,

It has been too long since I've written. We have been really, really busy. My aunt and uncle (Mary & Jim) came to visit us two weeks ago. We had a really nice visit and went shopping and out to dinner. We really enjoyed them coming to visit. We celebrated Mary's birthday while they were here.

Last weekend, we went to New Jersey. We left on Wed. and came back on Sunday (Father's Day) Carrie was in the Miss New Jersey pageant. We are soooooo proud of her. She didn't place this year like she did last year but it seems like none of the girls who placed last year went to the top 10 this year. However, we thought she did so much better this year than last. Also her vocal skills just keep getting better and better. She sang opera. Don't ask me the name of the piece because I don't know what it was and it wasn't in English but it was beautiful anyway. The weather was nice and cool while we were there and we walked along the boardwalk every day we were there. Patti and Kathy went also. We had a nice visit with them also. This year's visit to New Jersey was a lot less hectic than last year's visit. We stayed in Ocean City this year where the pageant was being held. Last year we stayed in Absecon which is a 30 minute drive from O.C. That was a real pain.

We also met up with another couple from my Yahoo! online adoption group. Heather and Paul Peters. They live in Philly and were kind enough to meet us close to where we were staying. We had a really nice lunch with them and we exchanged gifts for our daughters. I got Heather a small ladybug purse for her baby and a quilt square for her 100 good wishes quilt. She got Ryleigh a Mulan Barbie which, I understand, are difficult to find. I have started a small collection of things that I have either bought or received for Ryleigh. I don't like to buy things because for whatever reason, I feel like I will jinx the whole adoption process. Sounds goofy, I know but I have nightmares of buying baby clothes and furniture and supplies and setting up a nursery and then something bad happens and for whatever reason the adoption doesn't go through. Crazy, but that's me I guess.

We got back on Father's Day and came home to a mess. Our a.c. went out while we were gone and the moles had declared war on our yard. The grass was knee high and my outdoor potted plants were fried from the heat even though Ryan and Chris had watered them. So Father's Day turned out to be a home improvement day. We celebrated Father's Day on Monday and also Ryan's birthday. He is 16 now. Chris stayed with him while we were gone and took him out for his birthday on Thursday eve. Chris is trying to make a man out of Ryan I suppose because he took him to Hooter's. Needless to say, the waitress made him get up in front of everyone and embarrassed him quite a lot! I wish he had taken pictures because it sounded like it was really funny.

Carrie came home on Thursday this week and we have been enjoying her visit. She will be here until July 3rd. I am taking her for a spa day on Wednesday so we can bond and be pampered.

David is doing really well in basic training. He calls us once a week and he sounds so upbeat. He seems really proud of what he is doing and he has accomplished a lot so far. He graduates from basic training at the end of July. I am really proud of him too.

So life here at the Gelnar's has been really good lately. I am really grateful for all of the wonderful things we have been blessed with. I am mostly grateful for my family. I hope you are all doing well. I will have a little more time to update my blog here in a couple of weeks and I will try to include more pictures.

So until later,

We love you all - Kelley & Dwaine

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Just an update...

Here's the latest from the Gelnar house.

We did celebrate our third month anniversary since LID. 3 down ? more to go. Still waiting. We did get the mysterious "Brown Envelope" in the mail yesterday. This envelope contains more paperwork (imagine that) to fill out for our visas when we go to China. Apparently it isn't anything we need to fill out until we get there. The thing I think is neat is that at least someone in China recognizes the fact that we are waiting for a child and they have sent us paperwork to acknowledge that fact.

I have posted a couple more pictures of some really cute quilt squares I have gotten in the mail recently. I have 20 so far. I just need 80 more. Start sending those squares everybody! Chris is working on his. I think that's really cool that he wants to participate. I have my squares ready to mail out to my group. The cards to go with them turned out really great. Dwaine wrote a poem to go on the card. He wants to be a part of this as much as I do. It is really great that he is taking such an active role in the whole process. Not only did he help with the initial paperwork, he is participating in little things like the quilt square exchange also. He is the greatest husband ever!

Another family update... We have heard from David twice now. He has been in basic training for almost 2 weeks. He injured his knee on the very first day. He is wearing a knee brace but he says it is doing fine. He also had an injury to his arm which got infected and he had to spend the night in the hospital to treat it. His spirits seem to be really good and he says that it is actually getting a little easier. I am sure they are working very hard. He only has about 5 minutes to talk to us once a week. He has alternated calling Dwaine and his mom too. We are sending him letters making sure he has mail when they have mail call.

