Thursday, October 29, 2009


My school meets two days a week, so my 4th graders had their Halloween/Harvest party yesterday. We all decorated cupcakes with much flair:

Once again, Blogger has messed up the formatting of my photo. The Scarecrow cupcakes came out very nicely. I wish I could take credit for the idea, but the decor came from a cupcake book. We used no.odles for the beard & hair. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

Well, I returned from a relaxing and wonderful trip to California. The jet lag is still with me, but so are many happy memories with family and friends. One of my friends encouraged me to send a format of the SHE group to my old diocese in the hopes of starting a group there. We'll see if I can get things going.

One of my favorite home-in-California rituals is to visit the many restaurants and stores that we do not have here in Kentucky. Oh, the sadness of a Californian in exile to be deprived of Jamba Juice, In N'Out Burger, See's Candies (a family tradition!), authentic Mexican food, and Trader Joe's (the nearest one is in Cincinnati).

Yes, I have become one of those bloggers who takes pictures of meals! Oh well, In'N'Out Burger is a California institution. They also have Bible verse citations written on the bottom of the cups and hamburger wrappers. Of course, I also had to take a picture of this portable yogurt bar at a mall; it is SO Californian. I would never find something like that here:

Besides getting some quality time with my parents, I really enjoyed catching up with longtime friends. One of the highlights was getting together with a loving and holy family from my youth ministry days. The father of the family recently became a deacon. He spent some time praying with me for healing. He said something that I would like to share with all of you IF friends: "God is closer than you think. Sometimes He's so close you don't realize that He's there."
Such true words, especially on those days when we feel ill from the umpteenth medicine, endure another failed medical procedure, encounter another adoption setback, or have to silently weep while watching young families at Mass. He is closer than we think.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Operation: Drop Poundage for Adoption (DPA)

I'm happy to announce that I have thus far lost 5 lbs. Only 25 more to go to reach the BMI goal for South Korean adoption. While the road still looks very long, I feel much lighter and my clothes fit more nicely. As we traverse this long weight loss and adoption process, many people have asked us why South Korea? Why not an easy country, like Ethiopia (much less requirements for adoptive parents)? Why not local?

Before you read my answers, please remember that they reflect the opinion and deep desires of myself and the hubby. We are NOT saying that other countries are terrible or that local adoption is the wrong choice. These opinions reflect our own thought and prayerful discernment.

Our answer boils down to this one fact: this baby would be our FIRST child. We would like to experience raising a baby from infancy.

With Ethiopia, the children are more likely to be older, not to mention the factor of a grueling trip for the adopting parents. Perhaps for our second adoption. Additionally, adoptions from China have now reached a 4-year waiting period. The Eastern European countries (e.g. Russia) are way out of our price range. Most of the children adopted from these countries are toddlers. Our original choice was Guatemala; both of us speak Spanish and we have a Hispanic community in town. Unfortunately, Guatemala has been closed in order to comply with the Hague Conventions. South Korea was the only country that fit our financial capability, promised an infant, and also had a marriage requirement (3 years) that we could meet.

Did I mention that the South Korean adoption process takes about 9-10 months once your paperwork is in? :)

In regards to local adoption, we are not comfortable with a completely open adoption, which is what our local CSS strongly advocates (to put it lightly). We like the idea of a semi-open or a more closed adoption. There are agencies here that offer such adoptions. However, a waiting game is involved; you have no idea when you will be picked by a birthmother. A friend of ours was picked within 45 minutes of their paperwork getting filed. A member of the SHE group has been waiting for more than 6 months.

South Korea has one of the best adoption processes with the USA, as the 2 countries have a relationship since the 1950s. Their process is very streamlined. In addition, we would get an actual infant (7-10 months). Again, we haven't ruled out the possibility of adopting a toddler or preschooler down the road, but it would be nice for us to have the experience of parenting a baby. And like most couples who select international adoption, one of the best parts is the finality of the process.
One of the other bonuses of learning more about adoption is the story of St. Andrew Kim and the Korean Martyrs. We have become awestruck at the fidelity and bravery of these martyrs. In fact, should we adopt a little boy, we plan to name him Andrew after St. Andrew Kim, the first Korean priest.

I felt much better when our Adoption agency worker assured us that our diet endeavors are worth it; South Korea is an outstanding country.

As we continue to navigate the infertility side with various drugs, etc., none of which guarantee a pregnancy...and every pregnancy is not a guarantee that you'll carry the baby to term (just ask the bloggers who have recently miscarried). This is a reason we find adoption so appealing; we know that in the end we will have a child. Of course, we will remain open to Life and getting pregnant the natural way should that happen.
(pause for me to curse Blogger's formatting that won't space my paragraphs)
In the end, as an adoptive parent advised me, I have to ask myself: "Do I want to be PREGNANT or Do I want to be a PARENT?" Godwilling, I hope to be a parent, either naturally or through welcoming a child through adoption. :) That is why it is SO worth it to diet and meet the BMI requirement. End of sermon! I'm going to California this week and look forward to catching up with family and friends.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Glad that I didn't take the Femara gamble...

Thanks again for all of the advice regarding Femara. I realize that some of the responders had no problem with it, but others did too. Since my reunion had been planned for several months, I decided to save Femara for the next cycle. Definitely the right move! In the end, I returned from my college reunion with a bad cold or sinus infection. If the Femara side effects had occurred, I would have been even more miserable. My hubby and I had a wonderful time catching up with my college friends and reliving some of my campus memories.

Here are a couple pictures, including the group of nuns that we sat behind during Mass for the Feast of St. Francis. :)

Some of you may be able to guess the name of the university I attended. :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy feast day, St. Therse!

Today is the feastday of the patron saint of this blog, St. Therese of Liseux, aka the Little Flower. Hopefully that shows where the "Petals" part of the blog title derives. :)

St. Therese has been a wonderful heavenly friend to me throughout the years. I really like her "Little Way" of doing small things for God with great love. One of my favorite books based on her teachings is I Believe in Love. St. Therese has also sent me many roses in answer to prayers or requests for help. I carried roses in my wedding bouquet in honor of her.

St. Therese, pray for us!