About Me

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My name is Jenny, and I am married to my wonderful husband Andy. We are the proud parents of Owen Daniil, who we adopted from Russia. Our Gotcha Day was 02/08/2011. Our family is a true gift, and we feel very blessed that God chose each one of us as members. I am not good at blogging, I'm just starting out and getting used to it. However, I am hoping to share some stories about our family. Welcome to my crazy, but wonderful, life!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Just thoughts on marriage, not adoption related....

We live in a world of self gratification and always thinking that we should feel good because society tells us this is how life should be. This type of thinking is dangerous and damaging, yet our world accepts it and agrees with it. Why do I think this? Why am I feeling the need to bring it up? Because it’s scary and disheartening being immersed in a society that feels entitlement and that constant indulgence, constant rewards, and constant happiness should always be within reach.
It’s scary being in an environment where the latest gossip is who slept with who, and who is leaving their spouse for someone else. It’s scary that rather than praying for these people and realizing the sadness in that situation, it’s commonplace and acceptable.
Our world says, you don’t feel “happy” or "satisfied" in your marriage, it’s okay to develop feelings for someone else. You feel as though your marriage isn’t giving you everything you need, find a different partner who is more sympathetic and will GIVE YOU what YOU want. There’s no reason to work through problems with your spouse, with whom you made a commitment to be faithful and love in good times AND in bad  Our society says, "Don’t turn to GOD to help you through these difficult times, just cheat on your spouse with someone else and you’ll find the happiness and gratification you want."
It’s scary that our society devalues true love in a marriage because it takes effort and commitment from both partners to keep the relationship going. But more importantly, that God is supposed to be involved in your marriage, and people seem to forget that, or ignore it from the get go. Because after all, "Marriage is just a piece of paper," right?
This, I feel, is linked to our society's devaluing of life in general. Because the marriage is another type of life gift. You're given this partner, this person, and you become one body, one life! I am so blessed to have the husband I have. I look at others who are throwing their marriages away after a year, 5 years, 15 years, 20 years, because they are not feeling the "magic" any more, or the "in love" feelings they used to. They hurt not only themselves in doing so, but they hurt their partner and any children they may have had. 
I hope that my husband and I can be good enough examples for our children in the precious gift that is marriage and how important it is to choose a good partner who feels the same about marriage. I hope that someday our society will wake up and realize that divorce is not an easy out to have in your back pocket when things don't go just as you hoped. I hope that our society begins to value marriage again and the life that God gives us in it. Marriage is not just something you do so you can have a special day, it's a vocation that we should feel blessed to be in.
I pray for those affected by poor choices and decisions to seek out gratification outside of their union. I pray for the people who make mistakes and realize that this choice was wrong and that these marriages can work through any of these scenarios. I pray for marriage, and that it is seen for the true sacrament for which it is.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

All I want for Christmas- 海利 (Hailey)

I have been up since before six due to cramps. I tried to go back to sleep, and it was a no go. Partly because of the pain, and partly because I had Andy and Owen both snoring, the wind blowing extremely loud and heavy, and I couldn't stop thinking. And so here I am.

Last year at this time, we had just been given travel dates to meet our other "son" in Russia, and then our dream of being his parents disappeared within less than a week when the law was being signed to ban adoptions. We would have had him home by the summer, and he would be here with us celebrating and joining in the Christmas joy.  This has remained in the back of my mind as we continued through advent and entering Christmas.

Despite knowing we are less one child than we thought we'd be, this Christmas season has still been good. The past few week I have enjoyed watching Owen LOVE Christmas and be so into decorating and getting ready for Christmas. He's even learning Christmas songs, and I LOVE listening to him sing them. I cannot wait for him to open his gifts and see him so excited and having fun with them. I couldn't imagine Christmas without his joy!

The only thing that could make Christmas better is knowing who our daughter is, seeing her face, and knowing we would soon be holding her. It has been almost a year since we switched over to the china program, and almost 2 years since we began discussing our next adoption. All I want for Christmas is Hailey, to see her beautiful face, her eyes, her hands, to know that we will soon have our family together. I think I'm asking for a Christmas miracle since Christmas is 3 days away, and I'm not so sure I've been a good enough "girl" this year to deserve that miracle.

I keep trying to stay positive about it, and to be patient and know that I need to get past my controlling nature and believe. But part of me is having problems being positive. Part of me is worried that my request for a Christmas miracle won’t happen until next Christmas. I was not ready for this long of a wait. I was not prepared for my heart to feel this missing piece for so long.

