Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Big, big, big, BIG News!!!!

After 23 months, 4 weeks, and 2 days since beginning our adoption, almost two full years of blogging in 310 posts, one failed adoption attempt, and 6 months, 3 weeks and 6 days in the RMI program, I finally, FINALLY get to write the post I've been waiting all this time to write!

The call came about an hour ago, and... WE HAVE A SON!
I told you it would be a boy, didn't I? I knew it! He was born November 16th, so he's about 4 months old. That's all I can tell you for now, only because that's all I know. We'll get more information soon. I can't wait to see his precious face and show him off to all of you! I will as soon as I'm able- I promise.

We should be travelling anywhere from two to six weeks from now. Can you believe it?

Dear Sam,

Tonight I can finally fall asleep knowing that you are not just a vague whisper of hope or a misguided fantasy. You are real. You are loved. And you are mine. I can't wait to hold you in my arms. See you soon, my precious boy.

Love you with all my heart,


Thursday, March 26, 2009

2 txt or not 2 txt

we hav bcm a fmly of txtrs, much 2 my dsgust. r u 1, 2? my kids txt me all the time. i h8 2 txt! y, u ask? idk. i jst do. 4 1 thng, i h8 2 typ on a small kypd. & im 2 slow. + its obnxs. its easr just 2 talk & get it ovrwth. i h8 2 txt almst as much as i h8 FB (facebook). i sur hpe all ths txtng dosnt affct my spllng skilz or grmmr.

I can't take it anymore... There. Real words. That's better, isn't it? Seriously, texting has taken over my family. The boys sit down at the dinner table and their phones start vibrating before we finish saying grace. I'm going to banish all phones from the dinner table. I will search their pockets. I mean it. I will. Next, I may start banishing children. We'll see how it goes with the phones, first. If I'm in Walmart, I'll receive 10 texts in the span of two minutes, each one requiring me to stop what I'm doing to see what they want.

Text #1: ned toilt papr.
Text #2: ktchup.
Text #3: wen u b hom?
Text #4: can u get som twizlrs?
Text #5: milk
Text #6: can i go to c movie w cdy 2nite?

...And on and on and on... You get the idea. Can't these people just flippin' call me? A trip to Walmart now takes an hour longer than it did b4. Oops... Sorry. I meant *before.*

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

This is my first year to participate in the UBP! For any first-time visitors out there, I'm Michelle and this is my blog (stating the obvious is just one of the many services I provide at And Sam Makes Seven).

First, a little about myself and my family: I'm a married, Christian, stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, with six children, from almost 8 to almost 19, three grown step-children, and 3.8 grandchildren. My husband of almost twenty years, Darrell, is my best friend and the glue that holds our hectic life together. I'm an adult adoptee as well as an adoptive mom to a seven year old sweetpea from Hubei, China (adopted in 2002), so adoption is a subject close to our hearts around here.

This blog started out two years ago as a way to chronicle the adoption of our seventh child (the "Sam" from the title). During the ups and downs of trying to adopt, it has morphed into so much more than that. You will hear about everything here. Mostly, I will talk to you the way I'd talk to a friend sitting on my couch. Sometimes it's interesting... or not, sometimes it's funny (if to no one else but me), but it's always me- the real deal. I often forget that I'm speaking to an audience and sometimes say things that maybe I shouldn't (I embarrass myself frequently that way. In other words, if the topic of ladies' undergarments-mine, in particular- troubles you, this may not be the blog for you).

Anyway, you are welcome here! Feel free to look around and get to know us. Don't forget to leave me a comment or sign our guest book, so I can get to know you, too!

Friday, March 20, 2009

How's this for frustrating?

Darrell broke a tooth a few weeks ago and it's been causing him a lot of pain. He went to our dentist here in town and was told he'd need a root canal (which we figured). They said they wanted to refer him to another dentist to do it. Okay, fine. They sent Darrell home with a prescription for antibiotics and painkillers, and an appointment with the new dentist that was two weeks away. Two.Weeks.Away. He had to get refills on the scripts because the pain wasn't going away and was even causing his ear to feel like it hurt, too. It's been keeping him up nights and really, really bothering him.

