Friday, November 30, 2007

Don't Wait on Pins and Needles

Because we don't know a thing. And we won't until tomorrow morning at the earliest. =(

It seems our agency is having some trouble with communication. Some families in our area heard great news today (Congrats to the Kirkstras and the Bryants!) but they used another agency. I'm very happy for them, but so incredibly anxious for us!

for me, the not knowing is so much worse than knowing the bad news and moving on. but we've got no choice. so I need to suck it up, get some work done and hope tomorrow morning comes very quickly (and with news!)

Keep your fingers crossed for us!!! We'll share news as soon as we have some!

Today has arrived!


Still no court news. It is about 11;30 a.m. Which mean it is about 7:30 p.m. in Addis. Which means it is 8:30 a.m. in Washington (where our agency is).

What does all of that mean?

Not a damn thing.

We might know today. There is a chance we might not. I'm going crazy. Work is VERY hard. I can't focus. I even brought in bagels to share today as good karma! How funny is that! Especially since court was already over at that point and (even if such things worked) it would've been too little, too late.

At least I have happy co-workers!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

T Minus 1 Day

That's right folks. Tomorrow is the big day - court.


That means that when I wake up tomorrow, I could be the (legal) mother to FOUR children. Not bad at 26 eh? ;) Unfortunately, I won't know for several hours. Maybe even days if we are unlucky with communication issues! AHHHH. That would/will drive me crazy! There has been some construction near the orphanage and email communication has been cut off. Oh, and our agency's in-country contact has been in Ghana all well and won't return until tomorrow. So that all [potentially] hinders when we'll know the news.


PLEASE keep us in your thoughts. We so, so badly want to pass the first time. Okay, well seriously who doesn't? But it feels like we've been waiting SO long. We committed to adopt Abi over five months ago. That is a long time to know who your son is but not to have him legally be yours! Although not as long for Hana, she's grown in our heart so quickly that I can't hardly remember before we decided to adopt her too! Grace has been waiting a long time and wants her new siblings home very badly.


I was also thinking today. If we do pass, there is a good chance that we will be in Ethiopia for Christmas day. And that might be the day we meet our kids. How amazing would that be? Although it would be pretty sad for Mark since we'd spend much of the day before traveling on his birthday! I think he'd get over it though... ;)


Oh, I just cannot focus! I have so much to get through at work and just keep seeing their faces when I try and concentrate! Keep your fingers crossed I don't' get fired today (just kidding, but still). i can't even imagine what I'll be like tomorrow - whether we pass or not I think I'll be useless!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Whose feeling lucky??

Sorry for being so quiet the last week or so (but making up for it now)! Busy at work, busy freaking out about all the stuff that needs to get done if we pass court on Friday (I mean when, when we pass court - sorry Mark!), etc.

Among the chaos, I've been thinking a lot. About a whole lotta things. And most of them will just have to wait for another post (assuming that I have time!) But there is one theme I wanted to write about.

When it comes up with people that we are adopting, we tend to get a variety of reactions. One that we get fairly regularly goes something like this "Oh, that is so great! Those kids are so lucky!" Which is a very nice thing to say. I like to think they mean that Mark and I are good people and good parents and that a child would be fairly lucky to be stuck with us as parents. However, some people say it and seem to be thinking that Hana and Abi are so lucky that we are rescuing them from Africa, bringing them to this great life in America.

This later view is the most problematic for me. Because in saying that, one is really saying, boy those kids sure are lucky to have their families torn from them by poverty and illness, to have been plucked from their home country, their culture, the only life they've ever known to move to the America (which is a pretty great place, but let's be honest - quite far from perfect in oh so many ways). I can't say that. I can't ever think that my kids are lucky to lose so much - more than I'll ever be able to comprehend.
But things are what they are. Luck has nothing to do with it. Unfortunately, my kids have already been pulled apart by horrors that I will never understand (though I will do my best to try to). If such things have to happen in our world, than I suppose Hana and Abi are lucky to still be able to experience the unwaivering love of a family, if not their first family.
But truly, we are the lucky ones. When I look back at this journey the past 7-9 months, I realize that I have already learned so much from my children. I have grown so much as a person from what they and their experiences have taught me. And I haven't even met them yet! I think about how much richer Grace's and Ally's life will be to have Hana and Abi as siblings. And I thank God every day for this most precious gift.