After feeling all sorry for myself, then I started to think how pathetic my sadness really is, because these kids that I see in orphanages are the ones who’s Christmas miracle really needs to happen. They need so much more than I do, and I need to focus on praying for them and that they get what they need, including the little boy we wanted so badly to be home with us last year. So that is what I’m going to try and concentrate on is praying that all these kids find the love they deserve. So while all I thought I wanted for Christmas was Hailey, I now realize I really want all orphans home for Christmas, and no matter how many Christmas we have to go through for these miracles to happen, I need to keep praying for them to come true.

Please pray with me this Christmas for all of these children find their families soon.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

An example of fun conversations with Owen.

Owen and I played with his castle and nights tonight. Then I said, I think I need a check up I don't feel so good. Think you can give me a check up?

Owen: Yeah, I'll fix you up. Let me listen to your heart. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in. Let me give you a shot. It's going to pinch. Did that hurt?

Me: Just a little.

Owen: K. Let me look in your mouth. You're sick! I better give you some medicine. Let me check your temperature. (He looks at the thermometer) 80 degrees!

Me: that's not good, is it?

Owen: No!

Me: You have a good bedside manner.

Owen: Thanks patient.

Me: Did you check out my ears yet?

Owen: I’m just doing that now. You have a lot of gunk in your ears!

Me: How are you going to get it out?

Owen: With my finger.

Me: Oh, that’s kind of gross. (Owen’s laughing). Is that what mommy does?

Owen: No! (laughing).  Sit up please so I can check your blood pressure.

Me: Awe, I was hoping to lay down.

Owen: You can lay down after I check your blood pressure. Patient, can you put the blood pressure on please. (I dutifully put the cuff on my arm). Thanks Patient. (He pumps it up) 39 O’Clock! Looks good.

Me: Great!  ( I was allowed to lay back down)

Owen: (Picks up the instrument that is a cross between an Otoscope and the little hammer doctors have) I’m going to bam your legs, cause that will make you feel better.

Me: Do you mean you’re going to check my reflexes?? (Hoping he really doesn’t want to bam my legs).

Owen: (matter of factly) Yeah.  (However, he –obviously- has no clue what a reflex was, so he really pretty much meant bamming my legs). Bam. (Yeah, ouch.).


Daddy finally came in from work (late), and Owen played more with him, giving him a check up too.


Dad: Owen you want to give me a flu shot?

Owen: Don’t call me Owen, call me Owen Doctor.

Dad: How about I call you Doctor M. ?

Owen: yeah!


I then had to call for him if I “needed” him, LOL.  Doctor McMullin, Doctor McMullin! LOL. I’m sure I didn’t totally capture the entirety of his cuteness in this, but he was very funny. Gotta love himJ

No news....................................Waiting is the hardest part.

This past Saturday, 10/05, marked 1 year since we had been matched with a baby boy in Russia. I can't believe that a year has gone by already. We had been so ready to bring our next child home.  Now we continue to pray that God has given this little boy another family.

Now we wait in month 4 since our dossier has been in China for a little girl that we know God has waiting for us. Patience is not my forte.  So I'm just trying not to pull my hair out, or go loopy.

Owen tries to keep me busy so I can keep my mind off the wait, though I know he doesn't realize he's doing that, LOL. I really wish I could carry around a recorder with me all day with him so I could tell everyone all of our conversations, or his rationalizations, or his singing!

Today, he rationalized that he could do something that an adult does because he's wearing a football jersey.....um, yeah, HA!  Some how wearing that jersey makes him bigger and stronger, hee hee. Another time this week, I sang the "I love you Owen." To the tune of the bye-bye birdy song. Then he said, "it's my turn mom to sing to you." Oh it was funny. It wen something like, "I love you mommy, yes I do.  A bushel and a peck. Love you, cause I don't like you, I mean I like you, and I love you......a bushel and a peck."

Typically it takes Owen a little while to get a sentence out too. "Mom, you know, I .....you know I....Mom, you know I....I like to play football and.......and......and I....and I am good at it.....cause.....cause....cause I'm big and strong........."

Tonight, we met up with our friend Kelli and her 2 kids Anthony and Emily to get their pics done together in their Halloween costumes. Boy was that crazy!  Emily was very good and tried to get her pics done, but Owen started out all crying and pouty and not wanting to participate, and Anthony was very angry that he was blocked from the trash. LOL. Finally, after promising ice cream, Owen started smiling and doing what we asked. (That was after several other ways/attempts to get him to do it.) It didn't help that it was a new photographer, and she was not very loud when she spoke, and she didn't really seem to know how to get the sitting started, even with us telling her she could take some of Emily by herself first. In the end, the pictures were pretty good, better than I thought we were going to get.

