December 31, 2008


SOON, according to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, is defined as immediately; at once; without undue time lapse; before long (after sunrise); in a prompt manner; speedily; before the usual time.

For the past SEVERAL MONTHS I have been told that my referral will be here “SOON”. Someone forgot to alert Webster that the definition of this word has changed to ‘sometime in the next millennium’ or ‘when ever someone gets around to it’.

By the way, the word right above ‘Soon’ is ‘Sonsy’ which means luck; happiness. How ironic is that?

The week of January 12 is my 4-month mark. I have been told numerous times that I would have my referral by then. Okay, I’ve waited this long; I can handle two more weeks. God has a plan and if two more week’s means getting the baby God intended for me, then two more weeks it is. When I first joined the Yahoo Group everyone told me to get ready because they had all received their referrals in a matter of days, and at the most, within four weeks. That is the reason for my worry, frustration, anxiety, etc. Many doubts and crazy thoughts have been going through my head such as they think I'm too old or they are limiting the number of single people who can adopt. Thank you to my board buddies for keeping me grounded.

I had a great Christmas with my family. Here are a few photos:

My two youngest nephews

My 5 beautiful nieces

My 12 nephews who hate to pose

My Dad made these shelves for my
siblings and me

All 33 of us in the same room!

As I wait and pray, I know that 2009 will be an incredible year for me, one that I will always look back on with fond memories. I wish all of you and yours a


December 20, 2008


I haven't posted in a while because I have been feeling discouraged. I guess I'm tired of the same answer I always have to give to those who ask: "I'm still waiting for my referral." Who in their sane mind likes to wait for anything? I don't like waiting in lines, waiting in traffic, waiting for people who don't respect other people's time. It's my pet peeve. But in this little bubble we refer to as Southern California, where instant gratification is always within our reach, I stopped a moment to meditate on this time of the year. It's Advent, and at this time of the year aren't we all doing the same thing? Waiting for the birth of our Savior? How cool is it that I am actually waiting for the announcement of my own daughter at the same time? So this Advent is extremely special to me. Maybe this Christmas Day will bring an extra special joy to my heart - Jesus AND Janissa. To have my referral come now would forever make this season, my favorite time of the year, that much more blessed. Jesus' timing is miraculous and this Christmas I'm expecting my own miracle. So I ask all of my blog followers to pray with me this Advent season for this additional miracle.

Thank you to my friend Tania, who just brought home Sabah, for being so encouraging. Isn't Sabah adorable?

And thank you to my other new friend, Leah, who has even called me to talk personally and has gone out of her way to bring me peace. Leah just brought home Aslynn, another cutie!

Congratulations to Stephanie and Joseph who welcomed Clair into the world this Advent season.

(Sorry, Clair, this is the only picture I have of you)

Thank you also to all of my family, friends, co-workers, fellow church-goers and bloggers who help to keep my hopes up during the "waiting" period. I love you all.

Finally, thanks to my incredibly awesome confirmation students for their dedication, love and support. You all bring me hope for our future!

So here I sit in my PJ's on a Saturday morning at nearly 11:00 a.m. drinking coffee and sampling the brownies that just came out of the oven and thanking God for all of my blessings and for all of you!


November 23, 2008

Christmas Cards

My niece, Lisa, is trying to raise money for a mission trip to Kyrgyzstan at the end of this year. She is selling these amazing Christmas Cards that were hand-made by men and women in Africa.

Each card has a unique nativity scene on the front and is blank on the inside. If you are interested in purchasing any, and helping my niece, please e-mail me at with your order. A pack of six cards is $10.00. Thanks.

Adopting Janissa



And that is just what I feel the first hour of each day!

November 19, 2008

It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To!

Well what do you know? When I woke today I had turned 50. I had hoped that I would at least have my referral before this monumental birthday, but it wasn't to be. To make matters a little worse, Ethiopia has recently decided to "limit" the number of adoptions to single women. One woman using another agency e-mailed me to say that her wait time is now 3 to 4 years! A friend told me she knows a single woman who had received a referral and it was actually taken away from her! I was devastated at this news. My agency (dear Radu) tells me "this is just rumors;" but I fear he may have been given false information. I'm panicking, even though he has told me that "everything is just as it was". I checked other agencies websites and they have removed single women requirements and only show couples married at least 2 years. I must place my trust in the Lord. If Radu is correct, I will have my referral around Christmastime and travel before March of 2009. Please pray.

On a positive note, many of my new friends at the agency have passed court and will be traveling over the next 2 weeks to pick up their bundles of joy. Congratulations to Tania, Leah, Joy, Jeanne, Alicia, Lisa and all the others! My prayers are with you for a safe and happy trip.

Happy Birthday to my friend, Shelley, who shares this day with me! Thank you to all my family and friends for the cards, phone calls and e-mails. You've all been great during the past nine months and I appreciate your love, support and encouragement.

November 9, 2008

A Beautiful Day in Los Angeles

Saturday was a beautiful day in Southern California. My friend Jim met me at my sister's house in Los Angeles in the morning and we went to both The Getty Center and Getty Villa museums. We couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather and the view from both museums was breathtaking.

