Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bloggy Christmas Parade of Homes

Welcome to our home. I love decorating for the holidays but living with a toddler means certain breakables must remain in storage until she's a little older. I keep a low key outside, so all I hang is a wreath on the door...but inside I'm a little more "over the top"

Here is our Christmas Tree. See Santa on the top? He keeps our spirits bright.
Here are some of my favorite ornaments
a 2003 Adoption ornament
The first year we became a family. I cried at the ornament stand in the mall when saying our new daughter's name. What a weenie! :)
The red bull is DH's Chinese Zodiac from China. I am the Rat and Kelsey is the Rooster

This is our fireplace. We love to light fires in the evening, it make our house feel warm and cozy. I particularly love our stockings. DH's is green, mine is cranberry and our daughter's is the green/cranberry combo. it just felt right to have them. I also love the Baker Santa guarding the room. Can you believe when we bought our house 7 years ago, the bricks were all painted white? I spent 6 weeks removing/scraping the paint down to the antique bricks you see here.

I have a lot of Christmas collections, but two that I MUST put out are my collections of snowmen/women and my Santa collection.

The snowmen/women grace the dining room buffet.
The Santas like to mix it up in my bookcase on the 2nd floor

Here are some close-ups
Don't they look festive hanging out? They greet me every morning as I stumble out of my room

I try to bring a little Christmas to almost every room of the house.

This is my Christmas Card tree. I just got it and love it! I am thinking I might leave it up year 'round because it looks like a sculpture to me (minus the cards of course)

This is my reason for enjoying the holidays!

I even had my own Christmas miracle today, read the previous post to learn what happened!

Thanks for stopping by, I love company!

One Christmas Miracle, Signed, Sealed and Delivered!

My Christmas miracle came to me today at 12:15pm in the Kohl's parking lot. I had just dropped off my good friend Susan after a very productive shopping morning. I finished my Christmas shopping and was pulling into a parking space with the intent of going to the dollar store to buy some more wrapping paper and gift bags when my cell rang. I knew instantly that this was the call I was waiting for the past 2 weeks.

In my zeal to park and take my call, I couldn't find my phone in my bag. So I missed the call, but saw the caller ID and called it back.

My Christmas miracle is that I got my job offer and I am NJ State Director of an organization that promotes philanthropy in children through school curriculum, teacher and special events (better learn to spell that word perfectly rather than wait for spell check! :) Isn't that an incredible mission? I can't believe that I get to have a hand in helping prepare our next generations serve the greater good. I am one lucky woman tonight!

I start my new job on 1/2/08. When I got home my offer letter was sitting in the mailbox.

I am so thankful and humbled to have such wonderful friends and colleagues who took the time 2 days before the Christmas break to speak to my new boss and give me some truly glowing references. I will never forget that and will strive to meet those words of praise.

I want to thank everyone who thought about me during this time, maybe said a prayer or a good word. I truly think it helped. I've been a wreck about this since the interview so I am now going to settle in for a perfectly wonderful Christmas with my amazing family!

tiny little bonus...the dollar store had Dora the Explorer Christmas paper! SCORE!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Interesting post for discussion

A PAP discusses why she feels adoption sucks and how it is oppressive. I tend to disagree that "adoption" sucks, but I agree that the reasons behind adoption are tragic.

That post definitely touched a nerve in the American birth Mom community. I have heard over and over again that many birth Moms felt coerced or forced to give up their child for adoption. Although all of the stories I've heard are from birth Moms whose children are over 20 years old.

I found it quite surprising that American birth Moms whose children are less than 10 also feel coerced and even oppressed by their adoption agencies being forced or lied to to hand over their children.

Several adoptive parents tried to join in the conversation and disagree with their thread, citing that in today's world with all the information at their fingertips that an American woman had more choices. And they also reminded the writers the true nature of oppressed woman in the world.

Now, in my own little arrogant corner of the world, I do tend to agree that it "appears" that American women have more knowledge, options, opportunities, choices when they decide to chose an adoption plan for their child. I have never walked a step in a Birth Mom's shoes, so I cannot say that for sure...but I was pretty outraged at the venom these ABM's spewed at the AP's saying that if you blame the BM for their choices it was the same as blaming a rape victim for wearing a short skirt. HUH?!?! I have great empathy for BM's but honestly how can you relate yourself to a rape victim or a woman living in an oppressed society? Especially the younger ones?

As an adoptive Mom, I find myself walking that tightrope often. I can sympathize with a ABM, but could never really understand what she felt because of my infertility.

Read this for yourself and let me know what you think....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Keep Those Prayers and Good Thoughts Coming!

Well Folks,
It's been a wierd few days at Casa de Hoppe.
1) Got an email from PFB (potential future boss) that she hasn't been able to get around to checking my refernences but hoped to do so before their offices closed for the holidays.
2) Snow/ice storm was miserable and my poor MIL had to spend the night at the airport in Montreal.
3) I got some kind of flu bug/24 hour deal that had me puking my guts out at 3am on Friday AND 4am and 4:45. etc....I was sick as a dog and miserable. Poor Kurt had to take over all the childcare and the airport run. He's been a saint because I've been afraid to let the baby near me because I don't want her sick too. Luckily it appears that I'm the only one in the family who got this.