Waiting is so not fun. But having Owen (and Andy) to wait with makes it bearable and entertaining. I love Owen, and I know he will love having a sibling. I continue to hope we hear something soon, but I don't know.....it's all in God's time. And I just have to suck it up;)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Blessings Continued

So, after my last post I felt bad (and maybe a bit embarrassed) about my rant, and my anguish and my sadness....and my jealousy. Therefore, it's taken me a while to want to post again.

Then, last night after dinner, Andy and Owen went outside to play without me. I've been just getting over either a cold or bad allergies (so not sure which), and so I stayed inside. I will not deny that I was also at the end of a very good book, and had played a lot with Owen inside before dinner, so I decided it was a good time to get some reading in. So I sat my lazy bum in the recliner, kicked back and started to read as they headed out the door.

Since it was a nice night out, Andy had a couple windows downstairs open, and as my boys started playing outside. Owen was laughing and giggling, and I just laid my book down and listened. I cried a few tears. One, because I was overwhelmed with love for my wonderful, amazing, and loving husband and my adorable, crazy, sweet, ornery son and the joy they give each other and me. I am SOOOOOOO blessed to have both of them. I never imagined that I would truly find such an amazing partner to share my life with, and then BOOM love struck me and there was Andy. I cried so many tears and longed so much for a child to hold in my arms, and then BOOM there is this child that is so special, so amazing, so unique, and so MINE, placed in my arms and heart FOREVER.
To have the combination of them, MY BOYS!  How can life get any better?!?!?!

Though some of my tears were for my daughter who is not home yet and who I am sad is missing out on these moments and not with our forever family, yet, I did not wallow in that yesterday. I did imagine how Owen and Andy are going to incorporate her into their fun and games, and that made me teary too. Because our family, our gift, is going to continue to get even more amazing, and right now, we're just paving the way for our baby girl, our HAILEY, to come home and find her place in our goofiness. I can see Owen trying to teach her how to throw and kick the balls, and Andy swinging her in his arms, pushing her on the swings, and the utter joy all 3 of them are going to have being with each other. I can feel the joy already, because I am living in joy RIGHT NOW! 

I AM so blessed to hear the laughter, to be able to watch the fun and see the love grow and grow, and better yet, to be part of it as both of my boys throw their smiles at me and call to me. "Hi MOMMY!" "Hi LOVE! (our nickname Andy and I have for each other) To hear those words and to feel them all the way to my heart; to have the blessing of such love that ONLY can start from GOD OUR FATHER! That is AMAZING and I need to stay focused on the blessings that continue to rain down on us every day. And that is what I'm going to continue to do, even the next time I am feeling down, as that is how we make it through those moments. Through the love that originates from God.

So you see, how could I not want to post about this awesomeness, right? I shared some painful feelings last post, and so to be able to share these wonderful and joyful feelings that are 10 x stronger and more important than the other ones just felt right. :)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Feeling down....feel free to skim, it's a long one.......

Okay, so I have been feeling kind of sad this week, mainly because the wait during an adoption sucks. Sometimes I feel okay about it, and focus on praying hard for patience. Then other times, I feel like I'm panicky inside, wondering how long this is going to take, and what if it ends up being 18 months. I feel all like, heart racing, and just get this, feeling outside of myself feeling.  I know that I will come out of this feeling, and it kind of comes and goes in spurts. This week, we got her room part way done, which is exciting, but not at the same time.

Why not? Before we started re-doing it made me sad because we weren't having a little boy join our family, and because Owen is growing up (which is also good and I love him in this stage, but I miss that little baby that only stayed little for what seemed like a min. ) and him not being in that room reminds of this. So I had been anxious to get it changed. Now though, the room will sit empty again, waiting on our baby girl who we don't know. I know, I'm pathetic, because either way I look at it, I was sad about it. I will say that I am happier with how the room is turning out that I was when we first started painting, and it seemed so.....Purple. (Which is absolutely funny, because my favorite color is purple.)

The other reason I've been feeling sad, and this has been for the last month, is because I still struggle with the feelings of infertility and the irregular cycles I have. 2.5 months ago, I found a supplement online that could help with hormone levels, so I decided to try it. I actually felt confident that it could help me with my cycles, and that I would be able to get pregnant on it. Ha! Why do I set myself up for disappointment. The first month, my cycle was actually a bit better. However, month 2 was not. I'm on month 3, and I still can't tell a real difference, but I don't know. 

I know that when you choose to adopt they want you to be "reconciled" with the idea of being infertile. I DO NOT understand how they think you can have those feelings resolved fully. I still struggle when others get pregnant, I still struggle seeing newborns, I still struggle with the fact that I'm missing out on years of my children's lives and not knowing what is happening to them when they are not with me while all others have to do is touch their stomach to feel their child kick.  

