Two Little Girls

If there were
25 hours in the day
there still wouldn't be enough time

If there were
27 letters in the alphabet
there still wouldn't be the right words

If there were
89 keys on the piano
there still wouldn't be the perfect song

If there were
101 pennies in a dollar
There still wouldn't be a suitable gift

To express to you
how very much I adore you
and how overwhelmingly grateful I am to know you


I'm exhausted

We just finished five hours of interviewing and home-inspecting. I have been very nervous about both of these processes-but they went well.

We passed the home inspection except for the garage (ehem...Matt?!?) He needs to do a bit more work out there. We also need to get copies of our dogs' licenses. And there are a few more papers to turn in as well-a personal reference, an employer reference, new fingerprints, and it just never seems to end.

We didn't get all the way through the interviews, so we will be completing another three hours in the next week. Lots of personal questions...really personal. But our adoption specialist is so sweet, and really affirming with however we answer the questions. We'll find out what she really thinks when we read her 20-page report on us!

Thank you to all of you who love us and are thinking about us and praying for us. We feel so supported and encouraged by all of you. It's exciting and overwhelming. It's been a long day. I think I'll hit the sack early tonight.


Things that make me laugh

  • Listening to Matt laugh while he watches "Seinfeld" episodes for the 14th time. Right now he's all by himself in the other room, cracking up.
  • When the girls play "Make Up" and color their faces with marker. I was perturbed, but I had to laugh.
  • When the girls dress up like fairy princesses and then go about their very serious business of playing. Why should it seem strange that they are wearing wings or high heels?
  • Greg and Michele Stump-they both have such a quick wit. The four of us can sit around for hours talking and laughing. I think we are do for an evening like that soon.
  • The Office-crazy funny. Michael Scott, Dwight Schrute. So loveable, so clueless.
  • My sisters. We can take a funny moment and replay it for hours. It never stops being funny. And we never let each other live anything down.
  • When Matt teases me. He told me my new haircut looks like I backed up into a fan. I laughed so hard because he's right!

What makes you laugh?


Friday's Highlights

  • I slept until 11:00. 11:00! Amazing. I have been a little under the weather and felt soo much better when I woke up. I know, I know, you don't have to think that. "I won't be able to do that anymore when we have the girls full-time." I get it.
  • I took the girls to get a few accessories for their fairy princess Halloween costumes-frilly princess headbands and beaded necklaces. They are going to look so cute.
  • Matt and I went on a date tonight-Mexican food and a movie-Bella. It was good. Definitely pro-family. Interesting dialogue.
  • We made an appointment to meet with an attorney about legal guardianship. A very exciting step. Also, Monday is our {rescheduled} home inspection and adoption home study. So lots going on this week in our process. Yay!


Bella...wonderful movie con Verastegui

I'm looking forward to seeing this movie in a few days. It's pro-adoption.


Things I have resorted to to keep the girls awake in the car until we get home for nap time so they will actually sleep, so I can actually sleep, even

though they find me extremely irritating.
  • singing the days of the week at the top of my lungs
  • doing fishy faces at red lights
  • fake sneezing over and over
  • making up cheers for them
  • giving them gum or a lollipop
  • talking incessantly bridges, trees, and airplanes out the window
  • shaking and tapping their feet
  • asking them questions about the ABCs or Miss Cathi
  • dancing with my upper body including lots of snapping and clapping
  • making up stories that include loud noises-like BONK, ZAP, BOOM

I know it's pitifully strange that I'm willing to make a fool of myself and endure their scornful looks and bitter comments like, "Don't talk, Chrissie!" "Stop being so noisy!" "I don't like that song!" But those two hours of quiet naptime are precious.

And the fishy faces made them laugh pretty hard.


Chrissie and the girls-just hanging out

licking watermelon lollipops
splashing in the rocky surf
crunching tortilla chips
laughing with Jeff and Robin
Ethan, Laura, and Charis
soaking in a strawberry bubble bath
snuggling up
to read the Bible together
tucking them into bed
with hugs and kisses
and their blankies
and their comfeys
and their sippy cups
and their lullaby music

Sleep peacefully, beautiful girls.



Our home inspection and adoption home study have been postponed until next Monday. The fire is very close to our home, causing many freeways and roads to be closed, and so we all decided it would be wiser to wait. And so the anticipation continues...

