Tuesday, June 24, 2008

She Calls me Daaa... D

Well, my little Yetta above, amazed me once again. Last night I worked a little late and was very suprised that boogie was still awake when I got home. Well, we needed a few things from the store so Karen said, "Spend some time with Bella before she goes to bed I'll run to the store". Well, I was hoping to feed her a bottle, talking with her for bit, and have her fall asleep since it was past her bed time. What time that is I'm really not sure but it was getting late. After I fed her the bottle she popped up and started mouthing words. She looked like a low budget Asian film. The mouth was moving but no words. Then all of sudden I hear, Daa-Deeee, Daaaa-Deeee, Dad, Dad, Dad. Of course, I got on the phone and called Karen to tell her the news. Needless to say I wasn't believed by my lovely wife. Jealousy is such an ugly thang! She stated, "Some women want to believe they are pregnant so bad their body starts to react to make them look pregnant. I believe that's what's happening to you?" Was she talking about my gut making me look like I'm pregnant or is she saying I have wishful thinking about hearing daddy? Hmmmmmmm...

Anyway, My Boogie calls me .. Daaaaa Da! and I'm sticking to it!

Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Baby's Mother Earth

This post is in thanks to the research of my Wife, Green Peace extraordinaire, Free Cycle Supporter, reducing her carbon footprint, K-lo.

When K told me a couple weeks ago that she wanted to switch Bella to cloth diapers I honestly had visions of stinky diaper pales and me sticking my thumbs with safety pins. Whoever coined that term needs their head examined. There is nothing safe about them. Anyway, I really wasn't all that excited. I just wasn't on the same page as her.

K explained to me how many diapers go into our landfills. I could understand this. If you take Boogie alone at 8 diapers a day times 365 for the next 3 years that's 8760 just produced by princess peealot. Imagine how many babies are in this country alone? They estimate that 27.4 Billion Diapers are used each year. That produces 3.4 million tons of diapers ending up in landfills.

Besides taking care of our Earth Karen really got my attention on how much money we would save. Karen researched that we would spend about $2000 in diapers for Bella if we used disposable. If we switch and invest in Cloth Diapers we'll only spend about $200. So she was making progress on me.

I honestly still had visions of back in the day of cloth diapers. Let me tell you, we got a few delivered this week and they are really cool. Below is a picture of one of the Cadillacs of Diapers. This is from a company called Bum Genius:

They look basically like a disposable but have Velcro straps instead of adhesive ones and they are so much nicer. They keep boogies bum a lot drier which helps protect against rashes and other stuff. If your baby has full figured thighs like ours these diapers are adjustable.

What's great too, and we will be getting one soon, is you can get a spray nozzle attachment for your toilet. So it makes it a lot easier for clean up purposes. You then throw them in a Wet Bag waiting for the laundry.

So Boogie can not only be a lot more comfortable she can help reduce her Carbon Footprint. However, I think she's taking this All Natural thing a bit too far. She's got something against man made materials and I found her enjoying being naked way too much! That's my GIRL!

Have a Great Weekend.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Spring is a time when things are in bloom! In our area you are seeing the bunnies born in April growing and starting to venture out on their own. It's also been a time of a lot of rain and unfortunate flooding in our area. Well, our little bunny is growing too! Boogie this past week had to be bumped up to the next levels in her exersaucer and her jumparoo. One day she's bouncing perfectly and the next she looks like a fifth grader on the baby swings. The girl is getting so tall. On top of this she is sprouting a noticeable tooth on her bottom gum in the front. I'm ordering cement blocks today to strap to her head so she can't grow anymore.

Karen got me a really cool Father's Day Gift. She bought me a book by Robert Wolgemuth called, She Calls Me Daddy. Karen told me Robert was a guest on Focus on the Family with Dr. James Dobson. I started reading it Sunday. It is an awesome book. This little girl doesn't have a chance and I feel worse for the little boys who want to date her. Karen is reading a book by Dr. Dobson called, Parenting isn't for cowards. It's basically a book that encourages and instructs parents who have done basically everything right yet their kids turn out to be a challenge or worse rotten. I can't wait to read it when she's done. Now, while on the topic of good books. There is a counterpart to the book I'm reading by Dr Dobson called Bringing up Boys. This book, along with Wild at Heart are a must have instruction book if you have little boys, big boys, or men in your life. Men are loners by nature and are afraid to talk to each other about our feelings. Wild at Heart, especially for us big boys, gives every man a sense of purpose, some relief on issues in our lives, and just a good encouraging book. Must Read! It's also a good book for wives and hopeful wives to read to help understand men. My lovely wife is a lover of books. Me? I used to hate to read until I realized what wonderful stuff is out there! So I am so grateful for my beautiful wife making my father's day so special and being instrumental in my personal growth.

So Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Well, if we are not in the midst of another Baby Boom I will be suprised. Everday I hear of a New Birth Announcement. I want to announce and welcome Baby John Paul, as I've affectionately named Pope, to the World. Karen's sister Angela gave birth today to her second child and second son. Watch out Central Florida because these two young guys are going to be very popular with the ladies. My sister-in-law makes some good looking babies! Congratulations to Angela and her husband Paul for another added blessing to the Family.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Princess WinterFall SummerSpring

Besides Bella's story of coming into our life there is another very interesting aspect to her. Bella comes from many different cultures-Irish, German, Arab, but I think one of the most interesting is the fact that she is 1/16th Cherokee Indian. What's cool about this is she is eligible for Health Care and Scholarships through the Cherokee Nation. I thought in this post I would pay tribute to our little Pocahantus by posting a kids question and answer page I found on the Net.

(There is one aspect of her being Cherokee that almost derailed our Adoption process. In those crazy two weeks back in October/November when we sat down with our attorney he asked if Bella had any Native American blood. We really didn't know a lot but we said no. Our attorney said, yeah, it's unlikely but I had to ask. Well, during questioning of the birth father by his attorney he stated that yes, he was 1/8th Cherokee. We find out about this the day we went to court to gain guardianship and terminate the birth parents rights. My lawyer, along with us, nearly freaked. The reason why this is such a big deal is under Federal Law a Tribe can take possession of a baby given up for adoption. Well, my lawyer and the Judge researched it and that only holds true if the parent(s) who are part of the tribe do not willing give the child up for adoption then their tribe can step in and take the baby. Since the birth father willing terminated his parental rights then we had nothing to worry about.)

So here are few facts about the Cherokee Tribe:

How do you pronounce the word "Cherokee"? What does it mean?
It's pronounced "CHAIR-uh-kee." It comes from a Muskogee word meaning 'speakers of another language.' Cherokee Indians originally called themselves Aniyunwiya, "the principal people," but today they accept the name Cherokee, which is spelled and pronounced Tsalagi in their own language.

Where do the Cherokee Indians live?
The Cherokees are original residents of the American southeast region, particularly Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Most Cherokees were forced to and move to Oklahoma in the 1800's along the Trail of Tears. Descendants of the Cherokee Indians who survived this death march still live in Oklahoma today. Some Cherokees escaped the Trail of Tears by hiding in the Appalachian hills or taking shelter with sympathetic white neighbors. The descendants of these people live scattered throughout the original Cherokee Indian homelands.

What was the Cherokee Trail of Tears?
Trail of Tears was the Cherokee name for what the Americans called Indian Removal. During the 1800's, the US government created an "Indian Territory" in Oklahoma and sent all the eastern Native American tribes to live there. Some tribes willingly agreed to this plan. Other tribes didn't want to go, and the American army forced them. The Cherokee tribe was one of the largest eastern tribes, and they didn't want to leave their homeland. The Cherokees were peaceful allies of the Americans, so they asked the Supreme Court for help. The judges decided the Cherokee Indians could stay in their homes. But the President, Andrew Jackson, sent the army to march the Cherokees to Oklahoma anyway. They weren't prepared for the journey, and it was winter time. Thousands of Cherokee Indians died on the Trail of Tears. Many Native Americans from other tribes died too. It was a terrible time in history.

How is the Cherokee Indian nation organized?
There are three federally recognized Cherokee tribes: the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma(tribe Bella is associated with) , the United Keetoowah Band in Oklahoma, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee in North Carolina. Other Cherokee communities in Alabama, Georgia, and other states are considered unofficial by the US government. The Eastern Cherokee people live on a reservation. Indian reservations are lands that belong to Native American tribes and are under their control. The Oklahoma Cherokee people live on trust land, though many Cherokees call it a reservation anyway. The Keetowah Cherokee do not have a land base. Each Cherokee tribe has its own government, laws, police, and services, just like a small country. However, Cherokee Indians are also US citizens and must obey American law.

