A Full Heart

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YES. I got to see my love yesterday!! It was our 2nd visit since 02/21/14. She had the biggest smile when our eyes met….

my big girl

We did our cheek snuggles….had a karaoke session using my water bottle as the mic…we collected all the change I brought her for her Hello Kitty bank…we hugged…we ate lunch…we tickled and shared kisses…we played with toys…we talked…she laid in my arms and I rocked her like old times.

Lord knows I love her. I would not say I feel incomplete per se…but seeing her is like a “refresh” button in my life. She reminds me of how love is suppose to feel.

On our visit, she called me “mom” and I told her, “Noo..I’m not mom”. She looked at me like I had hit my head and said, “Ms. Cafrine, you ARE a mom!” It warmed that sad little corner in my heart. How quickly, I had laid that role to rest…yet when she saw me…there was no difference. There was no magic “M” on my forehead that had disappeared. I was still a “mom”.

She taught me a lesson in that moment. There is so much more to being/becoming a “mom” than what first comes to mind. I hope this post encourages someone struggling with the role of “mom”.

Empty beds are not a reflection of a full heart.

Be encouraged.

My Heart

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I have been so busy getting my home ready for the big inspection!  However, no matter how busy I am…I think of her many times in my day. I miss our girl time. I miss tickling her and running around the house. I miss hearing her voice early in the morning and her little feet coming towards my room. In just the last 2 weeks, I finally removed her booster seat from the dining room table. I also opened up the door to her room. I was grieving silently in my quiet and empty home. Each day gets better but that space remains. I talk to her when our schedules permit but that can’t touch 18 months of us being together. 

I’m just in my feelings today.

For every day we have not been together since February 20th,

I love you my Stinky FaFa.

Smorgasbord

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Are you guys and gals still there??

I really tried to sit and blog some days ago with no success. Time flies even when you aren’t having fun :-)

As you guys know, I am selling my house in preparation for a move overseas. Let me tell you….people are a trip! I’ve had only 1 in about 6/7 realtors actually schedule a showing the day prior. I’ve had about 3 agents call the day of in addition to 2 agents just randomly at the front door. HOWEVER, I will not complain because…..

I got an offer on my home today!!!

My home has been on the market for about 2 weeks. I was impressed considering homes are taking about 2-3 months to sale per my realtor. I pray that all goes well with the inspection. We are set for an early May closing. I am low key freaking out at the thought of clearing my home in that time frame. Hence, the picture above…..I am a single woman and my dad must fulfill his responsibilities until someone else can…right??

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I received my passport and my national criminal background check in the last 10 days. I went through the FBI channeler, NCBI…national criminal background check? ( I will verify that). I definitely had some obstacles this week in making arrangements. My previous recruiting agency required 2 letters of professional recommendation. Naturally, I would choose my employer of 5 years. WELL, my employer does not allow supervisors or managers to write professional recommendations! I looked to the internet to remember some past professors and shot out 3 emails. I am not old but college was close to 7 years ago! I have only had 1 response as of yet.

The largest issue I encountered with making arrangements was having to change our country. My best friend and I plan to do this journey together. We would not have been to able to do that in Korea amongst other reasons so we decided to withdraw our applications. I will say that my initial impressions of Korvia were positive and my best friend liked them also. She did express a slight language barrier during the Skype interview. We were working with Gone2Korea originally. It started out well and then the recruiter randomly backed out by basically stating that he had not reviewed the entire EPIK application and that she was able to find another agency.

*** PAUSE FOR THE CAUSE**** PAUSE FOR MY CONFUSED FACE**PAUSE FOR HER CONFUSED FACE**WHATS THE REAL ISSUE??**

We are now directing our attentions to Asia as a whole especially China. I’m starting to feel either very stupid or very brave! This is such a HUGE decision in so many ways but I do feel peace that everything will work out eventually.

TRUST, Catherine has a passport and is about to be houseless. I will be in somebody else’s country come fall!!! I have put my application in at another agency. It’s a “Hurry up and wait” type situation.

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My cousin challenged me to do 30 miles in 30 days whether it be walking, running, jogging or etc. I don’t know what breakfast of champions I had that day…but I accepted the challenge! So, I have “wogged” ( walk + jog) for the last 3 days for a total of 4.96 miles. I really don’t want to fail at this challenge especially because it’s all tracked by the Nike App.

Moving on, Stinky Fairy’s adoptive mom put on her wedding dress (to be a princess) and they had a tea party!! She sent me so many pictures. I was so in love! She also told me that the court may be waiting for dad to be released to make any final decisions regarding severance. I can’t even go forward…let’s just say… I broke down on the phone when I heard that news. All I want to do is protect her. I pray our system does not continue to fail her.

My overall conclusion of myself right now…. I’m healthier and down almost 15lbs. I am making progress to moving overseas.

I am looking forward to the journey ahead.

