Friday, February 29, 2008

Insanity!

Do you know what happens in 9 days? I bet you could guess.


=)

Do you know what has to happen each day for the next 8 days? A helluva lot!

It's been crazy! Well, at least it seems like it to me. Frankly, Mark's been fine. He thinks I'm overreacting. ;) Ally has decided that this would be a good time to lose her aloof attitude and now prefers to keep Mark or I in sight at all times. In fact, when I am home at night and she is not on my hip, she is crying. Yikes! Talk about mommy guilt! Poor thing has been under the weather with that nasty cold/flu off and on for 3 weeks. she's just coming out of it but now Grace and I have it! I could literally barely get out of bed on Wednesday but had to come into work for a few hours. I'm doing much better now, but the cough is horrible. I pray none of you get this.

but we are chugging a long! I hope that this weekend will be very productive. I have a pile of work to complete before my last day next week (yikes!) and still tons of stuff to grab for our trip. Oh, and packing! Yes, we've started, but it seems never ending!

It is exciting but a bit stressful too! Wish us luck!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

News from Ethiopia...

A friend of ours just sent us this update on the kids!

"Cat,
I just have a minute because the internet is slow as mud and we have to pay for it but I have to tell you about your incredible kids.

First off, Mr. Abenezer is amazing... he is everyone's favorite... nannies, volunteers, kids, etc. He is tiny... much smaller than he looks in his pictures. He is incredibly talkative and social... he chats right away at you. He is all smiles and just as charming as they come. You are going to have so much fun with him... oh, and he seems to be in very good health... not a mark on him, full of energy and just super happy and active. Cat, he is just wonderful beyond words.

Hana is equally wonderful. She marched up to me with her hands on her hips and in perfect English said, " I go to America today???" I told her SOON! Everyone is so happy here that your case has passed and they are going home soon. They both know that they have a family and are coming to America. Hana is super sweet... she was very motherly to X and the other little kids. Cat, I am telling you she is super smart... she does not miss a thing and quite the little spit fire (in a good way!) She is a doll baby and you are just going to love her. I think she is going to adore having a sister close in age, and having younger siblings. I can't wait for you to get her and see them. She also looks super healthy and is very active.

One more thing... I hate to tell you this, but Abenezer is already engaged... he proposed to my sis and gave her a little ring (it was a little metal loop off of a tarp and he had these huge doe eyes and gave her the ring. It was adorable! We are saving the ring and will mail it to you (since we are family and all now) :)"



This stuff just makes my day!! We can't WAIT to go get these two!!

-Mark

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!

Yikes! Well, mostly just planes and ludicrously long layovers...


Now that the fog is really starting to lift, there is seriously SO MUCH TO DO. I bet you are all laughing at me - here we had months of extra waiting. Should we be the most prepared family ever? Now those of you who know me well are really laughing. =) Prepared is not exactly my middle name!



But we do finally have flights booked! We'll be flying Lufthansa. The itinerary is kind of crazy, at least on the way home with a crazy layover in Frankfurt, but not a lot of hops or anything. But it was way under budget which is key! We also have a suite booked at a new hotel in Addis, the Dagim Millenium, which just opened last fall. It is a little bit more than we had hoped to spend, yet you can't beat the location - right by the orphanage and a pizza place. That should make Mark and the kids happy. =) So that's our plan as of now!



We also have to send in the remainder of our adoption costs to our agency. Boy is it scary to see money fly out of the bank account in such a hurry! But that's what it's there for. We've just been saving while we wait and so the lack of financial stress is a huge relief for us.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Shock is Starting to Lift!


Whew.

What a crazy 24 hours or so! I didn't realize how hard the last few months had been until last night. Little by little, the stress began to lift. I feel lighter. Happier. We are ready to bring them home. Begin our lives as a family of 6.

It really won't be too long until we can go get them! I don't want to put any exact dates on the internent since this blog isn't private any more (just seems like asking for trouble!) but most of you know or will know that timing stuff soon. Hard to believe - we've just been in such a holding patterns, feeling like there was no end in sight. Now so much to do!