In the past, each Cherokee band was led by one war chief and one peace chief. Cherokee chiefs were chosen by a tribal council. Cherokee war chiefs were male, but the peace chief could be a woman. Today, Cherokee tribal councils and chiefs can be either gender and are popularly elected, like senators and governors.

What language do the Cherokees speak?
Most Cherokee people speak English today, but 20,000 people also speak the Cherokee Indian language. Cherokee is a complex language with soft sounds. If you'd like to know a few easy Cherokee words, "osiyo" (pronounced oh-see-yoh) is a friendly greeting, and "wado" (pronounced wah-doh) means 'thank you.' You can hear Cherokee being spoken here, or read a Cherokee picture glossary here.

The Cherokee language has an innovative writing system that was invented by the Cherokee scholar Sequoyah. Sequoyah's writing system is a syllabary. That means one character represents each syllable. (Another language that uses a syllabary today is Japanese.) Here is a picture of the written Cherokee language. Today, many Cherokee people use a modified English alphabet instead of the syllabary Sequoyah invented, because it is easier to type.

How do Cherokee Indian children live?
They do the same things all children do--play with each other, go to school and help around the house. Many Cherokee children enjoy hunting and fishing with their fathers. In the past, Cherokee kids had more chores and less time to play, just like colonial children. But they did have dolls, toys, and games to play. In one popular game, Cherokee kids tried to throw a dart through a moving hoop. Lacrosse was a popular sport among Cherokee teenagers and adult men. Like many Native Americans, Cherokee mothers traditionally carried babies in cradleboards on their backs--a custom which many American parents have adopted now.

What were men and women's roles in the Cherokee tribe?
Like their distant cousins the Iroquois, the Cherokee Indians had an even division of power between men and women. Cherokee men were in charge of hunting, war, and diplomacy. Cherokee women were in charge of farming, property, and family. Men made political decisions for the tribe, and women made social decisions for the clans. Chiefs were men, and landowners were women.

Today, Cherokee gender role traditions have changed. Cherokee women can be chiefs also... and Cherokee men are sometimes farmers. However, modern Cherokee people still trace clan relationships through their mothers.

What were Cherokee homes like?
The Cherokee Indians lived in settled villages, usually located near a river. Cherokee houses were made of rivercane and plaster, with thatched roofs. These dwellings were about as strong and warm as log cabins. Here are some pictures of Native American houses like the ones Cherokee Indians used. The Cherokees also built larger seven-sided buildings for ceremonial purposes, and each village usually had a lacrosse field with benches for spectators. Many Cherokee villages had palisades (reinforced walls) around them for protection. Today, Cherokee families live in a modern house or apartment building, just like you.

What was Cherokee clothing like? Did they wear feather headdresses and face paint?
Cherokee men wore breechcloths and leggings. Cherokee women wore wraparound skirts and poncho-style blouses made out of woven fiber or deerskin. The Cherokees wore moccasins on their feet. After colonization, Cherokee Indians adapted European costume into a characteristic style, including long braided or beaded jackets, cotton blouses and full skirts decorated with ribbon applique, feathered turbans, and the calico tear dress. Here are pictures of Cherokee clothing and photographs of traditional Native American clothing in general.

The Cherokees didn't wear long headdresses like the Sioux. Cherokee men usually shaved their heads except for a single scalplock. Sometimes they would also wear a porcupine roach. Cherokee women always wore their hair long, cutting it only in mourning for a family member. Men decorated their faces and bodies with tribal tattoo art and also painted themselves bright colors in times of war. Unlike some tribes, Cherokee women didn't paint themselves or wear tattoos, but they often wore bead necklaces and copper armbands.

Today, some Cherokee people still wear moccasins or a ribbon shirt, but they wear modern clothes like jeans instead of breechcloths... and only wear roaches and feathers on special occasions like a dance.

What was early Cherokee transportation like? Did they paddle canoes?
Yes--the Cherokee Indians used to make long dugout canoes from hollowed-out logs. Over land, the Cherokees used dogs as pack animals. There were no horses in North America until colonists brought them over from Europe. Today, of course, Cherokee people also use cars... and non-native people also use canoes.

What was Cherokee food like in the days before supermarkets?
The Cherokees were farming people. Cherokee women harvested crops of corn, beans, squash, and sunflowers. They also gathered berries, nuts and fruit to eat. Cherokee men hunted deer, wild turkeys, and small game and fished in the rivers. Cherokee dishes included cornbread, soups, and stews cooked on stone hearths. Here is a website with some Cherokee recipes you can try out for yourself!