Ryan is out of school next week. He is starting summer school shortly after that. His birthday is June 16 and he will be 16. We are going to give him my car to drive but not until next year. That means I get a new car!! How great is that! I am looking to get something large enough to fit a baby seat in the back.

We are headed to New Jersey in about 10 days to see Carrie in the Miss New Jersey pageant. We are looking forward to that and I will post pics of her and give you all an update on how she does. We are proud of her no matter what.

Well, that's all for now. Hope you are all happy and well. Until later...

Kelley & Dwaine

Monday, May 21, 2007

Mother's Day

Here are some of my thoughts on Mother's Day. I know they are a little late but here goes. I am not particularly fond of Mother's Day for two reasons. First reason, I am not a biological mother. I know, I know, I do have step children and they are more than wonderful. As a matter of fact, the boys got me the coolest card for Mother's Day that made me cry. It was really sweet. Dwaine's children are my step children however, they are grown and I didn't have a part in how they were raised. More importantly, they have their own mother and I do not want to step over that boundary. They love their mother and she loves them too.

Next reason I don't like Mother's Day. My mom is gone. Every Mother's Day, I sit at mass on that Sunday Mother's Day morning and cry my eyes out. I hate it. I don't have my own mom here anymore and I am not technically a mom either. Those are the reasons I don't like Mother's Day.

Now, I don't want you to feel sorry for me, that is not my intention. I am simply stating a fact. Here's the good part. Mother's Day is meaning more to me now than ever. Especially this last one. After my Sunday morning church crying session, Ryan and I spent the day together here at home. His mom picked him up later in the day to spend some time with him. I always have a good time with Ryan, he is a hoot! Next, Dwaine came home from being in New Jersey for the weekend. He always makes a big deal for me on Mother's Day but this one was really special. He got me a card and signed it from Ryleigh. It was a mommy to be card and that made me cry too. The next day, the boys gave me a really sweet card for Mother's Day. That made me cry too! One week later, my cool secret pal from my Yahoo! group sent me a tiny little t-shirt for Ryleigh and a lady bug magnet and some information about Panda bears. That made me cry too. I haven't bought one thing for the baby yet. Mostly because she doesn't seem real to me. The little t-shirt gave me something tangible to help me realize that there is going to be a tiny little girl to fill that tiny little t-shirt. Now with all of these things, I am starting to feel more like a mommy and more like someone who has influenced the lives of Dwaine's kids too. I am truly blessed to be where I am in my life. I would not trade it for the world.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Well, we have had a few changes this past week. I am usually not a fan of change. Change can be bad or change can be for the better. I believe that the changes that are taking place in our lives right now are for the better.

First of all, Carrie graduated from college last weekend. That is a great change. Carrie is a very bright young woman. She graduated summa cum laude from Westminster Choir College. Carrie will be attending graduate school at Westminster next year. She has always done so well for herself. In a couple of weeks, she will be in the Miss New Jersey pageant for the second year in a row. She placed in the top 10 last year, let's see if she can make it all the way this year. We are pulling for you, Carrie!

Today David left for Fort Jackson, SC. He begins basic training for the Army. He has had a few struggles finding his way and for him to take this big leap is very admirable. Dwaine took him to St. Louis today and I think it has been really hard for him to leave David there. We are so proud of him for taking this step. I hope this will give him purpose and meaning in his life. I also hope that it will help bring his talents out because he has so many talents and he is a very intelligent young man. Please keep him in your prayers. We miss you already, David.

Ryan is getting ready to finish 9th grade and then will be moving on to high school. Next Fall, he will attend Hickman High school. He will also have his driver's license.

So, lots of changes taking place right now. Then throw in the adoption. Life is exciting and always changing. I think that is a good thing. It helps us all grow and learn.

Everyone stay safe and healthy and until next time...

Kelley & Dwaine

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Bai Jia Bei (I don't know how to pronounce it but I can do the Chinese accent really well!)