I absolutely LOVE taking photos and went nuts that day. Here are a bunch of my favorites.

My attempt at abstract art.

Too bad we don't have more of this in SoCal!


Jim looking somewhat reflective.

The Garden.

Me and Jim.

We can see for miles and miles.

I hate to have my picture taken. He made me do it.

Jim posing for me. I didn't even have to beg.

The eyes are the window to the soul.

A pond.

A beautiful end to a beautiful day!

Thanks Jim!

November 4, 2008

Sebastian "Bud" Gallaro (Jan. 12, 1935 to Oct. 28, 2008)

I lost my Uncle Buddy last week. He had fought off cancer for 14 years. In the end, it was a blood clot that took his life. It was bittersweet - saying goodbye to him, but at the same time being around my extended family, some of whom I hadn't seen in awhile. The saddest part is that his younger daughter Cheryl, son-in-law Mark, and grandson Makana arrived a few hours after he passed away. He never got to meet his only grandson. My heart aches for his immediate family who were shocked at the suddenness of his death; and for my Mom, my Aunt and my Uncle who lost their brother. May his soul rest in peace. We miss you already.

On the adoption front, I'm still 'w a i t i n g' for my referral. It seems like forever.

October 26, 2008

The Reveal

I know a lot of you have been waiting for this moment as anxiously as I have. My construction is done! What was supposed to take 2 1/2 weeks ended up taking 3 months. It was incredibly frustrating and I am still not done battling with the HOA. The windows are "still under review" according to a letter I recently received from them. My construction crew told me Mr. Old Former Engineer Board Member was recently seen looking at my windows with binoculars. Please, I beg of all of you, if my life ever becomes that pathetic, go ahead and pull the plug.

Enough of that, here are some photos; the first is my bedroom with the wall completely enclosed.

My dining area with the new lower ceiling. I was even able to hang a lamp.

Two photos of my new and improved living room. The construction crew did something to my gas fireplace and it is no longer operable. They told me to have it fixed and send them the bill.

This is the first of the two new rooms upstairs. It is a playroom/loft area where we can read, watch Disney movies, play and be rocked to sleep in the new comfy glider.

Did you pick up on the jungle theme?

Finally, the new bedroom for my little girl who I plan to name Janissa.

This is a cool growth chart from my BFF Dana. It matches the room perfectly!

I hope you enjoyed that little tour. My office is a work in progress. Stay tuned for photos of that room when I finally get up enough strength to start putting the new desk together. It arrived in two extremely heavy boxes that I had to have others get up the stairs for me.

October 17, 2008


Marie Francesca Breda was only 5 years old when she died this week. She accidentally swallowed a bead. By the time they were able to remove it, her brain had suffered great oxygen loss. She lay in a coma for a week before Jesus came to take her home. My prayers had been requested and I prayed long and hard for this little girl whom I had never met. I prayed so much that I felt a connection with her. I loved her. I looked at her photos daily and read entries written by her family, friends, relatives and complete strangers. Somehow this little girl in the last week of her life brought thousands of people together to pray, to remember what is really important in life and to realize that our sole purpose in life is to love and to be loved.

I am not a mother yet, but God willing, I should be within a few months as I wait (impatiently) for my referral for a little girl. I recently read a story written by a mother who recently brought her adopted daughter home from Ethiopia. She hadn't fallen in love with her daughter yet. Entries by other blog followers told her she was doing fine, that the love would come. Quietly inside I disagreed. She anticipated this child, she knew about her and had seen photos before she went to pick her up. Why didn't she love her? Other stories she had written gave me an answer. This woman does not believe in God, so she never prayed for her daughter. Marie Breda proved to me that it is possible to love someone you haven't met yet. I have been praying for my future adopted daughter ever since I made the decision to adopt and I already love her so much that there is no doubt in my mind that that love will only continue to grow each day. Prayer is a powerful ally to have on your side.

Marie, may you rest in the peace of your Savior and may your family find peace in knowing you are now at peace.

October 12, 2008


At the request of my sister-in-law, Kathy, here are some pictures of the walls.

This is going to be the playroom.

This is the 42" wall separating the stairwell from the playroom.

This is the bedroom. That is going to be the closet.

And these are some of the adorable clothes that will go in the closet!

From what I understand, texture and paint will happen this week. Hopefully carpet goes in on Saturday. Then it's just final inspection and trim work.

Please continue to pray for Marie Francesca Breda who is hanging on to life by a very thin thread. Her family is asking for a miracle.

October 9, 2008

An Angel Needs Your Prayers

Please pray for this beautiful sweet angel, Marie Francesca Breda. Thank you.

October 8, 2008

Whoo Hoo!!

My contractor called me this afternoon to tell me that I passed inspection! Yippee!! He said when I come home from work tomorrow I will actually have walls.

That means I will no longer need to use my decorative pillows for privacy.

It means that soon I will have a door on my bedroom.

And I will be able to walk into my office.

And have guests stay in the guest room.

And actually open my refrigerator all the way!

And for those of you who are a bit visually impaired, here are two pictures of the windows.

What it should look like:

What it does look like:

Now what do you think?