What were some Cherokee weapons and artifacts?
Cherokee hunters used bows and arrows or blowguns to shoot game. Fishermen generally used spears and fishing poles. Warriors fired arrows or fought with a melee weapon like a tomahawk or spear. Other important tools used by the Cherokee Indians included stone adzes (hand axes for woodworking), flint knives for skinning animals, wooden hoes for farming, and pots and baskets for storing corn.

What are Cherokee arts and crafts?
Traditional Cherokee art included pipe carving, rivercane baskets, gourd art, and pottery. After moving to Oklahoma, the Cherokees couldn't get the materials they used to use for traditional crafts, so they concentrated on other crafts like beadwork and textile arts. Here are photographs of beautiful beaded Cherokee bandolier bags, and a Cherokee artifact display from North Carolina.

What other Native Americans did the Cherokee tribe interact with?
The Cherokee Indians traded regularly with other southeastern Native Americans, who especially liked to make trades for high-quality Cherokee pipes and pottery. The Cherokees often fought with their neighbors the Creeks, Chickasaws, and Shawnees, but other times, they were friends and allies of those tribes.

I read that the Cherokee were part of the Five Civilized Tribes. Was that an alliance like the Iroquois Confederacy?
No. Many people guess this, but it isn't true. "The Five Civilized Tribes" was just a name that the white settlers used to refer to the Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole, and Cherokee tribes of the Southeast. These five tribes were never part of an alliance together, and they did not call themselves the Civilized Tribes in their own languages. Originally, the white settlers probably called them this because these five tribes were early converts to Christianity. They were also farmers who lived in settled towns under sophisticated government systems, which Europeans and early Americans considered more higher civilization achievements than independent bands of hunters who moved from place to place. However, there were dozens of other Native American tribes who also led farming lifestyles, not just these five.

What kinds of stories do the Cherokees tell?
There are many traditional Cherokee legends and fairy tales. Story-telling is very important to the Cherokee Indian culture. Here is a Cherokee legend about the origin of strawberries.

What about Cherokee religion?
Religions are too complicated and culturally sensitive to describe appropriately in only a few simple sentences, and we strongly want to avoid misleading anybody. You can visit this site to learn more about Cherokee ceremonies or this site about American Indian spirituality in general.

Who are some famous Cherokee Indians?
One of the best-known people in Cherokee history was Sequoyah. Sequoyah was a very brilliant man. Although he did not know how to read or write in any other language, he succeeded in inventing a writing system for Cherokee that is still used today. A famous Cherokee Indian from modern times is Wilma Mankiller, the first woman to be Principal Chief of the Cherokee tribe.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


My lovely wife reminded me that this blog was set up for our little boogie girl and not for my other thoughts. (I am so excited to know she is reading this blog and actually noticed I got off course.. yippeee. I have 1 dedicated reader) So for now, I will try to keep the topic strictly on Boogie.

Boogie- a name I put on her since the day she came into our lives. Honestly, if she could talk she would say, "Daddy, quit calling me that!" but until then she has to suffer with being labeled my little boogie.

I also call her boogie because she does this little squirm thing that makes her look like she's dancing. So it's been pretty easy to make the name stick.

Bella is doing sooooooo good. It's amazing each day how much she's developing. She had her third Parents as Teachers session yesterday. It's a program through our school district that has a representative come out to your house and evaluate your child or children to see how they are developing and to offer any help in areas needed. The lady has been really impressed with Bella's progress. Before I left for work yesterday I told her to not be nervous, eat a good breakfast, and relax. She looked up from watching Sesame Street, gave me Raspberries, and went back to watching Big Bird. Alrighty then, I can see how this is going to go!

One of our favorite times together is first thing in the morning. Karen will change her diaper and then throw her in bed with me. We play for about 15 minutes until I have to get up and shower for work. She thinks that is the coolest thing being in a big bed. So we lay there and her little puppy tongue tries to lick my face, my Tshirt, or the sheets. If it goes in her hand it goes in her mouth. I know this sounds weird but I am in love with her little puppy tongue. It is the most adorable thing. She loves to touch everything with it and she looks like a puppy doing it. So I usually whisper secrets in her ear which she loves. She lays there very attentive listening to me. I wouldn't trade these few minutes for anything!