It's sobering to look out the window and see the peach glow over the ridge. And the air is thick with gray smoke and ashes. Matt and I are gathering a few things in case we have to evacuate, although that is unlikey. Pictures, documents, medications, laptops, pets, and the like.

If you hear a knock at your front door, it might be us...moving in.


Tomorrow is Another Milestone

We will be having our home inspected and our adoption home study completed tomorrow. The home inspection is a walk-through of our house to confirm that all the expectations for child safety have been met. Decals on the windows, a week's worth of food, a carbon monoxide detector installed, and on and on.

After the inspection, we will be certified foster parents! We aren't planning on doing foster care anymore, but it is still a huge accomplishment. Also, it is helpful in gaining legal guardianship for the girls. Basically, it looks good on our resume. I have so much admiration and respect for any family who is certified to foster parent. It is such a rigorous process.

The adoption home study is basically a five-hour interview to find out all about you and your spouse and your pasts and your secrets and anything else they would like to know.

I'm excited. We've been working so hard to get to this day, and we have felt the Lord's guidance and grace continually. It's another big step along this sweet journey.


New Discovery

Today I discovered a wonderful artist, Nikki Mcclure at a darling store called Road Less Travelled. I love her work. She cuts out all her images from a single sheet of paper with an x-acto knife. Amazing. I bought a poster, 2008 calendar, and a children's book of her art.


Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word

Background: Little cutie has stepped on Gracie (the dog.) Gracie yelps and runs away.

Chrissie: Cutie, don't you think you should say sorry to Gracie?

Cutie: I'm too busy.

Chrissie: You're not too busy, and it will make Gracie feel better.

Cutie: Maybe next time.

Chrissie: It's important to apologize each time you wrong someone, even if it was an accident. It's good to say you're sorry. It helps you to be friends again.

Cutie: I don't want to.

Chrissie: Well, let's just stand here and wait until you're ready to say sorry.

:::::::waiting::::::::::::staring at eachother:::::::::::::::waiting:::::::::::::::::::::

................................three to seven minute time lapse...............................................

Cutie: {almost inaudibly} sorry.

Chrissie: That was very good. I'm so proud of you. Great job.

Replay this scenario five times a day for the last two weeks.
I do think we are making progress!


Beautiful Night

Tonight we ate at home. I made chicken curry and vegetables and then we played ball in the backyard. I accidentally threw the ball into the top of the tree and we couldn't get it down. I said, "Oh well, let's go get ice cream."
The girls thought that was so funny. They kept saying, "Oh well, oh well, oh well, let's go get ice cream."
We ate our ice cream by the lake, watching the ducks under a crescent moon. It was chilly and dark. One cutie said, "I don't want to go home. I want to stay here and watch the ducks." So sweet.
When we got back home we lit a fire and watched "Monkey George." We cuddled under a soft red blanket.
Now they are in their beds and my heart is ready to burst with love for them.


My Brilliant Idea

In my head, taking Alfred (the dog on the left) to the vet this morning, with the girls didn't look quite so chaotic.
I thought, "We always have extra time on our hands in the morning. Why not get Alfred's vaccines up to date?"

Well, trying to get two three-year-olds and a rascally dog in the car, out of the car, and into the vet's office is no small feat.

Alfred peed four-yes four-times in the waiting room. And one of the girls also had a bathroom accident.

Oh, and did I mention that the girls are afraid of Alfred? They won't get anywhere near him.

Yeah, good fun.

In other dog news, Lulu (the dog on the right) has gone to a better place. No, not that place. She has gone to live on a farm in Visalia.

We just didn't feel completely confident in Lulu's social skills. I don't know, maybe the constant barking, growling and snapping had something to do with it. We miss her a little. Just a little.


A Museum, An Accident and A Movie

We had fun with my mom and sister, Ellen, at the children's museum. The girls drove a bus, rode on the carousel, played dress up, played the piano and climbed in the tree house. Then we all met my dad for lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Yum.

Afterwards, we took naps and then Matt watched the girls so I could go get a pedicure. So wonderful. I did feel a little lonely without them.

Matt and I were just sitting on the couch talking after putting the girls to bed. We heard the sound of liquid hitting the tile and both of our eyes got bigger. Yep, one of them didn't quite make it to the toilet. Sigh. It's cleaned up now and they are both back in bed.

