Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Zoeller Adventure takes a big turn

First and foremost let me just say how much we love and appreciate everyone who has followed our crazy journey. We have laughed, cried, vented, confided and been encouraged with you.
I have put this post off for several weeks only because the healing has been a tough journey for me. I really did not even want to write this post but I only feel that is fair to share with all the people that we have asked to help us through this process. With all that being said, Chris and I have decided to remove our name from the waiting list for the Ethiopia adoption process. Saying it in one sentence seems so simple but that one statement holds so much. I must say that it is one of the hardest and most painful decisions that I have personally made. I really do not feel like going into great detail about our decision since the wounds still are very sensitive for me. There are so many things that I could say but really do not feel as if airing them would be beneficial in any way. What I will say is that International Adoption is hard, sometimes unfair, and should not be entered into without realizing that the the end is not always as you expected.
Chris and I have decided that if we were meant to adopt that we will be open to any opportunity that may arise for us to help. For now we are planning to support family preservation in countries like Ethiopia. This would help children stay with their families instead of being placed for adoption in cases where money is the major deciding factor.
So what now??? For me that is the big question. For over two years I have imagined my life and our family with two beautiful Ethiopian children. I had a really rough night a couple weeks ago where I was very angry. I told Chris that I feel like I opened my hands and my heart two years ago to something very scary. I submitted to what I thought was God's plan for us. Now two and a half years later I stand here empty handed. After uttering those words, I realized that I was not empty handed. I have become very well informed about the reality of adoption and how it is nothing like what had been portrayed to me. I stand realizing that just because you submit, it does not always turn out like you want. My hands are open, my character has been stretched, my heart has been broken but my hands are still lifted and my face is still toward the God who is in control of my life and all the details. Even though this journey did not end like I wanted, I know that God has a plan in all this.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11.

The one thing that I would ask for in all of this is prayer and sensitivity. Just because we have ended our adoption process, it does not mean that the healing process is over. So if I am reserved in answering questions or not willing to talk please extend some grace. If I have a hard time getting excited for other adoptive families just know that it is not personal.
Again, thank you so much for your prayers and support. I am anxious to see where our adventure goes from here. What I will say is that there is never a dull moment. Thanks for loving us, praying for us and being part of our adventure!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


As the Steve Miller Band would say, "Time keeps on tickin, tickin, into the future! The SMB concert was my first date with Chris. We never have knew those words would be so daunting now?
We continue to cross months off with no word or encouragement that anything is going to happen soon. When we signed up to adopt 2 children from Ethiopia the wait was 3 to 12 months. So, if you get a short answer from me, when you ask how things are going, hopefully, you will understand why!
I wish I could say that this has all been easy and I would highly recommend it to anyone but right now, I am thinking NOT! I hope something changes my heart because this is not how I intended feeling about this process.
So enough of my positive thoughts! Tickin, Tickin, Tickin.........

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Update on the Adoption


And there you have it! You know everything that we know. Nothing, that's right, nothing. We will continue to keep you posted!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fine, Fine, Fine, Just Fine!!!

How could I not be fine, with these two cuties!

Madie loves to read, even up in a tree!

Max lost another tooth this week. I love this smile!