Over the weekend, we traded out all of Bella's Plastic Bottles which contain BPA. Recent reports suggest that the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in the plastics used to make many types of baby bottles could cause behavioral changes in babies or contribute to early onset of puberty in girls. Further study is needed on the exact effects of BPA in humans, but many parents are switching to BPA-free bottles just to be on the safe side. Baby's R Us is offering to exchange the bottles for you. However, keep in mind if you switch out for glass or BPA Free bottles of a different brand that are more expensive you will have to pay the difference. We found out the hard way. We use Dr. Brown's Bottles and they were out of the glass version. So the girl helping us recommend Born Free Bottles. Honestly, they are huge, look like you would feed a calf with them, and sort of hard to hold. So we took 13 bottles up to the checkout and the girl checking us out says, "That will be $80+ " Karen and I were like, "Say What?". Well, Born Free are $12 a bottle so we had to pay the difference from Dr. Brown. I was about to say forget it but this is where her good salesperson skills came in. She started talking about the features and benefits of the Born Free bottles. She got me so we ended up taking them. Well, Boogie wasn't sold. She hated them so we took them back the next day and got the Even Flo glass bottles which Bella loves and we love too!They were like a fraction of the cost too.

Each day I look at this little girl in amazement how blessed we are to have her in our lives. I think am I doing enough for her, am I doing too much not allowing her to learn independence, are we teaching her things that matter. I know God created her perfectly and I want to train her up to be effective in her calling on earth. That is why I'm going to stop just reading about being a good parent, to stop talking about affecting culture, and do something about it. My wife doesn't even know this but I've been thinking long and hard and I feel that if I want change I need to be a change maker. I'm going to start looking into running for public office. I'll start small and move bigger. I'm tired of the stuff I see and hear and nothing being done. I can't sit back and hope someone else will do it. So, I'm going to see what I can do to serve my community. I'll keep you updated!

Have a Great Tuesday!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Back in Black

Take this test!
Your color is black. The color of night. Serene and mysterious, black conjures up images of elegant evening gowns, dashing tuxedos, and gleaming limousines. Traditionally a symbol of success, black also represents power and an uncompromising demand for perfection. Not surprisingly, you tend to set challenging goals for yourself and do whatever it takes to achieve them — your strength of character is second to none. This unfaltering determination, along with your natural elegance, impresses people. But keep in mind that your personality might be intimidating to some. Try to temper your demanding side with a little softness — trust us, it won't kill you. Overall, though, black is the color of professionalism and achievement, which means it's clearly the color for you.

Golden Rule Plus

Well, Happy Friday Everyone! I hope it's been a good week for everyone. Even though I did a power slam of blogging yesterday to bring you up to date on our story on Bella I want to stay in the habit of daily blogging. One thing that's been on my mind and somewhat of a burden is the principle of the GOLDEN RULE - Treat others as you would like to be treated. Not that I'm in any place to change God's command but I think we can actually take that rule to the next level by treating others as they should be treated. You see, we live in a world of hurting people. There's a common saying that goes, hurting people hurt people. That is very true. We all have encountered that nasty cashier at the store, the rude teller at the bank, or that difficult coworker. It's been my experience that telling someone who internally is hurting to love and respect his fellow man is darn near impossible when they basically hate themselves. They would never tell you that in so many words, in fact they probably would come across arrogant acting like they are confident and self respecting. Not true! Their hurt inside has manifested itself into this shell of hatred outwardly. So, how do we change this? discipline. When Johnny Hothead gives you a special sign in the grocery store parking lot just love him anyway. When the store clerk is rude just forgive and love them anyway. Why? because we have no clue what's going on in their life. If we want the hatred to stop, the killings to stop, etc. we have to be the cure for healing and not adding to the problem. Here is a story from one of my favorite books by Steven Covey: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It's a great example of empathy and a lesson not to judge and react:

Steven Covey, the author, tells a story about a trip he took on the subway Brooklyn! (I'm paraphrasing it below.)

He finds the quietest spot on the train and sits down to read his paper. A few stops later the doors open and in comes a man with a few children. The man sits down next to him. The children start playing in the train, running around the poles, and making so much noise. Steven starts to think to himself, what a terrible father. What is wrong with a man who allows his children to run around like that... especially in the subway. At some point, Steven starts to say something to the man. The man snaps out of a daze and goes, Oh yes! I'm sorry. What the man tells him is that he just came from Maimonides Medical Center where his wife just died. The man apologizes and tells Steven they don't know how to handle their mother's death.