So... Finally, his appointment for the root canal was yesterday. He gets there and the dental assistant girl wants to do a bunch of stuff to check the tooth. She starts tapping each tooth, wanting to know which ones hurt. Well, duh, the one that's broken with the root exposed is the one that hurts. But that's not enough experimentation for her. Next, Sadie the Sadist sticks a cotton swab with really cold stuff on it into the broken tooth. Darrell was about to rip the chair's arm off, it hurt so bad. He's sitting there thinking, "Why do they have to do all this crap? Just get on with fixing it." The girl finally determines that Darrell does, in fact, need a root canal. Darrell was getting confused and frustrated and thinking, "HUH? Didn't we all already know that? That's why I'm here!"

When the dentist finally came in, he went on and on explaining to Darrell what they would do to the tooth. Darrell was trying to be patient and let him know that he had had a root canal before, and knew what to expect (in other words- Just flippin' get on with it, already!). Next, the dentist walks out, the dental assistant girl says, "Thank you. They'll schedule your appointment up front," and Darrell is thinking, "What the %&*#?" He gets to the window, wanting to know what is going on, and was told this appointment was just for an evaluation and they now need to schedule an appointment for the root canal. Oh, and that will be $132.00, thank you.

Darrell was not happy. Poor guy- telling himself for two weeks that this is the day it will be fixed, just to be sent home still in pain- AND getting charged 132 dollars to have a cold Q-tip stuck down into your pitiful little stump of a tooth.

They got him back in this morning (only because they had a cancellation) to do the actual root canal. Another $437.00. AND he still needs to go back to our regular dentist to get the crown put on. They only did a temporary one today.

I'm ready to go all redneck and whup me five-hunnerd-n-sixty-nine dollars worth of dentist buttocks.

Monday, March 16, 2009

What do you think?

I've been eating a lot of omelets lately. I mean a lot. I ate one for breakfast this morning, and I'm craving one already again for lunch. We went out for breakfast two weeks ago, and instead of ordering french toast, or something like that, I ordered an omelet. I paid someone to make me eggs. That is mind-boggling to me. I guess I should mention that I don't like eggs. That is probably a significant detail. I'll eat them if someone has fixed them, but they are never my first choice and I never, ever fix them for myself. Until now.

I've also been drinking tons of frozen Dr. Peppers (they're like an Icee) from the convenience store up the street. I never, ever drink Dr. Pepper, except for when I was pregnant with Livie and I craved the frozen ones like crazy. Just like I have been lately. I'm a loyal Diet Pepsi girl, and don't even like the taste of Dr. Pepper. Except, now I do.

This morning, when I was making my omelet, Evan said, "Man, mom, what is your deal with omelets all of a sudden?"

Then Alex goes, "Ya pregnant?"

No. I'm absolutely NOT pregnant. But it made me start thinking... Is it possible to have pregnancy cravings when you're adopting? I mean, can your mind play games with you like that? If so, is there a name for it?

I just weighed myself and I've gained five pounds... Okay, fine. I lied. How did you know? It's really six seven eight lbs. Geez, what are you, a detective or something? Five is close enough to eight. Yeah, like you never round down on your weight. Gosh. Five Eight pounds of eggs and pure sugar from the Dr. Peppers.

So, I appeal to the collective smarts of my wise and experienced blog buddies... What gives? Has my mind convinced my body I'm pregnant? Is that possible? Maybe it's just the stress of hoping for our referral, BUT then wouldn't I be craving my favorite comfort foods (mac n cheese, chocolate, etc.)? Why would I be craving things I don't like... especially 8 flippin' pounds worth? What say you?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Very Interesting

This is going to make my liberal friends foam at the mouth, but... that's my idea of a good time.

This was also posted over on "All the News That Fits," a conservative political blog where I am one of the contributors... EXCEPT that I've never contributed anything. Not once. I'm too intimidated by the individual and collective talents and intelligence of the group of women who do contribute over there. You know how every classroom has that one weird kid who sits quietly in the corner, eating her paste and talking to herself? Over at All the News That Fits, I am that kid.

You should check it out though, if you haven't already. You'll recognize a few of your favorite bloggers and it's always fun to read.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Must Read

Christina has written a post over at VVAI, titled "Not in My Adoption" ...What Price Ignorance? that I hope you will all take time to read. I can hear a few excuses starting right now. You don't have time... It only takes a minute. You didn't adopt from Vietnam... So?

