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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

working nights

Most of my family and friends know i have a night time job at a little music academy here in Columbia. Its low-key and fun. Despite the days i wrestle with the Mac- i have fun here. I seems to always work two jobs- I am not sure there has been a time when i had just one job. I am so excited for summer to be here- then I will only be working nights.

Next week my mom is coming and we have our first homestudy meeting.... on our way to Charlotte/Great Wolf Lodge.
I have also been trying to think of fundraising things....yard sale, something-crafty-etsy like (i need to learn to knit, maybe a benefit show with two of the bands from the music academy, tapping into retirement (only johns allows us to borrow)- do i even have time for a third job?!?!

the price for just one round-trip airline ticket from Atlanta is between $1,500 and $1,800 - we have to get three tickets RT and one one-way..... but the earliest would be like next February...yet i am still obsessing about it!! i hate airline travel stuff!

OTHER NEWS- i finished the first TRU BLOOD book and watched the first three shows...i am not really liking Anna Paquinn's bond hair...its annoying me...the show is pretty campy, but what did i expect hehehe

Monday, April 26, 2010

spring break late





i wanted to share some sprinbg break pictures...allbeit, late...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

USC PhD Orientation

I had my orientation on Wednesday evening for my new PhD program in Curriculum and Education- This program at USC has newly been revamped and focused on diversity and multicultural education- right up my alley. I do not need to go into coursework knowing what i want to research- i will have about 2 years to develop my research goals. I have many things swimming in my head....i am sure i will touch on that more later.

Gabe and i actually stayed home Wednesday- we both had high fevers in the morning. I hate missing school. I ended up not going to my doctors appointment yesterday b/c i had too much to make up at work. So i do not have my medical profile sheet doe...but it will get finished soon.

The volcano on Iceland really has messed up the processing of adoption forms due to causing shipping/ postage delays :( I am hoping all the forms are finally making it to Ethiopia and these important court dates can be met.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Grants and Vegetarianism

Hi all...we are amassing references, tax documents and john is finishing his "auto biography"- got our contract from the home-study agency. We only have to put half down- so that makes me happy. Once our home-study is complete we can start applying for grants. I have a favorite WC (waiting child)- i hope he gets matched soon....but if he is still there come July (after home study and grant applications are rolling) then we may seriously consider him. Gabe and I are getting our medical reports this week :) Once john gets his medical and autobiography done we shoud be in good shape to start planning our interviews.

Other news- my throat is killing me....i dont see spots but feel horrible. I can not afford to miss work..i will miss half day friday for my doctors appt. This week is crazy busy- my evening work schedule is all switched around...i have orientation for USC on Wednesday evening, I am supposed to hang out with a friend who is moving on Thursday evening... oh yeah, i also need to teach and spend time with gabe *promised to take him swimming. It didnt happen tonight because i had to work. I may just try and take half a day tomorrow and half a day Friday.
I have to get gabe to the doctor tomorrow and wanted to try and take him swimming- maybe i can take him after my doctors appoint on Friday ....ugh - NOT ENOUGH TIME IN THE DAY!

OK lastly- i have gone back to being vegetarian- i feel i am asking alot of the universe right now- that all our adoption redtape goes smoothly, that we get the grant we need, that we can both keep our jobs and save $$$, that i am able to also have financial aid for school....(found out certified teachers get a discount!!) So since i am asking alot of the universe i have made it a personal choice not to put forth more suffering in the universe (even of the cows, pigs and chickens)- ...i have had lots of tofu as of late...not many eggs though...i am not going back vegan, i dont think i can be that strict and still save money.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Peanut M & Ms and Mtn Dew are dangerous when mixed

I am having a weird sugar crash..... i ate dinner (gen tsos tofu and rice- xtra sauce!) and had a mt dew and peanut m & ms- yikes!
Lots of odds and ends to put together:
I am almost done with my autobiography for the home study
I have started the financial documentation
Got my divorce decree, birth certificate, gabe's immunization records, and marriage license.
I even attended a HOLT "webinar" for Adoption from Ethiopia!
Now john needs to get his documents down from the attic and we need to print the tax forms from online
THERE IS SO MUCH WORK AND RED TAPE AND I HAVENT EVEN GOTTEN TO THE "HARD STUFF" YET"!!