Layers of Life

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SO….in true nurse fashion,  I completely failed in seeking medical attention until I was in ridiculous pain.  I arrived at the ER looking a hot mess. My ladies who have ever slept on natural hair without twisting/braiding/doing ANYTHING can imagine the extent of my struggle!! To be brief, I was placed on two antibiotics and after about six days developed fevers & chills on and off 3 days. I returned back to the ER for a work up that basically had the DR stumped. My blood work (so far) looks fairly normal. Well, I go home and then what….I develop a rash over my body! I’ve been out from work for almost 2 weeks now dealing with my health. I see my PCP tomorrow to discuss more results. Prayerfully, nothing grew from blood cultures.  Moving on………….

 

I was able to speak to my Stinky four days ago! It was our first time since we met at the restaurant. We laughed and were silly for about 20 minutes. I told her how much I love her and how talking to her makes my heart happy. I told her that I missed her and how proud I was of her. She is such a big girl. It has officially been a month since she’s moved to the new home.  YES… 1 MONTH. It feels like it’s been at least 3 months to my heart. Stinky is doing SO well. My little girl has not regressed a bit which eases my heart and gives me peace. She is so resilient and blessed.

(Side note: My licensing agent called me today. He has been texting/emailing/calling because he thinks I should go ahead and close my foster license. After his 3rd hint, I nicely told him that I worked very hard for my license and would close it when the house sold. I am open to doing respite which we have discussed before today. Am I being difficult? ………. I’m not ready. ) Moving on…………

 

Pigs flew and the cows came home………because I was able to get my paperwork sent for my passport renewal and national criminal check! I applied to the teaching agency after creating a CV, cover letter and carefully selecting 2 photos. I’ve also requested 3 copies of my official transcripts.  I received an email from the agency overnight to schedule a SKYPE interview!!!!  I AM SO FREAKING PUMPED.

The house has been on the market for a few days and it’s been shown 3 times already. I’m really praying for a relatively quick sale. I need to be free from this house by late July at the latest but the earlier the better. I want to stack up plenty of funds for all the traveling I want to do while overseas. I traded in my Rogue for a beautiful, shiny, black, 2013 Ford Mustang with black leather interior. Her name is BLADE. (Yes, I did ) I’m not getting rid of my new baby so I need to have money stacked to house her and make my payments while I’m living abroad.

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My next focus is to complete the TESOL course I am enrolled in within the next few months. My best friend and I are about neck to neck in the process. I am waiting on my recommendation letters ..she already has her letters. She needs to enroll in a TESOL course.  I definitely have moments when I’m like……Puddin, you’re really going to go forward with this??? I think for a second but I don’t have any hesitations with this move. Speaking of hesitations, I would love to get my scuba diving certification before I move so I can dive at ridiculously awesome sites overseas. However, I am low key scared to make that leap but I feel that I’d gain a whole new level of respect and self confidence if I did.

 

I know this post has been slightly all over the place…but it reflects all the different layers of my life currently. So, to finish off this post, why not share one more picture??

 

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Things

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SOOOOOOO…..this is my excited face because I finally got one of these placed in my yard.

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YES…my home is finally for sale!! Let’s see…I purchased my home when I was 23? Lord knows it was so much easier to buy it than just the preparations to sale it. As I went through mail dating back to 2011, I wondered… “Why in the world didn’t I trash this stuff???” There were so many THINGS that I’ve been holding on to because “I may need them”. I’m talking beyond mail now. It’s like my home became some time warp of the past. I have more memorable things and junk from the past than from the present! I will confess that for over five years…my heart relished and felt most safe in past thoughts. I have learned that time can not be granted back to you.

As I went through my things….I smiled, teared up and let go with each paper I trashed. I feel like I’m shedding old skin so that I can walk in….be present in…and enjoy the new journey ahead. I want life to feel refreshed. I want to live grateful for each moment with adventure running through my blood. I want to return to where I abandoned my intimate relationship with God and take His hand. I want to be made over by Him and overjoyed when in His presence. I want to have so much joy that the wall around my heart falls…and maybe…..just maybe…fall in love someday.

***** Side Note***** I was beyond irritated with comments made by adoptive/foster moms on Facebook today. They were regarding an article of an adoptive mom’s story of a placement being disrupted. I’m not one for debates or calling people out but I had to put my 5 cents on that post. I say all this to say that I am SO happy that you guys have never came at me sideways!! In my almost 2 years blogging, I have not seen judgmental/rude/ignorance posted on my site or others. I appreciate that we can come from a gentle loving place with whatever we’re trying to convey. It makes a huge difference. Social media is HUGE. People feel safe to research and wander on foster/adoption pages/clubs and etc. What a way to scare off people! Let’s see…YES, we would love for you to foster/adopt this child that may potentially have X,Y,Z issues, deal with the system, dodge opinionated family/friends/church members/strangers AND other foster families who are waiting to get a kick while you’re down. There is a complete difference in sharing your experience and coming to the conclusion that your similar experience is the standard for everyone else.

* Large sigh * Okay, I’m done.

