Another step down

Well.  We got our I800 clearance from the USCIS on Friday!  This is one more step down.  Now.  We didn't go through these steps when we adopted Katie Mei.  This is all new. So…..I am learning as as I go.  

This is fun.  

Truly.

But at the end….

Laurengracejune

We will bring her home.

And that is what matters. 

Creepy

Scaryfamily

Things I may find creepy…. *above photo being one….

Clown
EVIL.  PURE EVIL.

Cockroach
Why?  What is their purpose?  

Lady elaine
Remember the Mr. Rogers where Lady Elaine got all big and went ice skating?

Well.  I DO.  And I will never be the same again.

Sigmundsea
While we are on the subject… How about his one?

All Krofft shows….

Except Shazaam.  That one rocked.  Especially when he went into the RV to talk to the "elders".

Dude.

Beehive
Ok, so I am not creeped out by bees.  Or honey.  But by the honeycomb.  And the bees inside the little holes.  Ew.  EW!

And finally….

 
Flan

Flan.

Yes.  I am creeped out by FLAN.

     

 

Changed

Remember back in November, when I said goodbye to Diet Coke?  I think I may have started a total life change.  And I am surprised.  Never, I thought, in a million years would I be able to give up Diet Coke.  Let alone change my entire way of eating.  And actually like it?  Or actually feel better?

I LOVED my DC.  I mean we are talking a full on addiction.  And now, it has been 9, almost 10 months.  

So.  I started having odd symptoms.  The one that drove me to the doctor was my incessantly itchy eyelids.  HUH?  Seriously.  I have had stomach issues forever, and headaches, but the one thing that made me run to the doc was itchy eyelids?

I have issues.

So, went to my eye doctor- thinking he would tell me "oh that is bad eczema, here, use this cream and it will stop driving you to drinking".  Instead, he looked at my poor eyelids and said "you have a yeast infection all over your eyelids.  I will give you cream, but you really need to consider your diet."

Uh, say what?  My diet?  For my eyelids?  Stop.

I must have looked like Gary Coleman- "what you talkin' bout doc?" 

And he went on to explain that yeast feeds off of sugar in the body and can manifest itself in many different ways.  Skin infections being one of them.

He applauded my soda cessation.  And then challenged me to look into an anti-fungal diet.  YUMMY.  Isn't that the words you want before diet?  No, those are the words I want before an athlete's foot cream.  Or cream for your hoo- hoo.  Not for a diet.  Sorry for the hoo- hoo thing.

He gave me some info on it, and then suggested I try it for a time and see how I felt.  Well.  I will tell you how I felt.  I was embarrassed and defeated.  Not for long.  

I really took his information to heart.  I visited a website  and really read over the information.  I talked with Michael about it and we decided that there was nothing harmful about this diet, so I would embark on ridding my body of all that yeast.

Soo… out with Sugar.

Sugarrut
Did you know how many things have sugar in them?  Without you even knowing?  Sheesh.  Even pasta sauce.  So now I make my own.  Dressings?  Forget it.  A little lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, now becomes my ranch.  I NEVER thought I would like it.  Let alone look forward to it, but I do.

The other thing that I have given up is any flour.  Yeast breads.  Bread in general.  Um.  Hello? Do you remember my little infatuations about bread with butter?  Yes.  This one was tough.  REALLY tough.

Go ahead its gluten free

Another reason for my change in diet is that my mom and my sister have Celiac Disease.  This is an allergy to wheat and gluten.  My mom was diagnosed about 15 years ago after living her life with stomach issues.  My sister Amy decided to test herself because she had been dealing with stomach issues- and me?  I have always had tummy troubles.  So whilst I was revolutionizing my life- taking out sugar and wheat, why not go gluten free as well.

I don't do all the gluten free foods in the market at all.  I am just strictly eating fresh veggies, fruits, dairy( some), lean proteins, and whole grains.  Not any flour though.  And I am trying to limit those as they tend to be triggers for me to eat more.  And more.  Dude.  Give me a cracker and I am a goner.  I also have been snacking on nuts.  Not too many.

So. How am I feeling?  Awesome.  It has been 2 months now.  I have lost 12 pounds.  My face is clear.  I have more energy, and my moods are leveling out.  At the beginning, I had 3 styes in my eye.  That my friends was awful.  I thought to myself, I need to get me some fishy crackers and french bread.  My eyes are worse!  But from what I learned, my body was really getting rid of crap that I had inside and that was one aspect.

I have not had itchy eyelids.  Or itchy anything due to yeast since starting this way of eating.  And while sometimes I crave some ice cream, my cravings are pretty much gone.

I am a believer now that what you put into your body really does affect everything.  Even eyelids.

So I will continue on.  No- not the most fun.  And I get lots of questions.  But, I feel good!  So I will keep on going.  Not to mention that I began working out again…and um, yeah.  I can't even lift my arms to dry my hair.

Forgive my flat hair.

And my groans of pain as I get up from a chair.

  

Heart Matters

Laurenpeekaboo

My heart is aching.  