How many times have all of us got angry at someone for (insert situation here) when maybe they are having a life changing event going on in their
life or maybe they are under a lot of stress, having marriage problems, whatever. If we all just keep this attitude of empathy and discipline ourselves before we react to say, "You know, my life really is not going to change by this event. I really don't know what's going on in this person's life. Let me forgive them and say something nice instead of the 4 letter, on the verge of illegal, thought that's about to hit my tongue in 3 seconds". Is it easy? Heck No! sometimes it feels near impossible but are we serious about wanting to change culture? or do we just expect everyone else to change on their own? to do it miraculously in a society of hatred, hurt, etc. No one is stepping up to the plate. why not it be you? Be the Cure, Not the Cause.

Tools for change:
1) Read the bible. Proverbs is a good guide. There are 30 so you can read one a day. I really don't care if you believe in God or not. I recommend you do but that's another post. That one book alone is good instruction.

2) Associate with like minded people. Get around positive people. Break ties with toxic people. Find people who move you forward and not hold you back.

3) Read good books. Put down the romance novels and Fishing Weekly. Start reading books by people who will teach you principles of love,to have a servant heart, and leadership. Everything rises and falls on leadership.

4) Audio Learning. This is so under-rated. Find an audio series that will lift you up when you are battling against the hurting world. You will need your tank refueled daily. In some cases, Hourly!

5) Implement what you are learning! Knowledge without application is really not knowledge at all.

So let's all strive to deposit good into someones life today! People are thirsty for a little Love and kind words.

Have a great Weekend!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dedicated to the LORD

Children are our inheritance and we are entrusted to be good stewards of God's children. That is why Karen and I strive to do God's will for our lives and Bellas. This day was a special day for us and we are so thankful to our church, St. Louis Family Church, for making it a beautiful and special day. It was a joy having Karen's Mom, her brother Charlie, and Charlie's wife Cindy in town to celebrate this day with us. My Mom, Dad, sister Jane, neice Claire, Brother Jack, sis-in-law Lisa, and Nephew Andrew celebrated this day as well. It was also a blessing and a joy to have one of my favorite aunts in town, Aunt Jane, from Colorado. She has blessed our family in so many ways. One special blessing was that Aunt Jane's friend Pat made the dress that Bella wore that day. It was made from Antique material, had a special prayer embroidered in the slip along with the Letter B for our last name sewn into it as well. It was so beautiful. She looked like a tiny Angel in the dress.
Our pastor, Pastor Jeff, is an incredible man. He has a true anointing on him. He did an awesome job praying over Bella and the other 20 babies being dedicated that day.
The day was wrapped up by a beautiful catered dinner by the church. All of my family loved it!

Our Day in Court

You would think a day you've been waiting for to come would produce firework type emotions. To be honest? Karen and I felt strangely calm and somewhat ordinary. It was a rainy day. The family court building has 20 parking spaces to accomodate 300 people on a daily basis. So we were told to arrive before 9am. We got there about 8:45am, I dropped Karen and Bella off at the front door and drove up the road to a parking lot so I could make the 500 yard walk back to the court building. After getting through security we were escorted to a large holding room outside the court room. We met our case worker, Lou Carmichael, and our attorney, Tim Brassil, and my mom and dad in the room. We sat and waited, waited some more, nerves kicking in, waited some more, hear the Ballif call a family into the court room, wait some more, and then about 10:05 we heard our name called. So we all moved next door to the court room where Judge Drumm was preciding over our case. Our attorney asked Karen a series of questions, then asked me the same questions, attorney for Bella (yes, buggaboo had representation in the court room) cross examined us, then he cross examined our case worker, and by 10:15am we were legally Isabella's parents. We left the court with the final papers in hand. We celebrated with a quiet lunch at Hullahans with mom and dad. Then we went home! Strange, you build up for that day for 6 months and I left feeling like I just renewed my drivers license. Don't get me wrong and I am overjoyed the process is over. So Bella celebrated the next day by coming down with a virus that landed us in the ER because she was on the verge of dehydration and our doctor was affraid of that so she sent us to the ER at around Midnight May 24th. It's taken 2 weeks for her to be back to her playful, joyful, and fun self. We are so happy to have Bella Boo back!