I don't care if you didn't adopt from Vietnam, or if your adoption is completed or any other reason you can come up with to decide that this doesn't "apply to you." Corruption in adoption continues to exist because we all tell ourselves it doesn't apply to us... and we do nothing. We say nothing. We satisfy ourselves by saying "Not in my adoption."

I apologize for getting a little preachy here, but if you are a Christian, you should care about this. If you are a parent, you should care. If you claim to be a socially conscious person with concerns about what's going on in the world around you, you should care. Have I left anyone out? If so, whoever you are, you should care. Especially, if you are involved in any way in the adoption community- If you love a child who has been adopted, if you love someone who wants to adopt, even if you are just beginning to consider adoption as a possibility someday... You should most definitely care. This post is a must read.

Chris, you did an excellent job on this, by the way. Thank you for the time and effort you put into this.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Stupid does as stupid is...

or something like that.

What is it about international adoption that brings The Stupid out in people? We went to the Post Office yesterday to get passports for some of the kids (we're still hoping to take the younger ones with us when we travel). Everything was going just fine... until it was Brianna's turn. I presented her birth certificate, just as I had done for the other kids, and I had her (expired) US passport with me, just in case there would be any questions, since her birth certificate says she was born in China. I didn't bring any adoption paperwork, her old Chinese passport, or a COC since I had not needed any of those in the past.

Apparently, I'm stupid; stupid-er than I had previously realized.

The postal worker "helping" us, henceforth referred to as CPW (Crazy Postal Worker), asked me to show her where exactly on Bri's US passport it says she is a US citizen. Well, it doesn't specifically say "I am a US citizen" on it. Neither does mine. It also doesn't have bunny stickers on it, nor does it say, "My mom would like to smack you." It is just a plain 'ol, regular, flippin' US passport. AND it is a US passport previously issued to my daughter. I foolishly thought that a US passport was good enough proof that she qualified for... a US passport.

Um... No.

CPW had to ask another worker "if these people will need to come back with adoption paperwork since this little girl was born in China."

One said yes. Another said no. So, maybe we should "come back with our adoption papers just to be safe," CPW decides.

My eyes were starting to do that cool, Incredible Hulk-I'm-getting-angry-thing.
I gently, ever-so-lovingly and patiently explained that we would not have been able to acquire the documents I had with me if we had not legally adopted her, and we did not need to show any adoption papers the first time we got her US passport. Her birth certificate was all we brought, just like we did for the other kids.

CPW then looks at the form I filled out where I said Brianna had no other names, which she doesn't. Her legal name is exactly what it has always been. The adoption documents in China were filled out with the name we gave her. Her Chinese passport had the name we gave her. That is her name- thank you very much, ma'am (and how did you ever pass the civil service test in the first place?). CPW acted as if she didn't believe me. You could just see she was thinking, "Surely the little Oriental must also be known as Mei Ling, or Connie Chung, or something more exotic-sounding."

CPW asked, "Does she still reside in China?"

My voice said, "Whaaaa?"
My thoughts said, "Whaaaat the %*#$?"

CPW repeats, "Does she still... re-side... in Chi-NA?"

My voice said, "No. She lives with us... Here."
My thoughts said, "Does she appear to be residing in China, you Glorious Dingbat?"

CPW asked, "So you are her custodians, then?"

My voice said, "No. We are her parents."
My thoughts said, "You're gonna need a custodian in just a minute."

CPW finally decides, after conferring again with the other workers, that since the last name and address on her paperwork matches ours, she would go ahead and send in the application.

CPW looks around at the four kids with me and says, "So, are you Octomom?"

My voice said... "HA" (with a big, fake smile- jaw slightly clenched to keep the expletives from flying out).
My thoughts said, "Do ya feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"

As we were finishing up, and thankfully almost ready to leave, CPW (looking again at the kids) says, "You have FOUR children with you."

My voice said... "Yeee- esss?"
My thoughts said... "Well if nothing else, we've established that you can count to four. Good for you, you Incredible Dipstick."

CPW explained, "You are only getting three passports."

