Thursday, February 25, 2010 - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Just hours after my post about the lack of recent referrals we received an update that eight children were referred! We are now at the point that some of the people receiving the referrals have waited less time than us but by my calculation we still moved up to #21 on the overall list.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Back to Regular Programming

Doesn't this picture look like you could fit one more sibling on the chair :)

What a crazy couple of weeks! While attending world premieres and going on free trips to Hawaii was amazing, it's far from our every day lives.
While we were having these wonderful vacations the downside is that not a single adoption referral has come in. The last I heard from our adoption contact at the end of January is that we are number 25 on the list and there haven't been any referrals since then so if you do the math... yep, still 25. A referral means that one of the six orphanages that our agency works with has a child who has gone through the process, either through family relinquishment or abandonment, to be eligible for international adoption. Then our agency consults their list of waiting families to determine who is next in line with a request that matches the child's gender and age. We have requested a baby girl under 12 months old and apparently half of the families in front of us have the same request. It's possible we could get to number 1 on the list and be there for a long time as referrals for older children, boys and sibling groups pass us by. Or we could get a referral when we are number 10 (not likely) if the 9 families in front of us aren't requesting an infant girl. So basically, being number 25 on the list doesn't tell us all that much. In August there were 2 referrals for the entire month and in November there were 25. While we feel like we have been waiting a long time we also recognize that this is just the very beginning of the journey. In the meantime the boys keep us busy and we continue to answer their questions about when we will be bringing their baby sister home.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Five Days in Paradise

Pete is a Sr. Technical Support Engineer and for 2009 he won a service excellence award where his prize was a five day all expense paid trip for two to Maui! Fortunately my mom was able to watch the kids so last Saturday morning we left chilly Oakland and flew to beautiful Wailea, Maui. Sunday was Valentines Day and we went ziplining which was just as much fun as it looks even though we looked pretty dorky in our helmets. Then that evening SAP had a private Bon Jovi concert for all the employees on the trip with fireworks afterwards. Monday was our thirteen year wedding anniversary and we spent the day golfing and we didn't play too horribly considering that we haven't golfed in ages.

In addition to all of the fun activities we also managed a few naps, some short runs and ate lots and lots of fresh island food (and maybe a few drinks too as there were three nights with an open bar!) It was so great to spend time relaxing and indulging and we soaked in every minute realizing what a special treat it was.

Even though we had such an amazing trip we were ready to come home and one of the best parts of the trip was the wonderful hugs and the excitement from the kids when we came home.

So thanks to his company for providing this trip to your employees, thanks to Pete for winning the trip (and taking me :) and thanks to my mom for taking such wonderful care of the boys so we could enjoy every minute.

I know, not the greatest form but what a view!

With Pete's coworker Christine and he husband Seth before the Bon Jovi concert.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Motel 6 to Red Carpet in 20 Minutes

Although another possible title could have been "ER to Marathon in Two Weeks" but more on that in a minute. On Thursday we left home as soon as Nick got out of school and drove straight to Santa Barbara hoping to make it in time to attend the opening night gala of the Santa Barbara Film Festival with our friends Kirsten and Dirk. We made it to the Motel, dropped of grandma and the kids and rushed to make it just in time for the opening film. We were in the first row and below is a picture of the stars of the opening night film. Afterwards we went to the opening night party and had so much fun catching up with Kristen and Dirk, drinking and laughing until way past our normal bed time. On Friday morning we went to the premiere of Dirk's movie which was amazing! They weren't sure what kind of turnout they would have since it was on the morning of the first day and it was pouring rain but the theater was full and his showing on Sunday was completely sold out. We are so glad that the timing worked out that we could see them and the film.

Sorry for the grainy picture but we lost our camera and are using our camcorder to take pictures for now.

Now onto the marathon. Pete has run this marathon for seven years in memory of Jack. Two weeks before the marathon Pete hurt his back and we had to go to the ER so he could get a shot of morphine. So, after all of his months of training he wasn't able to run for the two weeks leading up to the race. We saw him at the first mile and he did not look good, I could tell he was hurting. Then we saw him at mile 7 and he was smiling and looked much better. He ran into some friends from high school around mile 2 and they were chatting and catching up and it took his mind off the pain. As a legacy runner he is able to personalize his race bib and his says "Jack Henry" so people were yelling out "Go Jack" as he ran by which motivated him also. Based on his training he was hoping for a better time but given his injury the fact that he completed the race is great and his time was only a minute off of his previous personal record.

And here is one more picture of the cousins at the beach house we rented. We said to say "Beach House" and all the boys shouted it which is why their mouths are wide open.

There were definitely some challenging parts of the trip such as buckets of rain on two of the days and horrible traffic between Santa Barbara and Huntington Beach which caused poor Nick to get carsick. But even though life isn't all rainbows and roses it's more fun to remember the good parts of the trip :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Movie and a Marathon

It's that time of year again! Time to head to Huntington Beach to cheer on Pete as he runs in his seventh annual marathon. This year is extra special for a few reasons. First of all we get to stop in Santa Barbara on the way down to see our friends Kristen and Dirk and to attend the premiere of Dirk's movie at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (check out the trailer at Also, this year the marathon falls on Pete's birthday (what, doesn't everyone want to run 26.2 miles on their birthday?) The trip has changed over the years but we always look forward to spending time with our family in beautiful Southern California. Here are some highlights from years past.The first marathon finish.
Nick with Grandma Kathy the second year.
The third year when Pete and his brother Paul decided to jump in the ocean after the race.

Our fourth year and Noah's first year.

Nick and cousin Owen in the fifth year when it poured down rain during the race.

And finally last year. Can't wait to see what this year brings!