Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I wish I was a millionaire...

Yesterday I received an email from Holt updating all of the families in process about some changes. They were basically just letting everyone know that they are still matching families who haven’t even finished their dossier yet SO that means there is a possibility that we would be invoiced for both the dossier fee and the country fee ($3,000 & $9890). Then they informed us that if we weren’t financially or emotionally ready top accept those double invoices then we needed to inform them to NOT put us on the wait list. When I got this email I was crushed. This whole time I’ve been excited at how quickly things are moving when in reality they can only move as quickly as our bank account will allow. I never imagined that things would move this quickly and I always expected to raise the country fee while we were waiting for our referral (which was supposed to be anywhere from 3-5 months). I internalize everything, which as a general rule isn’t a great quality and in a marriage is a TERRIBLE quality. I sat there yesterday afternoon torturing myself with this information and didn’t share it with Tyler. It had nothing to do with the fact that I didn’t want him to know it’s just a bad habit of mine and it took over in full force yesterday. I was so sad. I was discouraged. I felt so helpless. I can’t imagine the issue of money keeping me from my child but in adoption it absolutely does. When we decided to follow God’s choice for our family through adoption we knew we were stepping out in faith, we knew that there would be road blocks and that the cost would be immense. The truth is that if money were no object we would probably bring our baby home by spring but alas money is always the issue. God continue’s to bless us with people donating for our garage sale, friends of friends of friends who are giving us their stuff to help raise money for this adoption and for that we are truly grateful. We’ve had people purchase 10 bags of coffee for Christmas gifts and another person randomly give us $100. Its been neat to see who this adoption is touching and what they have been willing to sacrifice in order to help bring this child from a potentially life threatening existence to a country where clean running water is never out of reach, and preventable diseases are just that...preventable.

Anywho, please continue to pray for us, that we’ll be able to raise the funds necessary to bring our little one home. Pray for patience and perseverance. Pray for good ideas on raising money. Pray that once our home study is finished that the grants we apply for will find favor with us and we’ll receive grant money. Pray for our little one...that they will remain safe and know that soon they’ll be home with us.

Hebrews 10:36 “You must hold on, so you can do what God wants and receive what he has promised.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wildly normal thoughts?...

So in the beginning when I had my major “Am I ready to be a parent?” freak out moment I was also thinking a few other things, that I had to work through by myself. I’m afraid of being annoyed by my baby, I mean I know that I’m going to be annoyed by my adolescent child but really...annoyed at an infant? They can’t help that they’re totally helpless without me, or that their tummy hurts or they’re teething. It’s just weird to think that my infant child is going to get on my nerves. Anyone else ever felt that way about their newborn? I guess I just think to myself....self you just saved and raised a ton of money to travel 7,000 miles across the country to rescue a kid from a no good life to bring them home to NOT BE ANNOYED WITH THEM. Unrealistic I know. I’ll get over it but the truth is I don’t WANT to be annoyed with them, I love them (already and we’ve not even met), oh well I’ll get over it I suppose.

Still looking for donations for our garage sale! Hoping to collect a lot of junk for this sale so we can raise some serious $$$ for our dossier fee! My parents cleaned out their garage tonight so I can’t even imagine what they’ll be donating, I know one thing that’s going to turn some heads a sweet little moped that my dad bought my mom over a year ago during the gas crisis. Its name is McFly because it looks like a flippin’ space machine!

Keep praying we raise the funds we need to bring this baby home. We’re sending out support letters soon and raising money with our coffee. Don’t forget to visit our store at www.justlovecoffee.com/zielasko .

Monday, November 16, 2009

Two more weeks...

Today means that we only have 2 weeks until our final home study visit. Our list of things to get is not that big, a fire extinguisher, cabinet locks, and outlet covers. I’m still deciding what the world we’re going to do with our dogs...I’m afraid Gus is going to launch himself at her and scratch her face. That will mean great things, since we plan on having an infant. It was kind of weird to make that list the other day, you know? To actually hear Tyler say “Ok I’ll go to Lowe’s and pick up some of those outlet covers...” Also if I’m being totally honest I hate the idea of installing cabinet locks. Our kid isn’t even going to be able to move around by the cabinets when we bring them home. I’m opposed to it, but I don’t have a choice, they’ll just annoy me after the social worker is gone! HA! I’m not nervous about her coming here. She is seriously such a cool cat and the last two meetings we’ve had with her have been super chill. In fact sometimes I think that our home study experience is very different from other people’s that I’ve heard of. The whole idea of this home study is just bizarre anyway, the fact that someone we’ve only known for two months is going to write a few page document that is our green light for being great parents is so strange to me. Anywho, we’re SO EXCITED! This is one step closer, and I know that once this is completed this process is really going to speed up QUITE A BIT! Essentially we’ll start dealing with Holt exclusively which up until this point we haven’t really dealt with them at all.