What kind of pie are you?

This is so funny - since it is my favorite type of pie! hahaha. Thanks Erin!


You Are Apple Pie

You're the perfect combo of comforting and traditional.
You prefer things the way you've always known them.
You'll admit that you're old fashioned, and you don't see anything wrong with that.
Your tastes and preferences are classic. And classic never goes out of style.

Those who like you crave security.
People can rely on you to be true to yourself - and true to them.
You're loyal, trustworthy, and comfortable in your own skin.
And because of these qualities, you've definitely earned a lot of respect.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving - What are YOU Thankful for?

Happy Belated Thanksgiving everyone!!!! We just returned home from my mom and dad's today and after a [few] busy week(s) at work, I finally have a moment to post. Sorry I've been quiet! It's hard to even know what to write actually. Some days I have so much I want to say that I can't even think straight to do so. Other days I just get caught up in thought and can't write a thing!

But back to Thanksgiving. We had a great time seeing my parents, sister, brother and his family, grandpa and his lady friend (wink wink), as well as my mom's sister and her husband who were visiting from Florida. My aunt Gale, mom, sister and I braved Black Friday madness yesterday. EXHAUSTING. But I did get some good deals and a good chunk of my shopping done - yeah! And it was really nice to have more visiting time.

What am I thankful for this year? Hard to narrow it down. I'll write the first five things that come to mind, in no particular order:

(1) Family - both immediate and extended. Those I see and those I don't. And those that are halfway around the world that I hope will (legally) join us forever on Friday! I have learned a lot about my family in the last year. I guess there is nothing like an adoption to really pull people together and let them show what they're made of. Fortunately, Mark and I are so lucky to be surrounded by family that is extremely proud of us and supportive (even if they don't quite understand all our decisions...). That means the world. Oh, I can't wait to get my 2 other children home!!! (complete understatement of the year)

(2) Old Friends - I'm very lucky to have more than a few great friends. I don't have to talk to them once a day, month or even year (although I prefer to!). Whenever I do get to see them and have a good chat, we just pick up where we left off. And even though some of them are now sprinkled across the country (or just down the street but busy) I know that if I ever truly needed them, they would be there for me in a heartbeat.

(3) New Friends - Here is a shout out to our little "discussion" group (and you know who you are!). I don't honestly know what I would've done without you these last couple of months. I have learned so much from all of you - and we've never even met! I can't wait for the day that we do and that we can start sharing the trials and joys of (finally!) having our kids home with us!!! A very, very sincere thank you.

(4) Something Greater than us all - I grew up in a religious family. I've always believed in God, and truly, even during some of the scariest times, I've always trusted in Him. But I don't have the spiritual depth that I have come across through our adoption journey. A sense of peace that so many have. Such deep trust, even through things that I know would've tested my faith. So I'm not there. But I'm still moving forward. And that is something to be thankful for. Because whatever "He" is, wherever He is, I know he is watching out for us or we wouldn't be where we are now.

(5) Chocolate. I don't have to explain this one do I?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Yea!

Our email friends, the Isaacs, just got some great news - after 3 tries, they finally passed court and will be traveling in less than a month to bring sweet Abush home!!! Yeah!!!!!

Freak Out


2 Weeks and 3 Days
That is what my handy little counter says. That would mean there are exactly 17 days until our court date. Seventeen.

I have been trying so hard NOT to get my hopes up for actually passing on the 30th I haven't stopped to really think about what we are going to do if we DO pass! How crazy is that. Now I have a whole new thing to stress about!

Because, hopefully, we'll be traveling within 4 weeks of passing court. Which means a full month of preparation right? Well, yes. But let's think about how much free time I usually have during the month of December? Umm... how about none!

And we need plane tickets
hotel/guesthouse reservations
packing lists
actual packing
actual stuff TO pack (yes, there is still some shopping to be done)
somethings to pack stuff in
lists and lists and lists - for everything
What to do with the dogs?
cat?
KIDS? (okay, so this has been discussed, but final details depend on our exact timing so still a huge stressful issue)
**Not to mention how can I leave my KIDS for 2 whole weeks????? I'm not even letting myself deal with that one yet...

