It's been four months since my last update and although I know we're closer than we were then, I am starting to ask "Are we there yet?". We've been pretty good with the wait and I told Bettina I wouldn't start hounding her until March or so. Or so I thought! :)
The end of August brought school for both Rob and Murphy. Murphy started pre-school two days a week for two hours a day. She's in the elementary school so every once in a while she sees Daddy. One day she was running to him and her pants fell down. If she had a moment of contemplation whether to pull them up or not, she didn't stop running. She was most excited to ride the school bus. I told her that while it might seem exciting at first, wait until you've ridden one for 13 years for an hour one way. (Hmmm...just realized that makes me sound old!) After her first day, we learned that she rode the bus, ate gummi worms, rode the bus, pottied, and rode the bus. Yes, the bus was her favorite part of the day. It took us quite a while to get anything but "bus" out of her mouth, though. I wanted to take her to school that morning but she was too excited about riding the bus. Coincidentally, the wheel fell off the bus that morning and she had to ride with me anyway! :) Rob thought for sure she'd see right through that, especially when other kids rode the bus to school, but I knew she'd be too excited to notice.
We met my parents at the Brown County Fair again this year. Murphy's goal was to ride the ferris wheel. She talked about it for weeks before and after. We took her to Storybookland on our way to the lake for Labor Day. She wan't nearly as excited as I thought she'd be. She was pretty tired so I'm sure that was the problem. We'll try again in a year or two. Going to Storybookland is sort of an unwritten rule around her, I guess.
I've done more travelling since my last update. The ethanol industry is a very uncertain one these days. It's better than it was two years ago when the corn market went haywire but we don't have a lot of support nationwide. That's been a big part of my travels this year. To educate myself so that I can educate those around me about the benefits of ethanol. In mid-August I went to Chicago for a meeting with our ethanol marketer. While we were there we took in a Cubs game from the rooftop of the building next to the stadium. It was really neat. We also had supper one night from the 94th floor of the John Hancock building. I'm not afraid of heights as long as there is a barrier in front of me. So I was able to look out the window out over the water and think it was a great view. I went to Washington DC in mid-September to talk to people on Capitol Hill. We went out a couple of days early and did a lot of walking. And I mean a lot. We saw the Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, Holocaust Museum, the Capitol, and rode the bus all over town. Of all of the historic places I went to, my most favorite stop was at Georgetown Cupcakes! :) The drunk Georgetown students kept telling us "They're not worth it! Go make your own!" but let me tell you, they were worth it! The plain ones (chocolate, vanilla...) were plain. But the key lime cupcake and the peanut butter caramel cupcake, and the chocolate fudge ones were absolutely great! The best part? They ship!! And now that we know that, we will be recurring cusotmers! Back to business, talking to South Dakota's delegates about ethanol was like preaching to the choir. They know what we are up against. We just don't enough support outside the Midwest. It's amazing to us that some people don't even know about ethanol. And some of the criticisms about ethanol are so far-fetched, we just shake our heads. While we were gone, Murphy decided to swing a plastic Gatorade bottle at the dog and with her infinite coordination, missed and hit herself in the mouth and chipped a tooth. She ended up at the dentist's office and got her first checkup. He told us that unless it bothers her, we don't need to worry about it. You would think that would teach her but I'm sure it won't. In October I went to Wichita for a quick meeting and then in December to Denver for another quick meeting. I have racked up the frequent flyer miles this year, but I don't think they're even close to getting me a free ticket to my next destination!
We have our house plan narrowed down but are still working with our builder to finalize the details. By this time next year, we'll hopefully be in our new house and we are really excited about that. We decided to list our house in mid-October because there was a prosepctive buyer who was not as much of a sure-bet as we thought. We showed it a couple of times and fortunately, the reasons people didn't buy it didn't really have anything to do with the house itself. Now that winter is here, we don't expect too many showings so hopefully things pick up in the spring.
We were able to attend the Latin American Adoptive picnic in September. How neat it was to see all these Latin American cuties running around. And the best part, we got to spend the weekend with the Willrett's. We look forward to those trips and being able to talk about the experience we shared in Colombia. Most people can't relate to what we've been through, so the conversation just flows easily.
We celebrated Murphy's Adoption Day on October 23 by going to the State Cross Country Meet and our annual ice cream treat. It's hard to believe it's been three years already. At times I want her to always be my baby and then at other times I'm excited for the new things she is doing. She is very ready for a baby brother or sister. Or one of each if she has her choice. She has 12 babies; each has their own name, blanket, and stuffed animal. Don't confuse any of their belongings or she will tell you of his unhappiness with you. She is very attentive to her babies and is sure to tell me to be careful with them. She has started talking more about going to get her brother or sister and is excited to get on the plane to take us there. She recently asked me "Mama, where did you go to get me?". I said "Colombia" and she said "What was it like?". I told her she'll be able to watch what it was like when we meet her brother or sister. She will be between 3 1/2 and 4 when we get down there (we hope!) so she'll be old enough to understand what is happening and will hopefully be able to remember much of it.
Murphy was Mickey Mouse for Halloween this year. We went to the PTSA carnival and she got to jump in one of the big, blow-up, bouncy castles. That night determined her wish from Santa. Except in her mind, the castle was a ballerina one. She has stuck by that wish until this last week when we were finally able to convince her that an outdoor castle in the middle of a South Dakota winter was just not a practical idea. We still aren't sure what she really wants from Santa (other than the castle) but I can guarantee you she isn't getting the castle.
She also was able to go to Sunday School this fall. Her outgoing personality just loves the interaction with other people. I do the music for Sunday School so Rob goes to the store and gets groceries until we're done. She has sung in church twice now and we had the program last weekend. She did really well the first time; she sang and did the actions. She must have entered a shy stage, though, because she really didn't want any part of it last week. It's fun that she is learning about God and to hear all the questions and comments she has. I'm so happy that she can grow in her faith at such a young age just like I did.
Wrestling started in November so our lives are extra-busy right now. It's already mid-December though, so the season will be over before we know it.
We had to redo our FBI prints in late September. They took about ten weeks to get back. I was starting to get a little nervous as our original prints expired in Decmeber. Plus, our homestudy expired in December so we had to redo that, too. It took a little bit of coordinating with sick kids and the weather, but we finally were able to finish that in late November. After getting everything notarized and apostilled and FedExed to Duluth, we thought we had a few months before we should start getting antsy. Bettina called on December 14 to tell us that one of the other orphanages, Ayudame, was in need of families, and wondered if we would consider switching from Los Pisingos to Ayudame. We talked about it and while we have strong feelings for Pisingos, we just really want to be parents. So we switched and now we wait anxiously for the phone to ring. We think a referral would be a great Christmas present! I find myself thinking "Is this the last time I'll do this as a mother of one?" on about everything I do. We know that our lives are about to get even crazier but we welcome it and can't wait for it to happen.
Merry Christmas to all of you. Thank you for being part of our lives. Even if we don't know you, something about our story has drawn you to us. Thanks again!