Hi to all of our family and friends,

Not much new on the adoption front. There is one thing that I am participating in that I think I may have mentioned in an earlier e-mail to you all. I am putting together a quilt for our daughter-to-be. The quilt is a Chinese tradition. It originated in northern China and it celebrates and welcomes a new life. It is called a Bai Jia Bei or 100 good wishes quilt. It is a custom to invite friends and family to contribute a patch of cloth with a wish for the baby. The patch of cloth goes into the quilt for the baby and a scrap of the cloth can go into a memory book for the baby. The quilt is said to contain the luck, energy and good wishes from all the families and friends who contributed z piece of fabric. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation.

Here's how it works if you are interested:

  • Choose any 100% cotton fabric (not flannel). The fabric can have some significant meaning for you or it can just be something you like. Prewashing is preferred but not required. Cut an 8x8 inch square from the fabric.

  • Write a wish for Ryleigh on a post-card or note card. The wish can be handwritten or typed. It can be a hope for her, thoughts on the adoption, a poem, verse, saying, advice or anything meaningful. Please sign you name.

  • You also will need to cut a smaller piece of the fabric. (1 or 2 inches) and attach it to your notecard so that she will know who the fabric squares are from. We will match the wishes and the author of the card to the patches of the quilt. The notecards will go into a scrapbook.

The picture above is an example of a quilt square and wish. There is also an example of the finished quilt. If you have more than one person in your family who would like to participate, please feel free to send more than one quilt block and wish. We are trying to get 100 blocks all together so the more the merrier. Children are welcome to participate as well.

It is hard to wait for so long for our daughter so I am finding little projects like this one to keep me busy. I am not a quilter by any means, I will find someone to put it together for me.

Thanks in advance for participating. If you have questions about how it works, please e-mail me.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Happy Anniversary to us!

Well, we celebrated our two month LID last week. That means that we have been logged in with China for two months. I am going to be really, really optimistic when I say this but... 2 down, hopefully only 22 to go. That would put us in China to get our daughter in 2009. Our anniversary date was 4/25. Guess how we celebrated? We went out for Chinese food of course. Really, it was an excuse so I would not have to fix dinner. Don't worry though, since we are going to have to wait longer than we first expected, my list of things to do around the house is getting longer. Also, Dwaine told me today that maybe we will get a new car for ME next year!

That leads me into the next topic. Ryan is driving now. Not just driving us crazy either. Driving a vehicle. OOOHHHH, SCARY!! Actually, he does pretty well. He will be 16 in June and able to get his driver's license. He is driving on a permit now and can only drive if a parent or guardian is with him. Naturally, I don't want to deprive Dwaine of this monumental occasion so I am letting him do that. When I get a new car, we will give my Corolla to Ryan. I do love that car, though.

We are planning another trip to Jersey in June. Carrie is going to be in the Miss New Jersey pageant again this year. I am looking forward to the trip. We are staying in Ocean City, right by the ocean. I am really proud of Carrie. She has so much ambition and talent and she puts it all to good use. So, keep her in your prayers. Last year, she made the top 10, let's hope that this year she goes all the way to the top!

That is all for now, we have all been happy and healthy here. Hope you all are too.

Kelley & Dwaine

Saturday, April 21, 2007

I've got the adoption blues...

Hello everyone,

I know I haven't posted for almost 2 weeks. There really hasn't been much to report. However, this week on the adoption front hasn't really been a great week. As of right now, those who are travelling to China to get their children have been waiting around 18 months. The wait has doubled just in the last year or so. China has a very reputable program and a lot of people want to adopt from China. Now with the great rush of dossiers heading to China, they can't hardly keep up. Also, their government is telling the world that there just aren't enough children be matched with the vast numbers of families who are applying there. The government only adopts out a certain percentage of children per year and there are a huge number of orphanages who are not open to foreign adoption. This means that the children who are not made available for adoption pretty much spend their lives in the orphanages there. Since the number of adoptive families wanting children is greatly increasing and the number of children being let out of the country is not, the predicted wait times for us is potentially 2 1/2 - 3 years. We have only been logged in for 2 months which means that we will more than likely have to wait another 28 months or so. The only thing that will help is if the Chinese government does something to speed up the process or make more children available for adoption.

Now I am thinking the worst. I just want a baby, if we have to wait that long, I will be 43 and Dwaine will be 53 before we get our daughter. If you think about that long term, Dwaine will be retired by the time she reaches high school. Another thing that I think about is the fact that we kind of wanted to adopt twice, if we have to wait that long, we will both be disqualified from adopting from pretty much any country because we will both be too old.