Oh, now I see. She thinks I'm too stupid to count my own kids. I must not know how many passports I need.

My voice said, "I only need three. This one (pointing to a kid) doesn't need one."
My thoughts said, "Do you have a hammer handy, or some type of blunt instrument? Anything will do, really... I just need to whack something real quick."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Goofy Girl

Just wanted to share a quick story about my sweetie-pie. Last night we were sitting together watching TV and someone on the show we watched was getting married.

Bri asked, "Where will I go on my honeymoon, Mommy?"

My brain starts conjuring up visions of beautiful, far-away places: Italy, Fiji, Ireland, Bora Bora, Detroit... all the places I'd love to visit, but never have.

I told her, "Honey, that will be up to you and the man you marry. I won't have any say-so in it when the time comes, and you wouldn't want me to, anyway. But maybe you could take your husband back to China and show him where you were born. He would probably be interested in that, don't you think?"

Bri said, "Yeah... Or maybe we could just go out to eat."

End of conversation.

I don't always understand how the kid's mind works, but I love it just the same. And why wouldn't I? She's a little weirdo, just like her mama (If you know us, you know that's true and it's said in love).

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I guess you could say I did a little shopping yesterday... No, that's not quite right. It wasn't a little shopping. I'm not sure what to call it. It wasn't even a shopping spree... It was more like a shopping bender... No... I committed a full-on shopping assault- a shopping blitzkrieg, maybe? Closer, but no... What is a sudden, passionate, fervent outburst of unbridled shopping called? A shopping orgy? Can it be an orgy if only one person is involved? If that one person is doing the shopping of four normal humans, can it then be classified as a shopping orgy?

Let's see- 40 schmillion dollars later...
Car seat- Check
Stroller- Check and Check (actually two strollers- a big one and an umbrella one)
Baby monitor- Check
Baby clothes... Um, yeah- Check, Check, Check, Check and... Oh, Crap... Check.

This doesn't even begin to cover it, but I couldn't get it all into one shot.

I woke up yesterday morning and my first thoughts were swirling around our baby. I don't recall dreaming about him- I just woke up with him on my mind, and feeling absolutely, 100%, completely, positively sure (a great amount of certainty is what I would be indicating, here) that our referral is just around the corner and we're getting a boy. The feeling was incredibly strong. More like a knowledge than a hunch. I felt giddy and joyful and hopeful- a very nice way to wake up. I don't know why I felt this way and I'm not suggesting I was having a psychic moment or anything freaky like that. But, definitely one of those unmistakable Mom Moments- hopefully a strong case of mother's intuition (wouldn't it be awesome if it turned out to be right?). Hence, the boy clothes (and I got monkeys, Heather).Obviously, every baby boy needs a tiny surfer dude outfit. Why do they even make these? How many babies really need swimming trunks? It was cute though, and 50% off, so... there you have it. Besides, he's coming from a beachy place, so he must have the appropriate attire, right?
AND... Just in case my radar is off:
Obviously, one gender's clothes will have to be returned. Which will be a huge hassle, what with looking for receipts that have long since flown the coop by the time I have to find them again. Then I will have to exchange 89.9% of the clothes I'd wanted to keep for different sizes, I'll bet, and they won't have the same outfit in the size I need anymore, so I'll be all disappointed, like, "Geez, this blows." Then, while I'm standing there feeling like the world is about to end and all that, I will see 25 more outfits and buy those, too (I'm sorry Darrell, but I'm just being honest- you know it's gonna go down that way, so let's just accept the things we cannot change, hon).

So, yeah... This was a really smart thing to do.

I don't know how this happened. I've been so restrained; so good. I bought a crib and a few sheets back in January, and then I stopped. I waited. I was going to keep waiting. One minute, I was totally under control and the next thing I knew... Oh, crap.

There's still a very small voice in the back of my mind, whispering things like:
"What? Are you completely NUTS, woman?
What if this adoption doesn't work out?
Don't get your hopes up too high.
You'll be heartbroken if something goes wrong.
How will you look at all those little outfits, knowing there will be no baby to wear them?
How will you stand there at the Macy's cash register and hand each thing over to the cashier without bursting into tears (or flames... or worse... is there worse?)?"