Things are changing. My thoughts are a little different. Each holiday or birthday brings the thoughts of “This time next year, I’ll be toting a baby around with me on my birthday”, “this time next year I’ll be telling a little guy/girl to not touch the ornaments on the tree”...this time next year we’ll be a family of three.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In the spirit of true honesty...

Yesterday I had a break down...not the One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest kind of break down, but I met my limit for the day emotionally which allowed me to self assess and I didn’t like what I found. My last post really focused on the need to keep these children in Ethiopia with their true families, and how that can’t happen if all their extended families are dying because of HIV/AIDS. Another major threat that people have in Ethiopia is poverty, which leads to hunger, which leads to starvation which leads to death. My breakdown began when I read this sentence in “There’s No Me Without You”... “America wrestles with its obesity crisis to such an extent that American’s forget there are worse weight problems on earth than obesity”. It’s no secret that I have a weight problem. I mean to take one look at me you can see it, I’m not talking about a few extra pounds....I’m talking about a considerable amount of extra weight that I’ve managed to pack on the last 7 years. I’ve started and stopped more diets and exercise regimens than I can count on my hands. I start on it and follow through for a few weeks and then go right back into my bad habits. I can’t be overweight when I go to pick up my child. I just can’t. On a daily basis I’m embarrassed about being overweight here in America when like 5 out of 10 people are at least 30 pounds heavier than they should be, but over there? Where people are starving and poor, where they beg you for food? I won’t do it. I’m not saying that I want to starve myself so I can feel what life is like as a starving person but I need to reevaluate needs. What I would LOVE is prayer! Pray that I’ll stay true to my word and myself, and wish me luck and for goodness sakes don’t bake me any cakes!!!

Psalm 23:3 “He gives me new strength. He leads me on paths that are right for the good of his name.”


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Unacceptable...

The last week or so I’ve really had a burden to pray for Ethiopia as a country. This country is in crisis, like other African nations Ethiopia suffers from a huge HIV/AIDS epidemic, an epidemic that causes parents to be put in a situation where they cannot care for their children. I’ve been reading a book by Melissa Fay Green called “There’s no me without you”. I’m telling you, if you read this book and don’t cry your freakin’ eyes out then you have to be a robot. Plain and simple. Here are some quotes from the book that really got me thinking very differently about this adoption and the people of Ethiopia and my child’s birth parents.

“I am deeply respectful of the families who care for our children,” he said. “But I am so very interested in any help that can be given to us to keep the children’s first parents alive. Adoption is good, but children, naturally, would prefer not to see their parents die.” This struck me to the core. I thought to myself OF COURSE! I’m an idiot for never thinking that way. These parents have two choices....either keep their child in their care where they will eventually contract the virus and even possibly die before their child does or give their child up for adoption where they have a slim chance they can have a semi-normal life. Normal life of course would mean the constant reminder that your parents had to abandon you. That’s a horrible norm in my opinion. Adoption is a fantastic option, an undeniably character building self assessment gut check option, but obviously I’d rather my child be with their mother and father in their home country, healthy, happy and safe. On the same token another quote from the book. “Adoption is not the answer to HIV/AIDS in Africa. Adoption rescues few. Adoption illuminates by example: these few once-loved children who lost their parents to preventable diseases have been offered a second chance at family life in foreign countries; like young ambassadors, they instruct us. For every orphan turning up in a northern-hemisphere household-winning the spelling bee, winning the cross-country race, joining the Boy Scouts, learning to rollerblade, playing the trumpet or the violin---ten thousand African children remain behind...alone.