You would think that when you get news that makes you believe that you are at the top of the waiting list for your internationally adoption you would be elated. That would be the case if we had not received altering news that MOWA in Ethiopia was cutting internationally adoptions by 90%.
So, needless to say, there have been a lot of people asking how we are doing. The reason it has taken me so long to write this blog is because to be honest, I was not really sure. At first, I teetered between sad, mad, frustrated, disappointed, disbelieving and plain denial. But since I have had time to let this digest,I can say, I am fine, fine, fine, just fine. No, I am not just saying this. Chris and I drove to Indianapolis last week to be re-fingerprinted by Homeland Security for our adoption. To be honest, we wondered why we were even making the trip if our adoption may be years in the future if we even continue the process. This gave us 4 hours to talk about the situation in Ethiopia and what the future looks like for our family. We discussed some really tough things but were very realistic about how things stand.
We started this process over 2 years ago and feel as if we have not made much forward progress. So, needless to say, with this news we wondered if we should just cut our losses and move forward. This, to me, did not seem like the right answer. After more discussion we decided to hold on and see what might happen.
I must say that I have been wrestling with the decision to hold tight and wait. Part of me just wanted to stop the whole process. I did think about switching programs and again made phone calls about domestic adoption. All of this just kept leading back to the same answer, WAIT. I kept being reminded of the scripture that says: but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. So, wait it is. In my waiting this week, I had this revelation. I have lost my joy. I have lost my joy in the everyday, in the adoption, in all things. I have gotten so consumed with this process that I have failed to see all the blessings that God has given me. I have an amazing family and a incredible life. I have two beautiful children that make my life a kaleidoscope full of emotion. I have a husband that loves me more than I deserve. But most of all I have a Heavenly Father that has given me blessing upon blessing. All of this to say, I am going to start living life again. I realized that I had allowed it to stop all in the name of adoption. No more. I am going to live. If this adoption is meant to be than that is great. We will gladly accept and love the children that God has for us. If it is not meant to be, we will be sad and mourn the loss of what we thought was to be. But no matter what the outcome, I believe that God is showing me that I need to live, for Him.
I must say that I have learned more about myself during this journey than I even realized possible. It is more about the journey than the destination. Too bad that I am so stubborn sometimes that it takes me forever to learn these lessons.
So, if you ask, as of today, I am fine, fine, fine. Actually, more than fine, I am blessed. So off I go, I have some living to do!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Got the Mojo Magnet

What a treat today as I opened the mailbox to find an envelope addressed to me from a familiar name in the adoptive blog world. I knew exactly what it was as soon as I saw it and I laughed out loud. My neighbors thought that I was crazy before but even more so now. I could not even make it into the house before opening the manila envelope marked fragile. I knew that this envelope held power. MOJO! This item has some history. Another adoptive mom was so sweet to mail this to the couple that was in front of us on the waiting list. She posted a post about the magnificent magnet and the next day, she got her referral. So I emailed Meg and told her to hand it over. I NEEDED the mojo! I was kidding, kinda. She was sweet enough to get it in the mail right away. So, I am posting this hoping that tomorrow is our day. I would be more than happy to pass this back or on!

I love the spelling words in the picture. How about I use them in a sentence. Meg, the teacher, might like this :)
I can not wait for the sight of our referral!
I think about the kids nightly.
A referral would bring such delight.
The chances of us getting a referral are brighter.
We are so ready to take a flight to Ethiopia.
This wait will no longer frighten me!
Ok, enough already. :)
Follow the magnet below!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Many Signs

There are many signs that lead us to believe that we may be next on the list for a sibling pair with our agency. We are so excited but trying to keep ourselves contained. We realize that there could be any number of people in front of us that are unaccounted for. They seem to sneek in without anyone knowing about them. However, we are hoping that this is not the case. With that being said, we are sending out a cry for your prayers. PLEASE join us in praying for a quick referral. We are so anxious to get our children home. We feel we are very close but want to also keep things into perspective. So quit reading and start praying, please. Any and every prayers is accepted. I am praying that I can post this week that we got good news. Nothing is too big for God! Thanks for lifting us up!

Friday, February 18, 2011

My Funny Valentines and the Igloo

Just a few picture updates on what has been going on with us. First we had a great visit with Chris's sister and her family. With all the snow "uncle" Chris decided that he would recruit some help to build an igloo. It was really cool but it only lasted for a day since the temps got above freezing.

Next are a couple of pictures from Valentines Day. We had a great dinner as a family. I sure love my family!!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

If you want to watch the video, go to the bottom of the page and stop the music.