We are just asking for your prayers and support. Pray that the wait speeds up and that we will travel before we are both headed for the nursing home. I try not to be pessimistic but this week, I just can't really help it. I am still so grateful for the opportunity to adopt, I just wish it would be a better scenario. I keep thinking that if we could have our own children, we could have had a couple by then. Heck, we started our paperwork in August of last year, I could have had a baby by now already.

Thanks everyone for listening to me go on, I guess it is just part of the process. Thank you all for your prayers and support.


Kelley & Dwaine

Monday, April 9, 2007

A few more pics...

Please take note of the one in the middle. That one is my favorite. There is no need for any form of complicated birth control, just put these glasses on and no one of the opposite sex will want to come near you. Maybe that's why we don't have our own children. Hmmm.....
The one on the left is from Chris' birthday and the other one on the left is our Easter dinner together. Needless to say, we all ate way to much!
Well, that's it for now, until later...
Kelley & Dwaine

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! I know it is a little past Easter but wanted you to know that we send you Easter wishes.

Just want to update you on a few things just around the house. Not any big news just Spring things. A couple of weeks ago, Chris came down and spent his 22nd birthday with us. He brought his new puppy which we dog sat for while he was in Chicago for the weekend. He is a really cute puppy , very energetic to say the least. We met Chris' new girlfriend too. She is a very sweet girl. We spent the day opening gifts, and we went out to eat at a Japanese restaurant in town. Then we came back to the house and had birthday cake. It was a fun, relaxing day.

We are getting ready to do a few home improvements. We had an estimate for new kitchen cabinets and remodeling our basement. We are going to put another room in our basement and add a shower to the downstairs bathroom. I can't wait until it is all finished.

Spring is here and we are frantically doing yard work. So far we have mowed 3 times and we need to do it again if it ever warms back up. It has been below freezing here this last weekend. Needless to say, all of my outdoor plants have kicked the bucket. My dogwood tree had some beautiful blooms on it this Spring as did another tree in our front yard. I don't know what kind of tree it is but it was really pretty.

I will try to post a few more pictures later. I am still trying to get the hang of how this works. For now, know that we are doing well and we hope you all are too.


Kelley & Dwaine

Monday, April 2, 2007

Kisses in the Wind

I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.
I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.
Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.
May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.
Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.
May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.--- Unknown


Saturday, March 31, 2007

Steps involved in the adoption process

For all of those who are wondering just how the adoption process works, here's a little explanation of the steps involved.

  1. First, you talk to a social worker and decide how you want to adopt. There are two options- domestic adoption and international adoption. We looked at both options. Believe it or not, we are really too old to qualify for domestic adoption. Most agencies seem to push open adoption or at least that seems to be the most common. Most couples must be in their 30's to adopt domestically. That is one reason we chose international. Once we chose international adoption, then we picked which country we wanted to adopt from. Most countries have different regulations and restrictions which you must meet. We chose China because we meet the age restrictions and also because their government's adoption policies are very regimented. No surprises or bribing of judges etc. They treat all adoptive parents equally. The babies are usually healthier and have more medical history than babies adopted from other countries. So we know we will more than likely adopt a healthy girl between the ages of 7 months to 24 months. That is what we qualify for.

  2. After we spoke with a social worker from Lutheran Family and Children Services (LFCS) here in town, they directed us to an agency which deals with Chinese adoptions. We chose Chinese Children Adoption International (CCAI). They deal only with Chinese adoptions and are very well known with the Chinese government. They will take care of the international comings and goings.

  3. Next we sent our application in to CCAI and were approved to be their clients. Now the real paperwork begins.

  4. We needed to compile our dossier (I think this is a French term for "butt-load of paperwork") which consists of many documents which all must be notarized, certified by the secretary of state where the document originated and then they must be authenticated by the Chinese consulate for our region (which is in Chicago). The documents we needed to get were birth certificates, marriage certificates, police clearance reports, passports, employment verification, an income statement, physical exams, an adoption petition and a home study which was done by our local agency, LFCS. The home study consists of a social worker inspecting every aspect of your lives from you income to your pet's vaccinations to your functioning smoke detectors in your home. They examine you through a magnifying glass. We also needed to apply for qualification from the US government to adopt an orphan from China and another background check and fingerprinting by the US dept. of immigration This form is called a I171-H. This is the golden ticket to the adoption process. Once we got this form, (which is a real pain because you have to deal with the US immigration office and believe me, they are not in any big hurry to accommodate you) then we sent all of these things to CCAI.

