As Emily continued back at work, her energy levels only increased. The doctors and other fellow employees at Cascade Eye Center were so supportive and understanding of Emily's procedure and welcomed her back with open arms.
Once Emily was completely healthy (about a year later) we started back with the adoption. Unfortunately at that point, Brenda Brown (from LDS Family Services) had taken a job elsewhere. We were sorry to see her go. On the bright side, we were happy to meet her replacement Carlos Watkins, who maintained the positive experience and even brought in his own expertise. When we started meeting with Carlos, he informed us that during the time of Emily's cancer, the paperwork had been changed to online and that our hard copies of the paperwork were now no longer enough to get us approved. Hence, we had to redo our paperwork. Luckily it was saved on our computer so it became a lot of cut and paste . . . . A LOT. Once we finally finished our paperwork, it took about 2 months to officially approve us as potential adoptive parents (this time frame is completely normal, it didn't take 2 months because they had a hard time giving us the okay). Once we were approved, all we could do was wait and pray.
We were told that it could take anywhere between 3 months to 3 years. Obviously that wasn't a guarantee, but the point was that no one knows and it could take a while to have a child placed with us. The reason is that in the state of Washington (and probably other states too), the birth mother selects the adoptive parents. We feel that this is a wonderful thing. Too many times when thinking about adoption, we as a society think about the struggles of the potential adoptive parents (which can be challenging). We as a society rarely think about the struggles that a birth mother may also have gone through and how difficult a decision they will be making. By allowing the birth mother to choose the adoptive parents, it helps to comfort the birth mother through any struggles that she may be experiencing by knowing that her child will be well taken care of.
In January 2009, about 2 1/2 months after we had finally become "approved" as potential adoptive parents, we were notified that LDS Family Services was changing their website and that we had approximately one month to re-input all our data into the new website. So we had the wonderful opportunity of filling out our paperwork for the 3rd time. As you can imagine, we weren't excited about this task, however the website allowed for a more detailed search of potential adoptive parents and we were optimistic that this would help the birth mother of our future child to find us easier.
Once we had inputted the information into the new website, we were told that it would only be a couple of weeks before the website would be up and running. It could be accessed, but it was still a beta site at that point. The original but slightly more difficult to use website was still operational. After a few weeks we asked again and had been advised that the church wanted to look into the new site further and that it would still be a bit before the new site was up and running. We were a little discouraged as we knew Heavenly Father wanted us to adopt but the new site wasn't up and running and we felt this would limit our chances of being chosen. We continued to wait with as much patience as possible, but it was very difficult. While the new site was being delayed, we almost felt like we were starting our "waiting period" from the beginning and that nothing would happen at least until the new site was up. To this day, the new website still isn't up and running.
One of our favorite t.v. shows to watch is The Office on Thursday nights. On March 19, 2009, we were in the basement watching the weekly episode of The Office as Russ' phone began to vibrate. An email had just come in. As Russ read the email, he was silent as a mouse. Upon having read the email he handed the phone to Emily. Emily studied the email also in complete silence. After Emily read the email, we ran up stairs to the computer to make sure this email was real and to study it further.
Sorry it has taken so long to post part III. We have been really busy (you can see from our blog posts that we have had a little bit of time, just not much. Don't worry it's coming, we haven't forgotten.
Well Mirian's first Mariners Game (May 16, 2009) was a good one however the Mariners ended up losing the game. That's okay though, because she slept the whole game and we hope that she won't be forever turned off by the Mariners just because of the loss. We did get a few photos that we want to share. We know that the pictures are the reason you are still reading this blog post, and not due to your love of all things Mariner.
FYI, two of the pictures show two of the Mariners future National Baseball Hall of Fame. If anyone is wondering, that means that they are REALLY good. Ken Griffey Jr. is #24 and Ichiro is #51.
Also, Em's test went well. The test took her about an hour and a half. She felt good about it when it was all done and over with. We aren't sure how long we'll have to wait for results, but we will let you know when we know.
Nothing could make a father more proud than taking his daughter to her first Seattle Mariners Game. Tonight, the Mariners will play the Boston Red Sox. Garrett Olsen will pitch against Josh Beckett.
To top everything off, Russ went to play volleyball at the church at 8:00 this morning and Em brought Mirian to show her daddy that she is now wearing her first Mariners outfit. Come on, even if you think baseball is boring, you gotta love Mirian in the cute outfit. Am I right????
Before we were so blessed to have Mirian in our lives, Emily worked as an apprentice optician. She did so for just over three years. Before we were married, we discussed and planned on Emily being a full time stay at home mom when we had children. Emily quit her job the day before we brought Mirian home and loves staying home with her every day.