Well today I realized we have entered into the Groundhog Day phase of our adoption process. Not only do I wake up every morning and wonder if today will be the day, but we have started to repeat things. We are at the stage in our process where our paperwork is expiring which means we have to repeat all of the fun. First up on the list, our fingerprinting in Indianapolis. Next will be our home study, followed by our dossier. Maybe this will give us the opportunity to really enjoy this part of the process this time around:) Since the first time around we were just wanting to get on to the waiting list, which feels like the black hole. We get to enjoy that fact that we can do something again, even if we are only pushing paper. At least we feel like we have a little control again. It removes the daunting fact that time seems to be standing still. So if you have not seen the movie Groundhog Day, I would encourage you to watch it. Just be careful though because you may wake up one day and find yourself in the middle of Groundhog Day. Especially if you decide to adopt.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Adoption and Football - 13 Months Today

I will start off by telling you that today is 13 months since we officially went on the waiting list with our agency. We began this journey February 21, 2009. For those of you who are not counting like I am, that is 2 years. Or in the land of adoption, FOREVER! So with all of this brewing in my brain as I watched the Super Bowl last night, I could not help but find some similarities in adoption and the game of football. Let me just say that this is my way of dealing with the wait and is my attempt at finding humor is this emotional process. Please do not find offense in some of my analogies. So here you go:

At the beginning stages of our process it was a coin toss as to what country and what agency we would end up with. We did not want any false starts, so we researched countries and agencies for about 4 months. After alot of huddle time we chose WHFC and Ethiopia as our game plan. So the ball was punted and the game had begun. Our team was doing well. We were in great shape, we had conditioned and we were strong. Our offense and defense looked great until we hit a mound of paperwork. We felt like we had taken a loss of yards at this point. We knew we had to call a time out and evaluate what our strategy was going to be. This proved to be helpful because we continued play and aggressively barrelled toward the first down. We began to make a lot of forward progress until the first penalty flag was thrown. Off sides was the call and the penalty was that the Ethiopia Program fees would be increased. This penalty hurt but our determination never faltered. On the very next play we experienced a very painful blow. We were sacked and not only were we sacked but it caused us to fumble the ball. There was a penalty called on this play for unnecessary roughness. We were informed that a new rule had been put into place and we would now have to travel to Ethiopia twice now instead of once. We were definitely ready now for our pep talk at half time. We needed to be re energized and find the determination to win this game. I think Laura even needed a bit of oxygen at this point. Back on the field we go and we get a call that we finally think is in our favor. Our agency called us with a possible referral. Not a typical call but one we had to evaluate and make a decision about. After much deliberation and prayer we decided that this play would be too risky for our team. After a lot of blood, sweat and tears we decided to stick with our original game plan. We felt like we had just thrown an incomplete pass. It looked good coming out of the quarterback hands but the timing was off and the ball was sure to be intercepted. At this stage of the game we are determined to continue to rush down the field. We have the end zone in our sights. We feel it is now time for a big play, maybe a quarterback sneak or an onside kick. We are beginning to get tired and we are praying that there are not too many penalties or commercial interruptions to endure. We are looking forward to a long awaited touchdown. And I must warn you, there will be penalty flags flying for the excessive celebration that will follow. I know that our team is going to win this game! We are just hoping this game does not go into overtime!

Thank you so much for being our fans. We could not continue to fight as hard as we have without you. You make every yard worth it and we love seeing your excitement as we continue to move the ball. I know it has been a long game but hang in there with us and we will be victors. What a celebration it is going to be! We LOVE our fans!

Thanks for humoring me! :)

Friday, February 4, 2011


Well, it is hard to believe that my little boy is 7 years old. So much can happen in 7 years. Since this sweet little boy was born, I decided to leave the world of banking and become a stay at home mom, moved from Louisville to Fort Wayne, decided to add 2 more little ones to our family.