  5. CCAI takes everything from here. They check all of your documents to make sure they are worded properly and contain accurate information that the Chinese government will need. Once the dossier passes critical review then they translate all documents from English to Chinese. They send the dossier to China and once China receives the dossier, they log you in. This is the precious log-in-date or LID. This date puts us "in line" to receive our baby. There are many people who are logged in. They match children with the next adoptive parents who are "in line". So it is kind of first come, first serve in a way. There are not as many children available as there are dossiers that are logged in. Now, the wait from log in to match is about 18 months. We expect that as we continue on, the wait will get longer by the time we are matched with our daughter. We are probably looking at around a 2 year wait.

Here is our time-line so far:

  • Our application was approved by CCAI 8/2/06

  • Our dossier was finished and received by CCAI on 2/2/07 (yes, it takes that long to get the paperwork together)

  • Our dossier was mailed to China on 2/6/07

  • Our log in date or LID is 2/25/07

Now here is the kicker, you remember that I171-H? Well, that form has to be valid throughout the waiting period and our trip to China to pick up our daughter. The waiting period is going to be over 18 months. The I171-H expires 18 months after you receive it. So before we go to China, we will have to renew that form which means that we will have to be re-fingerprinted, update our home study and have another physical (and of course pay the government another fee for the form).

Our fingerprints expire on 2/9/08 and our I171-H expires 7/9/08. We will be travelling hopefully sometime toward the end of 2008.

This is our pregnancy period. No physical side effects but a lot more paperwork and hoops to jump through. I prefer to call it paper pregnancy. I don't have swollen ankles but I think I have carpal tunnel from all of the paperwork we have filled out.

Now you know how it works...

Thanks for checking out the blog.

By the way, we think we are going to change the spelling of Rileigh to Ryleigh. We are still playing around with the idea. What do you think? Leave a comment and let us know.

Kelley & Dwaine

Friday, March 30, 2007

A poem

We Are So Blessed.

We have the opportunity to pray and wait and plan and hope and dream and work for our child. Circumstances don't allow us to take our child for granted - ever. We do all these things for so long and at such great emotional cost, that when our child is finally in our arms, we truly cherish every minute. Every second...

We are blessed to be in our child's life. We are blessed that God planned for us to be a family, and that we were given the opportunities that brought us together. We get to see all the best parts of mankind in our wonderful children. All the goodness and potential and innocence and ambition and confidence and love. And what a beautiful sight that is...

We are blessed to have run this race. It is long and, very often, it is practically impossible to complete. But we run anyway, and believe in ourselves and our child enough to do the impossible. We run, knowing that at the end of this great race, a child is waiting for a chance at a wonderful life. And we get to be the ones to give her that life.

We are blessed that when our child laughs, we are the ones to hear it. And when our child cries, we are the ones she looks for. When our child feels pain or joy or accomplishment or excitement, she shares it with us.We are so blessed to have had the chance to see life from a different angle. To see that things don't always go as you planned them out in the 5th grade- but that better things are in store. To be part of the few who feel constantly misunderstood. To be one who always has to be on guard against the rude and ignorant comment. To feel the frustration of not having the perfect comeback to that comment until three hours later. Our kids can use those experiences and lessons we have learned. We are deeper, stronger, more compassionate people because of this journey. And the world our children live in is better because we have grown in these ways.

Our child is blessed. She is patted and hugged and nestled and rocked and kissed and squeezed and taught and tickled and corrected and praised. She is told of her value in God's eyes. She is certain of her value in our eyes. And she never wonders if she will be cared for tomorrow or the next day...she sleeps comfortably each night, safe in our care.

We should tell our children we are proud. We have saved and scrimped, prayed and begged, planned and schemed, worked and worried, and hoped endlessly for them. We have dedicated years of our lives to finding them and bringing them home to their forever family. And we have given our whole hearts to them even before we ever saw that precious face.Now that is love. And parents who adopt know all about that...

Author unknown

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What I've read...

Here is a little something I read which was written by someone from another state that belongs to the same on-line adoption group that I do. It is written to prove a point that adoptive parents should feel as much like parents as those who actually give birth to their children. Those of us who are unable to have our own biological children still mourn the loss of that part of our lives. I am having a much easier time with it now but sometimes I still think about it. This describes the feeling of being an adoptive parent perfectly.