Prior to quitting, the doctors at Cascade Eye Center had paid for and Em had signed up for the test to become a nationally certified optician. Em decided to go ahead and take the test even though she is no longer working because then she will be certified just in case. Em's test is this weekend in Seattle. She has studied diligently and as you would expect she is kind of nervous for the test. I am positive she will do well, but taking a test is never much fun. Mirian and I are so lucky to have such a smart, hard working, thoughtful, wonderful woman in our lives. Good luck Em.
Please keep her in your prayers and wish her luck.
Every year, the summer time (June in particular) we get VERY busy. This year Russ has a week and a half worth of sales trips across the U.S. with a convention in California. While he is gone, Emily will head down to Paradise, CA to see her parents, help out with the relay prep, and allow Grandma and Grandpa Carter to spend some time with Mirian. She will leave on June 1.
The Lake Tahoe Relay that the Carters put on every year on the second Saturday of June happens to be on the 13. Russell will arrive home from his sales trip on the 10th. Em will drive down with her parents on the 11th from Paradise and Russell will fly out of Yakima on the 11th. Then Russell will be home on the 17th and Em will return home on the 20th.
What a month!!!!! And all this will happen right after we finish up on the house and put it on the market on May 29. Whew!!!!!! We hope that our plate doesn't break with everything on it!!!!
So I was giving Mirian a bath tonight before putting her in to bed, when the Snickers, the cat, decided that she wanted to hang out in the bath tub. Well, Maced didn't want to be alone either, so she decided to join in. I barely got Russ in time to take a picture of us all together.
My sweetheart will celebrate her first Mother's Day with a child (we celebrate Mother's Day before, but this is the first with a baby). I am so proud of you and am grateful for all the things that you do for our family. Your smile lights up the room and your love and compassion warms my heart. Thank you thank you thank you. I love you!!!!!!!!!!!
On this wonderful Sunday, we want to wish Happy Mother's Day to our wonderful Moms. You are so special to us and we love you sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much. Thanks for all you have done for us and for your constant love and support.
Mirian has been loved by all who have seen her and held her and even those who have only seen photos to this point. It appears that one of the many individuals competing for Mirian's love is none other than our Golden Retriever Maced (pronounced like "Faucet" with an "M").
We felt it necessary to not shoo Maced away anytime she tried to lick Mirian because then Maced would try to sneak in and do it anyway and we would always have to be watching her so she didn't injure Mirian. We do feel it necessary however to minimize the licking.
Maced is a sweet dog and was supposed to have a litter of puppies approximately 2-3 weeks before Mirian was born, however there were no puppies, she had had a false pregnancy. Maced now believes that Mirian is her puppy! The other day, Russ' brother came to see Mirian. When he walked over to look at the baby, Maced quickly got in between him and the baby. She didn't bark or growl, but she was clearly upset that a stranger was getting too close to her baby.
The other day, I had to take Maced to the vet to get her yearly shots. Maced usually loves going to the vet. She gets lots of attention and treats and she gets to meet other dogs. This time was a little different. It was pouring rain and Mirian was crying. Maced was really keyed up. We went into the vet and she was just super hyper. Finally, they took us into an exam room and when the vet came in Maced was really nervous. The vet tried to take her into the back to have her nails trimmed and Maced wouldn't move! She did not want to leave her crying baby behind. The vet was pulling on her collar, even tried to tempt her with a treat, but Maced wouldn't budge. Finally, I had to pretend like I was going back with her. It was sweet to see how much Maced loves her baby girl.
Our dear friend and awesome photographer did a photo shoot for sweet Mirian. The photos were awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! We have attached a few photos. Check out Carrie's website. She is awesome, fun, and inexpensive.
Around mid-April our awesome Sister-in-Law Olivia posted on her blog about having a Crap-Fest. Well today, we had our own Crap-Fest and thought we would give credit to Olivia. Crap-Fest does not refer to the quality of the food, just that you grab whatever crap you can find our throw on the table. It was simple, no real need to prepare much, or stress over dinner, just use up all the leftovers. Everyone can have their own unique meal and you don't waste food. Our Crap-Fest consisted of grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, cashews, garlic mashed potatoes, salmon, steamed broccoli, chocolate bunny, Hershey's Kisses and caramel apple suckers. MMM, it was fun. Enjoy the photos of our Crap-Fest.
Yesterday we took a trip to the Tri-Cities to go to the temple. While at the temple, Russ' brother Mike and his children (Clark and Emily) were so willing and excited to babysit. They were wonderful and helpful!!!! Here are a couple of photos of Mirian having fun with her cousins. I think her cousins had fun with her too.
THANK YOU MIKE, EMILY, AND CLARK!!!!!!!!!!!!! Emily and Clark, the chocolate banana shakes were awesome too. We hope you make loads of money with your shake business.