So to celebrate 7 years of sweetness we took Max to Legoland in Chicago. He had a great time. It was Star Wars weekend at Legoland, talk about double bonus. Once we had seen all the legos we could we ventured to downtown Chicago. We toured Michigan Avenue, which included a trip to the Lego store. After shopping we went to the Navy Pier. By this point we had worked up a big appetite. We decided to catch a limo from Navy Pier to our car. Max thought this was so much fun! We left and went to Giordanos - our favorite Pizza place in Chicago.

We spent the night in Chicago and woke up early so that the kids could swim before we started our trip back home.

What a weekend to remember!! I do not think Max will forget it anytime soon!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Look how far we have come - 15 years

Well if you are very close to me, you know that I have always wanted to visit Charleston, SC. Well for many years that has been the standing joke in our house because I have asked and asked and for some reason we always end up vacationing somewhere else. This year for our 15 year anniversary, Chris planned a trip to Charleston with some friend of ours from Louisville. We had a great time even though we were there for a record breaking cold day - seriously it broke records. We did all of the traditional Charleston sights. Rainbow Row, Slave Market, a Carriage ride, Live Oak, the Battery, Boone Hall Plantation, and lots and lots of food. Our condo was on Isle of Palm which was beautiful but a bit chilly. However, we had a very good time and it was great to catch up with our friends. Greg and Teresa both ran in the mini in Charleston on Saturday and I gladly stood on the sideline and cheered them on.
While we were there, we had our friend take some pictures of us. This would be proof of 15 years of love and commitment :) This will be one trip that my waistline and I will not soon forget!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How long must we wait???

If you do not want the ugly truth about adoption, please stop reading!!! Waiting. Who would have guessed it to be so hard. We have a busy life with 2 great children. People have said that they figured that waiting would not be that difficult for us. I must admit, we do have a great life and our children keep us very entertained. I guess the part that is so hard for us is that our lives are on hold. We had this calling to add to our family and bring two children home and now we wait and wait. It never seems to leave your mind. You always think, will today be the day. 147 million orphans is the claim but it is not as easy to embrace them as you think. As days tick off of the calander, this process becomes very disheartening. You start stalking people in the blog world just to make sense of the wait. Hoping for any sign that your time might come soon. Holidays pass with you wishish that your new children could have been with you and shared in your joy as a family. Any news about Ethiopia and possible changes makes you want to literally throw up. How many fee changes, travel changes, program changes, wait time changes can we endure before we decide this might not be for us? In my heart I feel that we are doing the right thing but with so many people waiting, would these children be adopted even if we did not? Are we truely making a difference or do we just want to feel like we helped? These are the taunting questions that cross my mind. Have we lost it completely? What were we thinking? Then I go to sleep at night and dream about our children and everything seems to be ok. Will these dreams ever become reality. I hear people say that once you have your children that the wait just seems like nothing. I long for that day when I can look back and laugh at how crazy I have become. One foot in front of the other, day by day, minute by minute - We have to make it. I must see your sweet faces. Please Lord, do not let this wait be in vain! So for now we press on eagerly awaiting news, any news! I would settle for happy news for the people ahead of us on the list. Meg, please get a referral soon. Your 14 month wait makes me sad!

Thanks for listening, not all days in the process are happy! This is for Meg, this wait can just "suck it".

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Yes we are still here and NO we do not have a referral

Happy 2011 to all my blog friends. Wow! 2010 seemed to fly by in many ways and creep along in the adoption world. All in all we had a amazing year. 2010 did not lack in the excitement area. Here is a run down of the short list for 2010:

Madie started 2nd Grade
Max started 1st Grade
Officially went on the waiting list for a sibling pair from Ethiopia
We hosted 2 foreign exchange students (Thailand and China)
Chris competed in an International Business Plan competition in San Francisco
Went to Destin, Florida for Spring Break
Zoeller Family trip to Smugglers Notch, Vermont

Chris only has 2 more classes left to complete his MBA.

We will continue to keep you posted with any adoption news that may transpire. We are headed to Charleston, SC soon so maybe since we are not sitting at home waiting it will happen. I won't hold my breath but it would be great!!!

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