Anyway, here you go.

No we don't have (our wives) belly's that get bigger by the minute.
No we don't have elbows, feet and little fists pounding our (wives) insides.
No we don't have ultrasound pictures showing us our child's development by the month.
But we are Moms (Dad's).
We are Moms (Dads) when we are getting to know our child in a country where no one speaks the same language as us.
We are Moms (Dads) the second they hand us our child in a hotel conference room.
We are Moms (Dads) when we are carefully packing medication, clothing and diapers for the child we haven't met yet.
We are Moms (Dads) when we receive the phone call that we have been matched with a baby and view the first picture of our little girl.
We are Moms (Dads) when we celebrate our LID.
We are Moms (Dads) when we are excited to FINALLY receive our I-171h or I-797c in the mail.
We are Moms (Dads) when we tirelessly collect, notarize, certify and authenticate every aspect of ourselves.
We are Moms (Dads) when a Social Worker inspects our home, and spends hours asking us about our personal lives.
We are Moms (Dads) when we make the decision to adopt.
We are Moms (Dads) the first time we even have a thought about that child who will someday be ours.
We are Moms (Dads) even though most of our friends and family around us don't understand why a piece of paper or a Fed Ex package is as exciting to us as an ultrasound, or a positive pregnancy test.
We are Moms (Dads) who are madly in love with a baby we have not met.
We are Moms (Dads) who excitedly check email, Yahoo Groups and Blogs everyday to share this experience with other's around the country and world who are doing it too.
We are Moms (Dads) that cry in front of our computer screens when we hear that someone is DTC, LID, has gotten a referral, is leaving for China, or has experienced Gotcha Day!
We are Moms (Dads) to some baby out there who may be in a foster home, an orphanage, in her birth mother's belly growing, or that hasn't even been conceived yet.
WE ARE MOMS (Dads)!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I've been thinking...

I have been thinking about the long wait ahead. Here's what we are going to do to pass the time.

  • Installing new kitchen cabinets

  • Remodeling the basement and adding a bedroom downstairs where Ryan will sleep. We will also install a massive closet and a shower downstairs. The baby will stay in Ryan's old room

  • Fixing up the baby's room (in pink of course)

  • Travelling - which we all know you can't do very easily with a toddler.

  • A lot of reading

  • A lot of eating out

  • A lot of dates on Saturday nights

  • Going to movies other than those that have Disney themes

I figure there will be almost 2 years worth of time to take up while we are waiting. I have been doing a lot of reading about China and the culture. Very interesting. I have also met some new friends along the way. There are a few other couples that I have gotten to know on-line who are using the same agency and social worker we are using. We all also have log-in dates that are within 6 months of each other. I figure when we get back, our daughters will be the same age and maybe even attend the same school.

Also, since we have started this blog, if you haven't figured out by now, we are going to name her Rileigh. I thought Riley was too plain and some boys have that name also. I thought it might be a better name for a girl if we mix up the spelling a little bit. However Dwaine likes the spelling Ryleigh better. I think I agree. What do you all think? You can all vote on it.

Until later...

Kelley & Dwaine

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The beginning of a long wait...

This is a story of the beginning of a long journey; a journey to our daughter who has not even been born yet. Dwaine and I have been looking into adoption for quite a while now and the first of August this year, we were approved by CCAI to adopt a little girl from China. So far, our journey has consisted of a LOT of paperwork. We have had to prove ourselves as worthy parents through police background checks. We have had to pay a hefty sum of money and provide proof of our employment and income. We have had to get permission from the U.S. immigration office and the Chinese government. We have jumped through hoops and done the paperwork polka for the last 7 months.

Finally, we have been approved and provided a log-in-date. That is the official word from the Chinese government that they have received all of the necessary documents and placed us "in line" behind a vast sea of others who have been placed "in line" also. The minimum amount of time that we will be waiting will be at least 18 months but probably longer. So now we are in a holding pattern until we hear from China that it is time to go. We will travel to China to get our daughter and bring her home to us.

I look at it as being pregnant for the time it will take to have two children without the morning sickness, weight gain, swollen ankles, etc. No physical symptoms, just twice the wait.

Anyway, we will keep you posted on our journey and hopefully this will be a way for us to keep in contact while we are actually in China.

Until later...

Kelley & Dwaine