Shine Bright

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Oh..my….my..my. I don’t recall it being such a hassle to obtain a passport! My last one was back in 2001 in high school. I’m sure much has changed since then. I did learn a few things in our 4 hour excursion to get our applications processed.
1. Always have the original….. ( I should have known this)
2. The government has strict requirements for your passport photo.
3. Verify that the Walgreens/CVS/Other taking your picture is aware of the requirements for a passport photo. There are more rules than you may imagine and making two trips is ridiculous.
4. Be extra thorough reviewing the list of required documents, accepted forms of payments, exceptions and etc.

To be brief, my best friend and I left empty handed that evening. This week we will tackle this process again and hopefully come out one step closer to S. Korea!

I ran into an old supervisor the other day and we updated one another on our lives. She was so excited to hear about my new move. It donned on me…ask her if she’ll do a recommendation letter for you! She said YES which made me extremely happy. I have finally came to that awkward place where I need to speak with my manager about my move and ask her to write a recommendation letter. I’m going to send my prayers up and believe that it will all work out.

This move is HUGE not only because I’m moving out of country. I am also temporarily leaving my profession as a registered nurse. I love being a nurse! As a nurse, we are constantly educating patients so that they are aware and empowered. In that sense, I am use to teaching. I have also taught Sunday School with up to 13 children. I feel this gives me a tiny foundation which is better than nothing. Oh! You also usually see a family of nurses and teachers. For example, my mom is a teacher- she has 2 daughters who are nurses. My best friend is a teacher, her mom is a nurse. I see this quite often when I speak with other nurses. I think this means I’m genetically linked to teach? Eh…maybe that’s a stretch :) Regardless, I don’t feel nervous about the actual teaching part. (At least not yet).

Moving along…the picture above is my best friend and I at a night Color Fun Fest. We had so much fun! I’ve looked at 5K sites but NEVER would have signed up for one. Well, until now :) No, I didn’t run the full length but I did run some of it and was proud of myself.

I get to talk to my Stinky Fairy today and am elated about it. I miss her little self. I’m noticing that each day, being alone is becoming a little easier. It doesn’t feel like an elephant in the room. I stopped wondering what did I use to do before I became a mom and focused simply on what do I want to do NOW.

* Shine Bright*

Let It Go.

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My best friend (of the last 10 years) and I had been toying around with the idea of packing up and moving to the East Coast or the South. You couldn’t persuade us one bit that we’d stay unmarried for long with all the chocolate living in those areas. Phoenix has not been kind and we were ready for a refreshing change. We’ve had that discussion for maybe the last 3 years?? After the blog, Knowing In Part, ( WP won’t show the link)
I knew that the move could happen much sooner. I was already contemplating still moving across country with my Stinky when the plan was for me to adopt. It was such a “safe” thought because that’s all it ever was… I was slightly fearful of leaving my family and the control I believed I had in my life. A few weeks after that pivotal day, my best friend and I revisited our plans to move. I had secretly been leaning a completely different direction but had not yet shared it with her. I also would need to rent or sale my home.

I could write 10 blogs on how ONE person can fill a house w/n five years and not know where to start packing/selling/organizing to sale it. I literally want to open the doors of my home and have people just purchase items and take them home that day. I am so overwhelmed trying to do this alone. RANT OVER. House is scheduled to be listed on this Saturday. (NO, It’s not MY ready smh).

I usually am able to multitask very well. However, I could not pack up my home, facilitate Stinky’s move to an adoptive home AND be sane all at the same time. In pure Catherine fashion, I shut down and told the realtor to reschedule the list date or cancel the contract. She was starting to pressure me into listing it during that time and I was over it…and her.

Moving on….one evening, I mentioned how awesome it would be to travel to my best friend. She is graduating with her Master’s (on Friday!!!). We are both single and now childless. Why not?? The response I got back was an overwhelming YES. We immediately started researching requirements/best places/safe places/salary/cost of living and etc. The plan is that we stay together…same school, (at least same city) and same area of living. We have decided to pack up our American way of living for an opportunity to teach English abroad! I am in the VERY beginning but I will be blogging about the process. Prayerfully, in August/September, I will be blogging to you from…..South Korea!

In honor of my Stinky’s favorite song:
“And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all
It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through” – “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen

March Rain

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(INSERT LARGE SMILE HERE). You would have thought the love of my entire life had entered that restaurant yesterday! I really wanted to be “self contained” and give my hugs to the D family and then start catching up with my Stinky. WELP… maybe better luck next time. I felt like my heart was going to burst out of my body when she was in reach. I can’t even type this without a fountain of tears. ………………………………………….

It was like…Christmas morning.

I cried for about the first 5-10 minutes. She would look at me and hug me and then repeat. She said, “Ms. Catherine, you’re here.” I can’t articulate the love and hurt I felt in those words. I will try to revisit it when I’m not a flood of emotions. Every time she hugged me and gave me a kiss was LOVE. Everything motherly in me was aching and celebrating simultaneously.

Being a mother has allowed me to experience a new type of love. I knew that I loved her…but not seeing her for 2 weeks put all types of stamps on that. I felt “normal” for a moment but I don’t regret my decision. It is so transparent to me that my role was to facilitate a blessing. There is no room for guilt in being obedient to the Father. He has His angels in place to comfort me and His love is unmatchable. He has designed the plan for our lives.

I regret nothing.