6 Months of Home Visits

Well, starting in January we had our first home visit. To me? Waste of time but the law requires 6 months time to lapse before an adoption will be final. So by law we had to complete 3 home visits. The first one was good. Ammie Travers, Bethany Christian Services, the case worker conducted the visit. We know Ammie very well because when we were pursuing the embryo adoption we had to complete a home study. Home studies will make you go crazy. I think the FBI does less investigating into life than a home study. We had to provide financials, references from pastors, friends, family, work, etc. We had to write an essay on why we wanted to adopt and what we wanted to tell the donor family about adopting their embryos, we had to be fingerprinted, we had to have a complete physical with blood work. Needless to say it was crazy. So Ammie was familar with our background (hence why I feel these are a complete waste of time). For $300 a visit I get to give the case worker refreshments and B.S. with them for 20 to 30 minutes. A few questions are asked about the baby and us but 95% of the visit is El B.S.o. So you can imagine after feeling the first visit was a waste how I felt for the 2nd and 3rd. So we completed the 3rd one on May 5th. We were in court May 22nd to finalize the adoption.

Journal of the Journey

In the spirit of so many of my friends blogging and me getting so much joy out of reading it I thought I would start blogging myself. I thought a good place to start is at the beginning with when Isabella came into our life. Some of you have already read this but it makes for a good starting point:

Well, the last several months have been very emotional, stressful,
tearful, joyful, exciting, scarey, ... well, a lot has been going on.
Many of you knew that Karen and I got pregnant back in August. Most of you actually got to see our first ultrasound pics.We were over the top excited since we've been trying to get pregnant for over 4 years trying different methods from the ordinary to the bizarre. So when we got pregnant, via an embryo transfer, finally we felt our prayers had been answered. Shortly after I had emailed all of you to tell you the wonderful news Karen started to bleed heavily over labor day weekend. You can imagine the stress of this happening when every doctors office is closed and our only option
was to go to the ER which our doctor told us not to bother.
Well, the next day we got into the doctors office expecting the worst.
To our disbelief there was still a viable pregnancy. We were shocked and decided to
move on with caution. Well, a week later we went into the office for
another Ultrasound and no sign of a baby. We were crushed.
We both felt helpless and thinking it wasn't in the cards for us to have children. I had always been the one to stay positive and hopeful over the last 4 years and I finally had reached the end. I couldn't take anymore. Well, because I couldn't do it anymore didn't mean God couldn't show
his power and show how mighty he really is..... So we move on to story
number 2.
October 30, Karen gets a call from a lady from our church saying, "You
don't know me but your name was given to me as being interested in
adopting a baby". What happened was there was this 17 yr. old girl in
our church who had hid her pregnancy from her family, friends, and the
church. Well, the church found out and advised her to tell her
To avoid telling them she came back to the church and told them she
had a miscarriage and she wasn't pregnant anymore. So on October 28th
her water broke. She went about her business, went to church, went
out to lunch with family, went shopping, etc. At 5pm she was in the
bathroom in a lot of pain and her mom realized something was wrong.
Her mom went into the bathroom and realized.. suprise... her daughter
is in labor and about to deliver a baby (Can you imagine that's how
you find out your daughter is pregnant?). The baby was breach. So the
birthmothers Mom,Debbie, had to deliver this baby on their bathroom
floor. Two days go by and birthmom's mother is pressing the church to
contact us. So back to the phone call. The lady tells Karen that a
child advocate has been contacted and if we want this baby we better
get up to the hospital and see her and bring her home. Karen calls me
not able to speak from shock, excitement, and overcome with emotion.
Me, Mr. practical and logical, goes B.S. There is no way we are going
to be allowed to take a baby home from the hospital when there's no
power of attorney or anything. Besides, it was my understanding that
in the state of Missouri every child given up for adoption has to go
into foster care. Karen and I aren't ceritified to be foster parents.
So all this is going through my head from excitement thinking what if
it is true to fear that I'm going to be locked up for kidnapping. So,
I checked into it and the laws have changed. While no lawyer will
ever tell you to handle it this way we can be claimed guardians for
the welfare of this baby. So, we rush up to the hospital. Karen's
boss drives her. I meet a friend of ours at our house because we have
no way of taking a baby home in my truck. Karen's car at that time was
in the shop. So I meet Karen at the hospital. It was truly amazing.
We got to the meet the birthmom, birthdad, and their moms. Soooo, we
took Isabella Josephine home October 30th. We went to court a couple
of weeks ago to take legal guardianship of her. So in about 6 months
we will be legally her parents. It has been an amazing few months!