2011 in review

1 Jan

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,400 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Bring Hope Home

29 Jul

Recently made some new friends from Bring Hope Home and they are having a HUGE online auction fundraiser on their site right now. Including one of our tote bags. Take the time to check out all the goodies they have; auction runs ’til Saturday, July 30th.

2011…not what I expected.

11 Jul

I realize its been a good minute since I’ve posted regularly. Shame on me. Life has been it’s usual unpredictable self and has thrown us many unexpected challenges. So far, I feel like we’ve managed to overcome them or at least most of them. 2011 just hasn’t been what I expected. We are over halfway through the year and it seems that the twists and turns are yet to be over.

A re-cap on the old news, and new news…at least to you.

Back in January, We had our homestudy interviews completed. We received a nice refund check from Toyota for all the car issues we had. I worried about possibly losing my job due to lack of government funding, but overall it looked like 2011 would be good to us.

February: We had our zumabthon and raised a nice chunk of cash to put towards our adoption.

And I lost my job. Yup, the program I worked for had to lay off close to 60 employees (out of about 80-ish) due to lack of funding.

March: My husband also lost his job. So now we’re both unemployed. And on top of that we find out that we didn’t meet one qualification to adopt from the Philippines. So, we switched to the Korea program, but was worried about how we were going to finance everything.

April: I got a temporary position working in the DC/VA area (a good 3 hours from where we live), filling in for a gal who is on maternity leave. This is the main reason to why I haven’t posted, I’ve just been busy and unavailable. While it has been great to *try to* save some money, pay off some bills and be off of unemployment, it also has been hard trying to drive back and forth from VA to PA (in madd traffic), be away from my hubbers and have a house that is mine. I have been renting a room out a soldier’s house while he’s deployed; there is another tenant also renting from this house, so it has been interesting living with a roomie (that is NOT my hubbers) and a dog with separation anxiety.

We were then told that from our agency that we might have difficulties adoption from Korea, due to their over-sight. I will get into this later, because I feel like that should be a post all on its own.

May: I am getting used to working and commuting in the VA/DC area and have met some great people to talk to and hang out with. Still missing my hubbers, but I drive home just about EVERY weekend (even though most of that weekend is spent running errands or working at the guard unit). Hubbers still has no luck finding employment though. :(

June: Still in VA/DC. I am finally able to save some $$. Which is great since this temporary stint is almost over and soon I’ll be back on unemployment. We haven’t been able to save much money, because hubbers is still unemployed; we’ve had to manage paying EVERYTHING (ie. mortgage, car payment, utilities, groceries, my rent in VA and metro/parking there, AND hubber’s child support) on my measly paycheck. ::sigh::

July: My stint in DC/VA is almost over. I will be officially home in PA mid-July. And while I’ll be back on unemployment, I’m super excited to be back in my own space (where I can walk around the house naked if I want to), sleep in my own bed and cuddles with hubbers. We’re still very unsure about our immediate future since hubbers is still looking for work. I am entertaining the idea of possibly going back to school…full-time, with use of the GI Bill. Since my school will be paid for, we just need to make sure we can afford to pay our bills without me bringing in a pay check. This is all pending that hubbers finds work…SOON.

THAT is my update. Please feel free to send good juju my way.
More updates to come…

Please vote for my hubbers!

13 May

My hubbers is a finalist for “Best Producer” for the 2011 Central Pa Hip Hop Awards!! Yay!

I know I’ve mentioned this once or twice before, but if you didn’t know, my hubbers is very much into the hip hop scene. He eats and sleeps hip hop. What does that mean exactly? Well, besides being completely immersed with it, he produces beats, which he creates by sampling songs from vinyl (you can catch a snippet of what I mean from his blog, he has a segment called “sample vs. flip”, where you can hear the original song and then the beat he produced using the song) and he dabbles as an emcee.

Here’s my hubbers at an open mic in D.C., the venue provided the band, he provided the lyrics.

Sooo…this is where I need your help! My hubbers is a finalist for “Best Producer” for the 2011 Central Pa Hip Hop Awards!!
Of course we want him to win! So puuuulease go and vote for him! And spread the word!

  1. Go to this link: http://fs19.formsite.com/hhawards/form41/index.html
  2. Must fill out name, number and leave a comment (at the bottom) to submit form. Leave a fake number for all I care.
  3. Fill out form. You don’t have to vote for every section; just make sure you vote for “JaeDiamonds” in the Best Producer section, which is midway through the form.
    Other cool peeps to vote for: DJ SMITTY, DJ KRISTYLES,  J.BAIR, PAPI RAZZI, MR. BLACKSTON, NOVA, MUSIC MAN, PHENE, and NIAGRA.