I guess all of this to say in the beginning of this whole adoption process people would ask me “why not here in America?”. “Don’t we have plenty of children here that you can adopt without having to go clear across the world?”. My answer then was just that the need was huge in Ethiopia, but until I started doing some research I didn’t realize how great the need actually was. It’s not just the need for providing homes for millions of homeless children, it’s also getting some help to the adults that are suffering from a very treatable disease. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do about this. I don’t know what my little hands can do to help. I do know that my God is big....bigger than HIV/AIDS, I know that my prayers go to someone whose hands are truly bigger than anyones.

Psalm 48:10 “God, your name is known everywhere;all over the earth people praise you.Your right hand is full of goodness.”

Monday, November 9, 2009

GIVE US YOUR JUNK IT'S TIME TO BRING THIS BABY HOME!

So its taken some time to get the date squared away but it’s officially scheduled for Saturday, December 5th starting in the earliest hours of the morning! Here’s the deal...we need some serious amount of stuff to fill an entire driveway and beyond. I have read a lot of blogs where people use this as a way to raise money for their dossier fee and I personally think that WE CAN DO IT! Our dossier fee is $3,000 and if we collect enough stuff combined with selling some baked goods and such, I know God can provide! So spread the word...if you’re local and have some junk you’d like to get rid of just contact me and we’ll come by and even pick it up for ya! Furniture, electronics, clothes, trinkets, really anything. We’re just going to donate any leftovers to someone else who is having a garage sale to raise money for an adoption or have Salvation Army come by and get it. If you’re up to donating your time the Friday before to help price, and make some signs just email karizielasko@me.com.

In other good news we’ve received a few donations towards the adoption in the last few weeks. I can’t even tell you how much it means to us for someone to care that much about this child, a child we don’t even know, to give towards this adoption there are no other words, except thank you. Thank you for helping us change one child’s life and thank you for helping to bring them home.

James 1:27 Religion that God accepts as pure and without fault is this: caring for orphans or widows who need help, and keeping yourself free from the world’s evil influence.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

To our future child...I'm sorry in advance...

So far nothing new in adoption land. Just waiting for our final home study visit and of course that’s going to be exciting! I really can say that I learned a lot from our online course with the National Council for Adoption. They had a lot of really useful and great information on how to deal with things as an adoptive parent. They had a lot of video insights from couples who had adopted from all different places. They talked about the travel and the adjustment when they returned home. There are so many things that I don’t even think of because all I’m seeing is our baby. I joked with my mother in law that I’d probably get all the way across the world and realize I forgot the baby formula! Poor kid. They’re in for a real treat.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I wonder...

I had a fantastic weekend with my bestie Leanne! She flew in on Friday afternoon and was outta here early this morning and while it was a short visit....it was a great visit. She is a very insightful human and full of great stories and advice. She is also one of my only friends that does NOT have any babies yet so that makes for a little more freedom on her end. We carved pumpkins, ate great food, watched ridiculous reality television and talked a lot. It’s always so great to to have someone visit you that represents a different time in your life!

Today seemed like a huge waste of time but it actually was strangely productive. We finished our online courses needed for our home study, drafted our support letter (it’s weird to actually see the costs written down and totaled...YOWZA), finalized some things in regards to our upcoming garage sale (more details soon!), and just overall relaxed.

Still super pumped about our final home study meeting. Now I have to go to the store and purchase outlet covers and cabinet locks. That’s going to be super surreal, and in my mind I’m still buying them for someone else’s child. It will probably be that way for me until we get our referral, I won’t be able to visualize I don’t think. For a mom that’s pregnant they’re sick, or craving weird things...their belly is getting bigger, the baby kicks and they may even know the sex of the child but with me so far I can buy as many things that say I am in fact going to be a mom soon but until I see that tiny little face it won’t be real to me. Until I can read their file, and maybe even watch a video....it will be hard for me to visualize what he/she will look like. I’M DYING TO SEE THEM...I’M DYING TO MEET THEM....I’m dying to hold them, soothe them, provide for them...love them. I feel like I can’t get things done fast enough to get me to that point. If money were no object that baby would be in my arms in no time. It’s strange to know that our child is probably alive right now, living somewhere else. I wonder a lot.

Psalm 57:9-11 “Lord, I will praise you among the nations;
I will sing songs of praise about you to all the nations. Your great love reaches to the skies,your truth to the clouds. God, you are supreme above the skies.Let your glory be over all the earth.”