I look at the "waiting children" on Holt's WC page- and several others (i contacted several agencies who have waiting children programs)- i know its worth it.
I feel more giddy and excited about adopting than i do about having another biological child, than i do about my PhD. I just believe in adoption with all of my heart- and feel it is what we should do.
However i am just so daunted by the cost- and the raising money. I think John believes we will live in the stone age- i am changing phone plans, cable plans, and may pick up another job here very soon...a third!
However, i think our plans will be shot if i don't get a teaching contract next year- which is a possibility, even with my credentials and the adoration of my principle :)- so all the adoption dreams may be short lived :( Depending on if USC has adjunct positions and how much financial aid is available..... everything in my life feels like a risky variable a present

Sunday, April 11, 2010

HOLT IT IS

Ok so in my heart and mind i feel, after discussing it with my husband and step daughter (she may be one of the most level-headed 14 year olds i know)- we have decided to stick with HOLT and strive for a 2 to 5 year old boy from Ethiopia (though Danielle and my mom so want a girl) in reality when i view the photo listings a girl could very well "speak to us". Right now i have requested information abut a very special 2 (give or take, unsure of actual birthdate) year old little boy whose eyes have caputured my soul. We are pretty early in the process since the earliest we can be officially matched is October 8th (our 2nd anniversary)- so i would hate for the little guy to have to wait longer than he should. I hope another wonderful family takes him into their home.
Side note- i am returning to school/work- spring break is over!!!...not super excited although i miss my students. I am hoping next year i can work part time and take classes towards my degree (i am sure that will cost $$ to amend in my homestudy come august)

I am finished with my "autobiography" section of the homestudy and am starting to work on our finanical statements....but John hasnt done his taxes. ...so i am pissed off...he also hasnt accessed his documents from the attic or started this part of the paper work. I am not sure where he is in all this...we talked friday about starting all the paper work now...i think the earliest we would be matched is Oct/November or after ( we are going through the waiting child program so it wouldnt be a super long wait....) So it seems he wishes to stall....doesnt he realize the red-tape of this whole process and the newly added "two trip" requirement will stall us enough???
We will see what kind of progress can be made this week....birth certificate will be here via UPS tomorrow (they called me tonight with some auto-confirmation that it will be on the truck for delivery)
I am starting some of my adoption online training this week too.....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

just starting out....

I say we are just starting out...but its more like we are re-starting. My mind is trying to create a logistical path to how adoption can work for us. I go from being excited about all the possibilities, to being worried that after time, money, effort and emotions are invested that something will mess everything up, then on the other hand I am anxious about choosing the right country, agency and child.

...maybe i can start by explaining where my family is and who we are. My husband is John, a wonderful, funny "manny"- who does such great things with our kids and is such a fun person. I am Tara Autumn- known by most as Autumn. We are part of a blended family- both having brought children from a previous marriage together. I have a son named Gabe who is 6. John's children are Danielle, 14 and Ross 8 (almost 9).

I am a teacher, with a Masters in Secondary Education (Social Studies) and a graduate degree in Women's Studies. I also have a BA in Cultural Anthropology. I am a dorky academic and social critique hehehe. I am planning on starting work towards my PhD this all- at either Clemson or USC- if my finanical aid "cards" work out in my favor. I hope to have more answers on PhD stuff by the end of this month.

John is a mechanical engineer- who wishes to be more creative with his work but due to ups and downs in the job market is working at Square D- where he is able to be somewhat creative yet frustrated a good deal of the time. He is a math nerd- a field of academia that is the furthest from my academic nerd realm as it can be.

We were married in October of 2008 and live in Columbia, SC. We suffered a miscarriage just last month. It was early, at just 12 weeks but it kinda rocked us. The pregnancy in general rocked our plans- we were not planning on a new born. We actually wished to pursue adoption. So we were sent through a whirlwind of emotions- our hearts and minds were spinning first with the prospect of a new baby then at the hurt of the loss. However, it has strengthened my resolve as a mom. I find myself cherishing the time i have with my son Gabe, much more. I also have a steadfast resolve on adopting a child from Ethiopia. International adoption has been a dream of mine for years. It was something I shared with John as we were dating.
I amin the midst of lots of research- we are 90% set on Gladney (rather, I am- since John doesn't seem too research oriented at this point) or Holt. Gladney will start our paper work rolling right away and Holt's protocol is that we wait until we have been married two years to even accept the homestudy. I love Holt's work with international adoption, aid and especially their waiting-child program. However, i have heard/read such great things about Gladney and their heart hospitals that are being set up in Ethiopia. My homestudy agency feels both are great agencies to go with and we would have good results regardless of which one we choose.

We are hoping for a boy about 2 to 4 years old. It seems everyone wants the tiny babies. We are wanting to get right to the fun stuff! The running around crazy and having lots of fun. We have shared in the miracles of the new born years- bring on that wild and crazy toddlers!