Thank you!!

Voting goes on ’til Saturday, May 14th @ 12pm…sooo please vote now!
The awards show is Sunday, May 15th…so I’ll be sure to let you know the results! Fingers crossed!!

More info about the Central Pa Hip Hop awards: http://cphiphopawards.com/

*UPDATE*  Hubbers did not win in his category, but we had such a blast hanging out with friends and watching the performances. Jeremy made some great contacts for collaborations and such. Thanks for all those who voted!

Snapshot Sunday! Mother’s Day Edition

8 May

This Snapshot Sunday is in honor of Mother’s Day.
My mother and I don’t always get along. Sometimes I think we’re too much alike and that is why we occasionally bump heads. No matter what, I couldn’t ask for a better mom. I <3 you, mommers. Mwah!


Ni Hao Y'all

Snapshot Sunday!

24 Apr

My Snapshot Sunday posts are getting few and far between…I’m running out of photos. I know many of my friends and family have them, so I’ll have to get on their arse to get photos of them wearing them.

This week’s Snapshot Sunday is Melinda! I first “met” Melinda on Weddingbee, she is also Mrs. Lamb. Then I had the honor of meeting her in real life at a Weddingbee meet-up in Vegas last year. She got all “America’s Next Top Model” and let me photograph her in the desert. She has such great energy and an amazing way with words. Love her! She is such a doll and I can’t wait to be able to meet-up with again. Hear that, Melinda?! Let’s get together soon! Follow her at Palindrome at Home.

Melinda, last year, posing in the desert…

Isn’t she purty! Thanks, Melinda, for the support!

Do you have an Adoption Rocks t-shirt?! I would love to see a photo of you in it!

Ni Hao Y'all

I own you.

23 Apr

I had posted a “quick” update awhile ago here, but I really wanted to explain our homestudy for those who have been asking. The homestudy is probably the most involved part of the adoption…so far.

The outside of our tiny 1188 sq. ft. condo. 

With our massive paperwork, Jeremy and I each had to write a 6-10 page autobiography on ourselves. It was tedious.

As our homestudy interviews approached, we spent some time talking to Lil’ B about adopting. To be honest, I really didn’t want to explain it to him so early at first. Mainly because, at 6 years old, he doesn’t have a concept of time yet and the Philippines program (which at that point, we were still in) is a 2+ year process. I didn’t want to tell him today that he might have a lil’ brother or sister, then it not happen for 2 years. But we knew the case worker would be asking Lil’ B some questions and we felt it was best to prepare him for it.  Lil’ B’s mom is well aware of us planning to adopt; we told her about it last summer and she has been very supportive with our decision. In fact, she even wrote one of our referral letters for us. <3  I’m not sure how much she had been telling/explaining to Lil’ B, but I assume she might have said something to him.

One evening as Lil’ B and I were veggin’ on the couch, watching TV, some commercial about babies came on.
Out of nowhere, Lil’ B says. “I want a brother”
Me: “I know, hun. You know daddy and I are adopting a brother or sister, right?”
Lil’ B: “Yeah.”
Me: “Do you know what adoption means?”
Lil’ B: “That they don’t have an owner yet”

Owner. He said owner. Ohhh I laughed.

Me: (trying to contain my laugher) “Well…it means that those kids don’t have a family and we’re going to adopt a brother or sister and they will be apart of our family.”
Lil’ B: “Ohhh. I don’t want to know where babies come from.”
Me: (still laughing): Well, one day you’ll want to know”
Lil’ B: I don’t want to know where babies come from” (saying it a bit firmer)
Me: When you’re ready to know, you can come ask me, your dad or your mom.

Ohh…trying to explain it on a kids level…not easy!

When the case worker came to our house for a 3 hour interview. Yes…3 hours. She mainly asked us questions pertaining to our autobiographies; things that she just wanted to verify or have us elaborate more about. She asked us a lot about our relationships with our families and how our parents treated us growing up. Of course, she also asked Jeremy and I questions about each other; our personalities, our likes and dislikes and how we handle our anger. She asked Lil’ B about 2 or 3 questions; if he wanted to be a big brother, if he’d rather have a brother or sister, questions appropriate for a child to answer. And then Lil’ B gave her a tour of the house (which lasted a whole 5 minutes or less).

Spare room/Computer room…which will eventually be our new lil’ one’s room

After the homestudy interviews, the case worker writes a whole report on you. It pretty much lists everything anyone could ever know about you, your finances, your childhood, every school you ever went to, your family, your reasons to adopt…everything. Our report was about 14 pages long. No kidding.