I keep shutting her up by stuffing Dove milk chocolate squares (yes, we had to upgrade from M&M's. Desperate times, and what not) and Double Stuff in her mouth. She thinks she's the lone voice of reason, but to her I say, "You're just the voice of fatness. Have a cookie."

But, you know... She's right.

I will be heartbroken.

Please, God. Let it work out this time. Bring my Sam home soon.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sometimes, it skips a generation...

The young lady singing at the beginning of this is MY NIECE (on my birth family's side)! Truthfully, I barely know her. She wouldn't know me if I walked right up and bit her- which, you know... would be just weird and uncalled for. However, I still have to brag because I can't believe that talent, long legs, and being thin are all embedded in my DNA somewhere... I must have buried those genes under all the chocolate?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

First Gift

Well, our dossier is on its way! It went out yesterday morning, after we gathered the kids together and prayed over it. I hope it's all assembled correctly and there's nothing found wrong with it that could cause another delay.

Also yesterday, Sam (or whoever-lol) received his/her first gift. A handmade blankie and little outfit from my birth mother. Isn't it cute?!
Do you guys remember that story I told you about the first Christmas after meeting my birth mother when we bought each other the same present? We must have some weird mind-meld because I was just looking at this exact same outfit the other day- I just love the little ducky feet.

Oh my gosh, y'all... I'm having a baby!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Good News!

I got a call this morning from our agency wanting us to send our dossier in now instead of waiting for our I171-h to get here, like we were originally supposed to do. There are 2 families ahead of us, but they are requesting girls. There are 3 birth mothers in the program who will all be delivering pretty soon and if a baby boy is born, we jump ahead in line. How exciting is that? I'm running around like a crazy lady getting all the copies of the dossier gathered up to send out today. I am over-the-moon-excited!

Just the other night, my wonderful boyfriend took me out on a date. He was trying to be super-romantic, so he took me to Babies R Us (Seriously- I thought it was very romantic. He doesn't like shopping, especially if I'm obsessing over baby things, so he totally did it just to make me happy, and even acted interested in looking at stuff).

We'd been in the store for quite a while, looking around at all the different things we're going to need. Somewhere around the stroller aisle, Darrell stopped dead in his tracks. I turned around to look at him and he's got this look on his face that I can't quite identify.

Then, all calm and quiet-like, he says, "We're having a baaay-beeee." It was so funny the way he said it. That weird look on his face was one of shock and sudden realization.

I said, "You just now figured that out, did ya?" Lol. He's so cute. He'd better adjust to the news pretty soon, I guess- since it looks like it's going to happen sooner rather than later. Oh my goodness! I have to say that again... Sooner.Rather.Than.Later. I can't believe it's really happening.

That's how it is with adoption, isn't it? You get so accustomed to delays and hassles and disappointments, that you just expect they will always be there- somewhere along the line, you forget there really will be a child at the end of all this crap you've gone through.

Back to the topic of names really quick, before I go back to scurrying around like a loon... Some of you asked me to tell you what my favorite girls' name is- the one my whole family hates and mocks me for. Do you think I'm nuts? Why would I open myself up to more ridicule? From all 3 of my readers- ha!

No, you guys are always so nice to me, and I know you wouldn't say anything (too) awfully mean, but still... I'm embarrassed to tell. So, I'll drop you a few breadcrumbs and let you figure it out. If you do, good for you- but please don't make fun of me, at least don't be too mean about it. Remember, I get plenty of crud over this at home! It's as if I suggested we name our child "Excrement," or something. If you don't figure it out- sorry, darlin,' I guess you're out of luck.

The most horrible name in the universe (according to my family, at least) has the following things in common:

A pope, a princess, a citrus fruit, a song, a series of children's books, and Winston Churchill.

It's old-fashioned, but kinda funky, nerdy, quirky and cool all at the same time (just like me- except for the cool part)- and certainly not suffering from overuse. It will not spark a new cheerleader naming trend anytime soon. It has not cracked the top 1000 in popularity since the 1950's. I'd be willing to bet you don't know someone with this name. Unless it's a dead aunt, or something. That's all I'm going to tell you, other than I adore the name, even if I'm the only one- and oh how I wish, I wish, I wish I could use it.