Now that I have sufficiently freaked myself out, I better get back to work. Now I can worry about passing AND not passing for 17 more days. Sigh.

This adoption stuff is hard...
I just want to bring Abi and Hana home. Soon.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bronchitis for My Birthday


Well, not quite. ;) But unfortunately, Ally and I have been battling twin chest colds for about a week now. Poor girl - when she gets coughing at night I just want to cry! But she seems to be doing better.


As for me, I've been mostly fine. Unfortunately, the worst of it hit late last week when I was slammed at work. Oh yeah, my birthday fell in there too! Which would have made for a horrible birthday - if I didn't have such a great family. =)


Yep, the big 2-6


The day (Thursday) started off nicely with lots of hugs from Ally and Grace. Grace especially was excited for my birthday, which of course makes it so much fun. I miss when birthdays were that exciting! Mark and Al met me at lunch for a quick bite down the block which was a great break for me. After a loooooooooong day at work I made it home just in time to pack up the kids and get to Grace's school for conferences. she is doing fabulously by the way. Just a bit too chatty at times....


Anyways, made it home at a decent hour for a yummy dinner made by Mark (Mexican Chicken - yum!) AND my favorite - apple pie (also homemade by Mark)! Complete with candle and singing (and clapping by Ally). AND they even wrapped my gifts (I love wrapped gifts - hate gift bags!)


I was supposed to work more that night but after about 15 minutes I just gave up - who can work at night on their birthday? So the evening was saved after all!


All in all it was a really great day. I can't wait until next year with all the kids home. So weird - by this time next year we'll have experienced ALL their birthdays together.... And, that will mean I'll have 4 kids before I'm 27. Not too shabby. ;)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Poor Ponch!


Poncho, our sweet cocker, had another seizure this morning. Most of you probably didn't even know, but he had one several months back. This one was worse, but not what our vet considered a full seizure (he remained conscious). We had some blood work done, which should rule out other causes, but the vets are pretty sure it is epilepsy. =(

And they told us they won't do any treatment until he is having them more regularly (e.g. 6-8 times each year). And it sounds like it is inevitable that it will progress, we just don't know how fast.

So he is fine - but sounds like this will be an ongoing problem throughout the years. And just pretty scary for us in general. If anyone has any knowledge about this subject, please let me know! We are waiting his blood test results tomorrow and doing a bit of research to see what, if anything, we can do. He should live a pretty normal life, and I think if we are lucky, it might progress very slowly and it might never get bad enough to require meds. I'll keep my fingers crossed for that...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

X Marks the Spot on ... November 30!!

Yep, that's right - we have a court date of November 30th!! Whooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

I am excited, but not letting myself get TOO excited. There have been lots of problems/delays since the court has reopened. That date could get postponed a full month. Or we might get heard, but a needed letter from the gov't might not be there, etc. So, many maybes still involved.

BUT it's a huge step forward. And, if all goes perfect, we could still travel this year - perhaps right after Christmas! And since I know how fast December will go anyways with the holidays, the kids seem closer than ever.

Please keep us in your thoughts these next 2 months - that we are able to pass court and bring Abi and Hana home as soon as possible...

=)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Ally thinks Claire is... HUGE!



Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Halloween was a lot of fun this year! Grace was really in to it. And was very excited to go trick or treating with her best friend from down the street. And I was thrilled not to be super sick like last year! Ally was a great sport and had a lot of fun just hanging out.
The day was cloudy, but didn't seem so bad. Unfortunately, it rained pretty steadily the ENTIRE time we were out! Only lasted an hour this year, but still a pretty good candy haul. And the girls were super cute.
Here is our little Dorothy
(note the dress she is wearing - my mom made me that for my 2nd grade play!)

And our little cheerleader!
(please note her super-cute pony tail!)


The end of the evening was a bit chilly (look those cheeks!)


And damp! (with a little over-tiredness and crabiness thrown it, but not bad)

All in all it was a lot of fun. I can't wait for all 4 to go next year! That is going to be CRAZY!