Thursday, August 29, 2013

A taste of home

We're hoping that our daughter will want to embrace both American culture and her own. I've read that a lot of older adopted kids reject their home culture but I'm hoping our daughter will want to hold onto hers.

In an effort to help her ease into our family, I'm finding recipes that will hopefully taste somewhat familiar. No forcing her to eat pizza on day 1!

This is my first attempt at a green bean stir fry. The store didn't have snow peas so I doubled the green beans. Hopefully next time we'll be able to use both green beans and snow peas. I also think mushrooms would be a good addition.

The recipe called for vegetable broth. Instead of using a can, I found a package of hot pot seasoning and made broth out of that. There was a lot of broth left, so I made ramen today with the broth, peas, and some soba noodles.

Both dishes turned out well! Hopefully our daughter will like at least one of them. Next week I'll try another new recipe.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


What's On Your Nightstand

My bedtime reading is Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters. I'm only on page 48 but I'm really enjoying it.

Parenting the Hurt Child by Gregory C. Keck is my current parenting book. So far it's one of my favorite parenting books - down to earth, practical advice, and doesn't scare me away from adopting an older child.

I'm also reading The 40 Most Influential Christians: Who Shaped What We Believe Today (by Daryl Aaron) to review and post about on my blog. I've only just started it but can't wait to learn more about some of the people who have influenced the study of theology.

Happy reading!

Monday, August 26, 2013

This week's memory text

I'm excited to memorize this text. I think it's extremely applicable to any stage of life.

Thus says the Lord,
'Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths,
Where the good way is, and walk in it;
And you will find rest for your souls.'
Jeremiah 6:16, NASB

I want to know where the good way is, to walk in it, and find rest. God is good!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Thai Green Curry

Now that I've cooked this recipe several times, I thought it'd be a good idea to type it out and share it. My husband and I absolutely love green curry. I make this dish once every two weeks or so and it lasts for several meals. It even reheats well if you store the sauce separately from the rice and tofu!

1 package extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
2 14 oz cans coconut milk
4 T. green curry paste
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. soy sauce
1/4 t. salt, if needed
fresh lime juice, to taste
1 serrano pepper, seeded and diced
Favorite vegetables
fresh basil, to taste

Cook rice.
Sauté diced tofu in a frying pan.
While the tofu is cooking, combine coconut milk, green curry paste, brown sugar, soy sauce, and salt in a saucepan. Taste and add salt or a touch more of any of the sauce ingredients, if desired. Add lime juice.
Stir in chopped vegetables and serrano pepper. Simmer until vegetables are cooked (6-8 minutes).
Dish up rice in a bowl. Add tofu and sauce. Sprinkle with fresh basil.

I use Japanese white rice, the same type of rice that's used in sushi.
We like 1 tablespoon of lime juice, sometimes more if the lime isn't very strong.
My favorite vegetables for green curry are broccoli, onion, bell pepper, and canned pineapple.
私たちは食べましょう! Let's eat!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What now?

Now that our home study interviews are complete, I don't know what to do with myself. We spent hours filling out paperwork, reading books, and preparing for interview questions. We went to two veterinary appointments, two doctor appointments, and fingerprinting.

All I have right now is a packet of information to fill out for our agency. Then we wait for our social worker to write our home study, which should be complete in about 2.5 weeks. I've finally had the opportunity to start reading parenting books, as opposed to those written specifically about the adoption process.

So what now? What do parents-to-be do while they are waiting for the next step in the adoption process? Hurry up and wait!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Second interview - cleared!

Tonight our social worker came over for our second home study interview. This interview only took two hours, much shorter than the last session. We talked about various special needs and challenges in adoptions. We also covered the parameters of the child we'd like to adopt - age, special needs, gender, etc. We also talked some more about marriage and child schooling.

We are almost done with the home study process! All that's left is for the social worker to run our state child abuse checks and to write the actual home study document. We should have a copy in our hands by the end of the first week of September!

After that, we send the home study to the orphanage to get approval to be matched with our daughter. We can't wait to receive the email that says she's ours!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I can fly!

I'm so happy! I have a passport! It took only 13 days from the day I turned in my application at the post office to the day I received the passport in the mail. With routine processing!

Jeff received his passport two days after I received mine. I teased him for two days that I might just have to travel by myself to bring our daughter home! I'm relieved, though. I've never traveled outside of this continent and am a bit nervous about the very long flight to Asia.

God is good! All the time!

Friday, August 9, 2013

1st Home Study Interview - Complete!

Thank you so much to everyone who prayed!

The home study interview was almost three hours long and went really well. We covered a lot of topics - marriage, our upbringing, parenting styles, corporal punishment, religion, and international adoption. Our social worker is extremely personable and was very easy to talk with. Even the solo section at the end was fairly easy; it's Jeff's turn to be interviewed solo next week!

We have a follow up meeting next Thursday night that will be shorter and then we wait for the home study to be written.

I know God's timing is perfect but it's always so humbling to see it happen. We had been promised photo and video updates "sometime this week." We received an email from our agency one hour before the interview with our photos and the video link. What an encouragement, right before an important interview! I really wish I could share the pictures but I'm not allowed until further along in the process.

My heart really is in Asia! My daughter is over there and I can't wait to bring her home!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Today's the day!

In two and a half hours, we have our first interview with the social worker. She's going to be talking to us about parenting styles, our preparations for adoption, finances, health, and look over our home for basic safety standards.

I wasn't nervous but now I'm feeling it. I can see God's hand all over our adoption process thus far and I know that He will continue to guide. I definitely need to spend some time in prayer before the social worker arrives.

Tonight she'll be interviewing both of us together and then me by myself. Next week it will be my husband's turn to be interviewed alone. I hope it's an easy interview!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

2013 Reading Challenge - Complete?

It appears I need to increase my 2013 reading goals! All of the adoption books I've read lately have pushed me to my goal total and we still have several months to go. I'm not reading the specific books I set out to read this year, but I am reading a better mix of fiction and nonfiction. I'm happy about that.

I wonder if I'll reach 100 books read this year...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Praise Report - 13 days!

God is in control and He is moving mountains.

3rd party website said it would take 96 business days to receive my birth certificate; the website said 4 weeks.

We received them in 13 days, from the day we dropped off the request at the post office to receiving them in the mail. I am awed by God's hand in our adoption process.