AND that’s where we’re at now. We’re waiting for our agency to “re-write” our homestudy. Our original homestudy was specific to the Philippines, so now they have to take out any reference to the Philippines and replace it with Korea. Also the “Child Conditions” form (the hardest form to ever fill out; it lists just about every medical condition a person could be born with and we have to say if it’s something we can handle or not) is different for the Korea program than the Philippines, so we had to re-do that paperwork, since there is a section in the homestudy that lists what you are able to accept and handle medically. Once we receive our *new* homestudy, we fill out the I-600A form, send it in (with our homestudy)….and then we are on the wait list. woot, woot!

Anyone adopting read my blog? How did you explain to the kids in your family (whether they be sons, daughters, cousins, nieces, nephews or other) about your adoption?

Snapshot Sunday!

3 Apr

Bear. Bear has been my bestie since I was around 12-ish (and still living in Hawaii). We now live across the continent from each other, but she’s still the one I go to when I need to vent. I owe her much more than a thank you for rockin’ our shirts. Thanks, Bear, for being there for the last 18 years. Yikes, it has been that long! Love you!
Aren’t her girls a.dor.able?!

Do you have an Adoption Rocks t-shirt?! I would love to see a photo of you in it!

Ni Hao Y'all

Snapshot Sunday!

27 Mar

Rileigh, the cutest lil’ girl, who just turned 2!! Totally rockin’ out the shirt!
Thanks Rileigh (and Jess) for the support!
I do have a few extra toddler sized shirts, if anyone is interested. Just hit me up, nejireta04@yahoo.com.

Do you have an Adoption Rocks t-shirt?! I would love to see a photo of you in it!

Ni Hao Y'all

Updates!

22 Mar

Ohhh I know…it’s been waaay to long since I’ve updated everyone. Eeep! I do apologize for that! Lots have happened since I last posted an update. The good, the bad and the ugly.

The good.

  • In December we finished the first part of our massive paperwork. Phew.
  • We also had our homestudy done in January and are homestudy approved! woot, woot!

The bad & ugly.
After 9 months of paperwork and a few thousand dollars into this, we found out that we will not be adopting from the Philippines after all.
Even though the first and main question I asked at our initial information meeting (back in June 2010) was about the religious requirements, it seems that after ALL this time, we won’t meet that requirement (Parent must demonstrate a relationship of at least 5 years with a religious or spiritual organization.). Our agency didn’t catch this until now. Now, after we’ve already had our minds and hearts set on the Philippines. Now, after we already are emotionally and financially invested. They did try to “fix” this; our agency sent our religious affiliation letter to the Philippines for pre-approval (before we got any farther in the process), but it seems that, even though the Philippines is okay with us and our letter (they really didn’t want to refuse a Filipino family a Filipino child), they don’t think it will pass the Inter-County Adoption Board (ICAB) since it is a requirement for the Philippines. And if the ICAB doesn’t approve, then our dossier would never make it to the Philippines, regardless. :(
We are a little heart-broken. We were really looking forward to adopting from the Philippines and still being able to share that cultural background with our child.

Back to The good.

  • We have decided to continue our adoption journey and adopt from Korea!
  • Luckily, the $$ we spent up to date and most of the paperwork we’ve already done will transfer over to the Korea program.
  • There are MANY pros to us adopting from Korea:
  1.  No dossier! Once we are homestudy approved (which we already are), our homestudy gets sent to the agency in Korea, we send paperwork to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and we are on the wait list!
  2. This brings us to pro #2, shorter wait times! With the Philippines, we had an estimated 2 year wait. Korea’s average wait time is 1 year or less to receive a referral.
  3. We could bring home a younger child. The youngest we could adopt from the Philippines was 2 years old; we could get placed with a child as young as 7 months from Korea. I think we’re still going to aim for toddler age, but we’ll see. ;o)
  4.  One of my Besties is half-Korean. After talking to her on the phone, she seemed pretty excited for us and I am totally going to be expecting her to be the favorite “Auntie”. ;)

Summary:
We are not adopting from the Philippines anymore. :( BUT we will be adopting from Korea. AND that means we could have an addition to our family by this time next year! That also means that we need to get our arse in gear and fundraise! When adopting from the Philippines, we thought we had 2 years to raise and save money. Now it looks like we’ll need to save and raise a lot more, a lot sooner. So this is where I ask you to help out! If you haven’t scored one of our awesome “Adoption Rock’s” shirts, puuuulease do! I also have toddler sizes and totebags available. Or donate $1.50 and get an awesome sticker!

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