So, I'm in a dark place. My feelings are all over the place. I am almost at the 5 month mark for unemployment. I don't feel the holiday spirit at all anymore because I thought that perhaps someone would have sensativity for me. It's the week before Christmas almost 2 weeks since my interview. The way I've been contacted, it feels as if they are one step to a job offer, so, if they want me, great, just say so! I don't even want to consider the alternative right now :(

So, keep sending some good thoughts into the universe for us...we really need the good thoughts!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sweet Dreams

I had the most amazingly peaceful dream last night. I think I fell asleep last night wondering about the wait for this job offer.

In my dreamstate my mind went back to the majorly long wait in my life, the wait for Kelsey's referral. In my dream last night, I was in church with others who were in the process of waiting for their child's referral. We also didn't have Kelsey yet.

It was my church, but larger and it was Christmas time. The sanctuary was filled with pointsettias and white lights. It was dazzling. I remember the deep voice of the pastor and then we all gathered together to sing. I can't remember which song, but it was beautiful and meaningful to me. As we stood up to sing, all the people in the church began to move together and hold hands. All of us were waiting for our referrals and were stressing out but were remarklably at peace for this song.

As we sang, we moved closer and held hands. The only face that stands out clearly from this group is my dear friend Missy (who is in the process of adopting her son from China right now!) but with different hair (Missy- you were a redhead with the POB cut! :) But I know all the people in my travel group was there and others I know now that are in the process. I can't explain any of this other than to say it felt magical and peaceful and I was very very happy.

I woke up feeling peaceful and happy about the dream, after all, I was majorly stressed out during the wait for Kelsey and that ended magically. We received her referral on 1/25/06. And I remember Christmas of 2005 being a little bittersweet, but mostly happy because I knew very shortly we would see our daughter's face for the first time.

And by the way, thank you for all your prayers and good wishes. My friend Karen did get her Christmas miracle and is entering a new drug trial. If you could keep her in your thoughts and prayers while she's undergoing it all, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Let's face it, waiting for good things to happen is hard. And the more you want and need that good thing the harder it is to wait for it. Let me leave you with the result of our miracle while I keep hoping for the new one to come.

p.s. Happy Birthday Mom! I know you don't read my blog because you're not up on the Internet, but I wanted to let everyone know it is your birthday! You are rockin' 74~

Friday, December 07, 2007

Close but No Cigar yet....

I spent all last night wondering if today would be the day and what would happen. I was convincing myself that it wasn't meant to be to protect myself from the downward fall if I didn't get the job offer.

At 9:17 this morning my cell phone rang (Kelsey and I were meeting friends at the local diner for an adoption group meeting) and it was my potential future boss.

She called to let me know they were moving onto the next step of checking my references and expected to complete it next week.

While I am really happy at what that potentially means, I was really hoping for resolution today and to start this year. PFB made it clear that they intend to wrap this up by 12/23 because this org closes between Christmas and NY's.

I know my references are good because I chose good people with whom I worked with well :)

I just want this done....please!

p.s. nothing from the other co....I'll call her on Monday and say professionally WTF?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I Need a Christmas Miracle or Two!

Well peeps,
I had my two important job interviews this week.
One at a non-profit start-up that I just heart. But I'm a little intimidated by the vast amounts of work involved. I thought the staff was marvy and really enjoyed the whole process - but I was exhausted as I was interviewing from 11-3 with 5 people!

The's in another urban setting and the parking is challenging. I should hear something by tomorrow.

The 2nd one I was pretty disappointed in...I was initially very excited about it (big name and brand, everyone knows it) I could do that job in my sleep. So I get there today...and it has a "garmento" feel to it. No one knows what that means unless you've done time in the fashion industry - as I have. This is not a plus. Plus all the workers there are skinny tall young girls with long straight hair...just like the garmentos.

So I get there, fill out the obligatory job request form (I've already had a preliminary interview and am about to have my 2nd)

So I meet the HR person and she calls down to the man who'd be my boss. Can't find him. Leaves me for 20 minutes to hunt him down only to find he's left the building on a "store emergency" no go forward on this one for now. I left feeling icky about it. Plus, they're still interviewing and taking their sweet time to make a decision at end of year. Bleeech!

So my first Christmas Miracle request is for me....I really want the job offer from the non-profit and want to start now!

The second Christmas Miracle is for a bloggy friend named Karen (whose blog is PWP) she has been sick for a while and got some very very bad news not so recently. But there is a glimmer of hope in NYC at Sloan K. So my 2nd wish is for Karen to get what she needs so she can watch her 3 year old grow into a lovely young woman. I shudder to think of what I'd be like in her place...she has such grace (although I don't think she'd agree)

I realize that asking for a job isn't as miraculous as asking for a cure of an illness, but it is important to my family.

If you read this, please think extra good thoughts for Karen and Doreen (my hope to be boss) and of course for me :)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

We Elfed Ourselves! Updated!

Kelsey screamed and danced with glee with she saw I did this. check ours out and do it for your family!

And then the 2nd time she heard it she said "it's the Elmo song!" (Elmo ends his SS segments with a song sung to the jingle bells tune....she's so smart!

it's snowy here today and we're just campin' out and having a good time playing.

Hope you enjoy your snow day as well!

And just for fun, we elfed Kelsey's grandmothers too!