Now it's quiet again and Matt and I are going to watch the documentary Grey Gardens about the eccentric aunt and cousin of Jackie Kennedy. Oh, and eat chocolate ice cream too.

What have you been up to today?


Today I'm thankful for...

princess dresses, "I love yous," curly hair, legos, the girls falling asleep in the car, being called "ChrissieMommy," spending time with Michele and her kids, watching the girls laugh and play at the park with Kat and Nat, spending time with Matt right now, watching "The Office" we DVRed last night.


Here's What I Know

Some of you have been asking for updates about our situation with the girls. There are many things we are waiting to find out, but here is what I know.

We are very much hoping and praying that we will be able to adopt these two beautiful girls that we have fallen madly in love with. They have turned our lives completely upside down in a very wonderful way.

We initially thought we would be foster parents and then pursue adoption, but now the plan has changed. (Who knows how many times the plan will yet change?) We are going to become legal guardians first, and then pursue adoption. Biological parental rights have been suspended, but as you may guess, it is quite a process to terminate parental rights. It will take time, and there will most likely be challenges in doing this. Right now we are in the process of hiring a lawyer and having a home adoption study completed.

We are spending as much time with them as possible, seeing them almost every day. They trust us more and more as we build a loving bond with them. They are beginning to call us "Mommy" and "Daddy." The four of us are becoming a family. We have had several conversations with them about their past. I can't give any details, but the girls are well aware of their loss, and they are grieving.

We are anxious to see what the Lord will do. I am constantly praying the Lord would put my trust in Him, because I, by myself, have no idea how to trust him. I also pray for patience and wisdom and energy and He continues to prove himself faithful and loving and good. We are blessed beyond our wildest dreams. Our cup overflows.


We had fun

with Lisa and the kids at the Santa Barbara zoo. We spent our time walking around, snacking on hot dogs and candy, feeding the giraffes, riding the train, and playing.
It was so wonderful to be mommies together. Busy and a bit hectic, but wonderful.
The girls took turns crying on the way home. They were exhausted and so was I.
This longer stretch of time with them is certainly enabling me to experience a new side of motherhood- frustration and exasperation, along with the giggles and cuddles. We are definitely "in" it right now.


Our nine-day journey has begun.

It started yesterday when we picked the girls up at 3:00 and drove to Matt's parents' house in Temecula for dinner. What a special night of meeting new family. It was sweet.

This morning we woke up and played and then went to second service at church. The day is much longer when you wake up at 6:30 am. I am constantly trying to fill time and keep them busy. We ate breakfast and got them dressed. They played princess-dress-up. They watched Charlie and Lola while I took a shower. And then we still had lots of time left over. I'm sure we'll eventually settle into more of a routine. But for now, the mornings kind of drag on and on.

Tomorrow we are meeting Lisa and the kids in Santa Barbara. I am so excited to see my sister and have the cousins get to know each other better. I can't wait!

This is such an important week. It's a huge event for the four of us as a family-to get to know each other better and develop routines. I pray that the Lord would strengthen our bonds as parents and children and that He would be glorified in this home.


funny baby

The girls love babies, so we have been watching some baby videos on youtube. This one had me laughing.


Conversations in the Car

Cutie: Where's Matty?

Chrissie: He's at work.

Cutie: Where's work?

Chrissie: Matt works at Biola.

Cutie: Where is Biola?

Chrissie: Biola is a school in La Mirada.

:::2 minute time lapse:::

Cutie: Where's Matty?

Chrissie: Matt's at work.

:::2 minute time lapse:::

Cutie: Where's Matt?

Chrissie: Matt is teaching. He'll be home for dinner. Are you excited to see him?

Cutie: Yes.

:::1 minute time lapse:::

Cutie: Where's Matty?

Chrissie: I don't know. Where is Matt?

Cutie: Matt's at work.

:::1 minute time lapse:::

Cutie: Where is Matty?

Chrissie: Matt was eaten by giraffes.

Cutie: {{giggles}} No he wasn't. He's at work.

:::30 second time lapse:::

Cutie: Where's Matty?


The Pumpkin Patch

We had some fun running around in the hot sun, picking out pumpkins, and riding the train with Sarah and her girls.

My girls were ALL about riding the train. Once I mentioned the train, that was all they could think or talk about.

And they LOVED their new room.