Tonight at mass, I was trying to get Owen to fold his hands and say some prayers after communion. I tell Owen we go to mass to thank God for making our family and bringing us together. We always say a prayer for his sister. Tonight, I said, we ask God to watch over her until she comes home. He said, why. I said, because God is the one who can see her and be with her while we can’t. At that point, he turned around and said, why, I want a baby like one, and turned and pointed to a little baby who looked like she was going to be baptized after mass. I know that is an innocent statement from a 3 year old, and I was not upset with him. However, it is another reminder that I will not have my children home that young.

I have a monthly reminder that I'm infertile. I have menstrual issues way more than just infertility, that no one can seem to fix. I know that this is TMI, but I don't think people realize that when you're infertile, there can be way more going on than you just can't conceive a child. There are health issues involved with infertility, and because you face them all the time, the feelings of infertility can’t just vanish. So I keep praying, and I keep praying, and I keep praying to get past these feelings.

I cannot say that infertility is just a burden, because it is not. If I was not infertile, I would not have my son. Owen is so amazing, and so much my child. I thank God every day that he led us to Owen. I cannot imagine our life without him, and I know that the same will be true of our baby girl once she is home. Sometimes, it is easy to forget that I didn’t carry him in my womb, or that I missed his first year. However, it’s mostly when we’re just together as a family. At work and other places, it is harder to forget what I missed out on with him. And now I’m wondering how much I’m missing out on in Hailey’s life, and how old she will be when she comes home. We were really so very lucky getting to meet Owen at 9 months, and to bring him home at 12 months.

I keep trying to remind myself that without infertility, we would not be the family that we are. I would not be the woman that I am, and I would not be as aware of the plight of orphans who need people to be their voice. I know that this is why God has led us in this direction, and I know we are so blessed, in so many ways. I feel ungrateful having the feelings I have. I feel like by having them, my family, specifically my children, will not know how much I truly and absolutely love them and need them in my life. That God KNEW I needed them, and He brought us together because He knew who our family needed to be.

I think I’ve rambled enough. I think I just needed to vent a little and to talk out some of my feelings. I know that they will pass. I know that God is riding the feelings with me; I just need to listen to Him and feel Him with me. I love my family, and honestly, I’m so thankful to be where we are at and to have Owen. Adoption is SUCH a blessing, and not just for the children. I don’t even want to think about how it would feel not to have Owen. I know part of my feelings are also due to the long wait for our daughter. Prayer is the only true answer to everything, and I just need to continue to pray.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Somewhere out there.....

Ever since the Russian ban was put into effect and we realized that we would not be bringing our little boy home, I have been watching the Russian database to see if they changed or updated his photo, so I could keep "tabs" on him in whatever way I could. Well, Saturday night, Andy and I decided to check the database, and our little guy's picture was gone. We are PRAYING really hard that this is a good thing, and that it means he has been adopted.  It feels strange not knowing, and it makes us not being able to adopt him even more real, which is odd since we know we could not.  Now though, we really don't know where he is. We hope that somewhere out there, he is now with his forever family and being given the love that he deserves and that we were hoping to share with him. He will always be in our heart and always will be the son we never got to meet, but now we have more hope for him and his future.

We worked more on our daughter's room yesterday, and the painting is almost done. We have the pink and blue done. Now we just have to touch up the purple. We should be able to have all the decorations and everything up within the next week or two. Depending on the time and everything else we have going on. We were informed a couple weeks ago that there is a 6 - 12 month wait on being matched with a girl under 2. This was not the original time frame we were given. We were originally told we could be matched within 3-4 months. We were also told that it is likely we would not travel to pick our daughter up until 4-6 months after we are matched.

So, finishing up her room is good, but just reminds me that it will be sitting empty that much longer. I am not good with the wait. I'm anxious. All I think about is who she is, how old she is, what she looks like, what conditions she'll have, what will we need to do to make sure everything is ready for her, including medical appointments, possible surgeries.

We started this adoption process 5/2012. We've gone through heart ache, had to re-do our home study, re-do our dossier, and mentally and emotionally change the direction our lives were going.
I keep thinking bout how long it is taking, and how we would love to have 4 kids, and how this process of adoption seems to be getting harder and taking longer. I have been praying that we would bring our girl home by Christmas and we know that this cannot happen at this point. My heart aches to know and hold and have this little girl home with us. I watch Owen and am so anxious for him to have his sister here.

I am praying for patience. As my family will attest, I come from a long line of control freaks (though my mother might deny it, LOL). I am praying very hard to give over my need for control and trust in God and his timing. To know that He has a plan and it is always better than what we can have planned for ourselves.

I ask my friends and family to continue to pray for a little boy that we hold dear in our hearts, for a daughter we hope to soon hold in our arms, and for all the children everywhere that need families. Somewhere out there are families just waiting to be united.