The woman in this photo (and many others) we have of Lauren is her foster mother.  Lauren has been with her sweet foster family for about 2 years.  They are all she has known for the better part of her life.  I have been told how they adore her.  And you can see it in each and every photo and report we have seen she has grown, not only grown but flourished in their care. I know her sweet and joyful demeanor come from them and the care she gets. I know they have doted on her.  I know they also have taught her that she can do anything she sets her mind to.  

She has learned to trust.  She has learned how to give and receive love.  She has been taught that she is perfect.  She has gained confidence and ability.  She has learned to care for herself, and to help others.  She can run.  She can cut with scissors.  She can draw.  She can feed and dress herself.  She loves others in her community and stands up for those who are the "underdog".  I love everything I have read about this little one.  Everything.

And for that I am so very thankful to the gift she has been given with her Grandma and Grandpa.  

I have to be honest and say I have been struggling.  I know that her family knows she is being adopted.  I also know that they are really sad.  My heart is breaking for them.  When I think of this amazingly wonderful and loving home she has been blessed with, I am heartbroken.  For all that they will be losing.  For all that she will be leaving behind.  I cannot imagine the fear, the confusion that will come.  I am not afraid of that.  I am prepared for the emotions that will come.  But I am heartbroken for Grandma and Grandpa.

I feel so strongly about this.  It consumes my prayers lately.  I know God hears the cries of my heart.  The cries that also asked Michael if we are doing the wrong thing.  If we should use our finances to make it possible for her foster family to keep her.  I know how much she brings to their lives.  Michael agreed that we owe a debt unpayable to her family, but that he was sure that God had lead us to Lauren and Lauren to us.  

How do you adequately thank a woman who has been your child's momma?  How can you even remotely convey how thankful you are for them?  That they will FOREVER be a part of our family?  That we will never forget, nor never let Lauren forget her years with them?  

My prayer most fervently is that we can remain in contact with them.  I have heard stories of foster families sneaking notes inside clothing.  I secretly yearn for that.  I pray also that we have the opportunity to meet them while in China.  I have studied the photos until I know the lines on her face.  The crinkles around her eyes as she smiles at her Yan Yan,  I know the look of amusement on her face and imagine her laughter.  I can imagine the emptiness in the house after Lauren leaves. My heart aches.

I know that Lauren is meant to be in the Markmiller family.  I also know that she is blessed to have 2 amazing women whom she can forever call Momma.  Her amazing birth mom,whom I believe loves her with all that she is, who carried her and lovingly took her to a safe spot where she would be found…her foster momma, who cared for her with love and tenderness, and now God has given me the privilege to be called her Momma as well.  

So, for now, I will allow my heart to grieve.  I don't know if or when that ache will heal.  But I know I will forever be thankful for it.  And forever thankful to our Grandma and Grandpa in China. 

 

What I think about whilst waiting

Lauren egg

First things first- HOW CUTE IS SHE?

Ok.

Things I have been thinking about whilst waiting again…

  • the heat
  • how hot it is
  • ovens
  • frying pans
  • saunas
  • the pool
  • and the fact that even the water is hot
  • and not refreshing
  • yet we go and pretend
  • wonder if Lauren knows about us yet
  • worried that she doesn't
  • worried that she does and is scared
  • cannot wait to meet her either way
  • wondering if she likes girlie toys
  • or should I get her nerf guns
  • I need to get her one
  • to defend herself
  • it often is war around these parts
  • there's gold in them there hills
  • sorry
  • one of our trees is dead
  • we need to have it removed
  • it just looks all sad and dejected
  • the other trees are surrounding it trying to perk it up
  • not workin
  • even the squirrels don't go near it
  • poor tree
  • I cannot for the life of me find an important document
  • I know it is in this house
  • just no clue
  • I may be the only mom looking forward to the routine of school
  • not the idea of waking up at the crack o' dawn
  • ew.
  • I just said crack
  • and O' 
  • I love corn
  • did you know they have deep fried butter at fairs now?
  • Seriously. DEEP FRIED butter
  • there is much wrong with that 
  • Fenway is getting really old
  • and it breaks our hearts
  • why won't Trader Joes come to Oklahoma?
  • I have begged and pleaded.  AND NOTHING
  • I am jonesing for some Orange Chicken
  • I have been eating clean, and fungal free for 2 months
  • ew. 
  • I said fungal.
  • I need to exercise more
  • but I can't until my check up on my gimpy leg
  • I hate it when food gets stuck in your teeth
  • and there is nary a floss or toothpick in sight
  • anyone else used a corner of paper to try and get said food out?
  • or finger nail?
  • oh
  • no?
  • neither have I.
  • just askin
  • The Help is the best book I have read in a long while
  • I didn't want it to end.
  • I am so lame that way
  • I want to relish in the world as long as I can
  • I do not like relish.
  • I do not like sweet pickles
  • my mom used to eat peanut butter and sweet pickle sandwiches
  • my dad used to eat meatloaf, mayonnaise and jello sandwiches
  • and they fed us peanut butter and mayo sandwiches
  • and perhaps that is one reason I am the way I am today
  • and that my friends is enough for today.
  • or forever.
  • Goodbye.
    Xu Jing Yan Photo 1-1