Thank you, all, for your kind words, comments, emails, support, hugs, prayers, everything. To those of you who have supported me for years and to those that have been a shoulder to "cry" on (if possible via email?) for only a few months, and everyone in between - thank you for everything. We couldn't have made it through all this without all of you. And I'm sure we will continue to need you in the coming weeks, months and years. We've chosen to grow our family in a somewhat non-traditional way. And although we are so excited about that, I'm sure it will be a learning process and not always easy.

But we're up for it. ;)





Thursday, February 14, 2008

Without Further Ado

Welcome to the family Hana Cristina and Abenezer Joseph!









Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sorry Guys!

I know we've been quiet. And restricted. As you may notice, I took the privacy blockers off for now. I'm not doing anything wrong here and we don't have that many visitors. ;) And it wasn't like it gave us any good luck!

I have to get to work but wanted to give you a quick (albeit late) summary. Our court date on the 6th was rescheduled for the 14th - yep, tomorrow. At the time, we were told that they expected to be ready to go. We were supposed to hear confirmation "early" in the week that everything was on track. So far my email about that has gone unconfirmed. I'll be calling to follow up today. But I have a bad feeling about it.

As of today, it has been 223 days since we formally accepted Abi's referral. We've been in the court system over three and a half months. It has been a horribly long, frustrating wait.

One thing we hear a lot is that it'll be "worth it" when the kids are here. Well, I don't doubt they are worth whatever wait and frustrations are thrown at us - of course they are! =) But I refuse to let that be an excuse for anyone in how our adoption was handled. Just because I would wait forever for them doesn't mean I should have to. Or more importantly, that THEY should have to wait. They've waited long enough.

Please hope, pray, send us good karma (whatever suits you) that this is it. I really don't know what I'll do if we don't pass tomorrow. I'm guessing it won't be pretty.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Hope Can Be an Annoying Thing

So, as previously mentioned, we won't be passing court today.

I requested that our agency call us anyways so we get the bad news officially and (hopefully!) more clarification on when we might actually have a chance of passing/travel. No call yet, but still very early for that.

I'm so annoyed at myself. Although I know for sure this time that we won't be passing (which is easier than not knowing) I can still feel that little beat of hope in my chest. Grrr! Why? I think I am really just hoping we'll have news that this might be cleared up in a week or two (rather than a month or two).

But I've learned to hate hope! How sad is that??? Because every time that it is there, it hurts that much more when things don't work out. Depressing isn't it?

I guess it all goes back to "Lowered Expectations" (Amanda, I know your know the voice for that one!)

Well, here's hoping (but not really) for good news. ;)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Don't Expect "News" This Week Or Any Time Soon

So today was interesting. I was able to actually speak with our legal counsel in Ethiopia. I appreciated the opportunity, but still don't feel much better about anything. The connection was rather poor and although he speaks pretty good English we couldn't quite connect on all of my questions.

The gist of the matter is this:

1) The neighbor that needed to be found to correct Abi's paperwork was found. (this part is good)
2) She was taken to the MOLSA office. (also good)
3) MOLSA wants her to get the new letter from the Kebele (?) (This seems bizarre to me, but that's what it sounded like) (not so great here! Hoping to hear that someone is escorting her soon, but has not been confirmed)
4) It will not be done for Wednesday. (awful)
5) It should be done within 10 days or so. (potentially good, see qualifiers below)

The problem is, we don't know:

A) Does 10 days mean that the paperwork will be completed by the Kebele at that time?
B) Will the neighbor actually get around to taking care of this in 10 days?
C) Do we need another court date?
D) Do we need yet another letter from MOLSA?

If the answers to the above are yes, that 10 days could still mean another month (or more!) until we "pass" . And another month (or more) after that until we travel. =(

I am hoping we'll get more clarification in the coming days.

But it looks like court date number 5 will be a bust for sure either way. There is no end in sight.