Friday, December 31, 2010

Information on travel.

Here's a quick list of things I wished I had known before we traveled or things that I think may be helpful to remember...

1. Dubai has a beach. And resorts with water parks made for kids, or adults who act like kids. Being that we have not EVER had a family vacation that was pure vacation we would have loved to stayed a day or two and played. Bonus: to get ourselves acclimated to the new time zone.

2. On Emirates there is a place at your seat to charge your laptop, phone and ipad. No need to buy that fancy spendy airplane charger.

3. When you land in ET you must get your visa before going through customs. Yes, I know it says that in the arrival packet sent by Gladney...but try remembering what your name is after traveling for two days much less a tip about visas! The sign is small minute un-see-able with the naked eye. There is a little room to the left of the customs line with windows, you go inside of it to purchase your visa. It looks like a door you should not go through, and you might feel as if you're walking into someone's private office, but this is where you need to be.

4. I was worried about the pollution and diesel fumes with our 4yr old who has asthma. She had no probs. I guess the high altitude and dry air offset the fumes. We came prepared for a constant asthma attack and yay! did NOT need a drop of any of it.

5. While we're talking dry. Bring some lotion and some lip balm. For realz.

6. You probably will not need a medical pack for each person traveling stocked with enough pepto, immodium, gatorade, bandaids, headache pills, etc. We got lucky and no one had "issues" and now I realize the likelyhood of every person having them is small. So enough meds for one or two people is probably fine.

7. Pack more travel tissues than you think you would possible need. Granted we had two sick grandmothers in the beginning, but even the healthy ones of us needed tissues. That pollution gets your nose working overtime.

8. Little bottles of hand sanitizer are great, but the packets that are sanitizing wipes we used most often. To clean your hands and sanitize in one action was very convenient. (see Mantra 2 below)

Two mantras to start working on now:

Mantra 1
Do not put your toothbrush under the tap. Do not put your toothbrush under the tap. Do not put your toothbrush under the tap. Do not put your toothbrush under the tap.
(You will probably still do this, and it will probably be OK. But you will wonder. You might even lose a bit a sleep the first time. But you WILL survive.)

Mantra 2
Do not put the tissue in the potty. Do not put the tissue in the potty. Do not put the tissue in the potty. I repeat, Do NOT put the tissue in the potty. Doh! You did it! You put the tissue in the potty. Now WHAT!?! Are YOU going to be the reason the plumbing backs up in the guest house? Hmmmmm, will anyone know it was ME? No, but then you will also NOT have a potty, will it matter if anyone knows it was YOU if you don't have a potty? Pause. Sigh. ewwwwwwwwwwwww. Wash hands. Sanitize hands. Repeat at least once. Wipe the ewwwwwwwwww look off your face and return to your group.
(I promise you will do this more than once. Maybe even three or four times. You or your 4 year old might even do it while saying this mantra out loud to keep yourself from doing it. ewwwww.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My head just might explode.

We leave for Ethiopia in less than 24 hours.
Lots left to do, but the exhaustion is being kept at bay from the sheer excitement.
Kind of surreal that this is REALLY happening.
Two years of paperwork, talking, planning, more paperwork...and we are almost on the other side.

My amazing sister will be updating everyone on December 22 with the good news of us passing court. Come back to meet our beautiful boy. Baby B!

See, look at me, HOPEFUL and all that jazz.

It's all good in the hood my peeps.
Catch ya on the flip.

xH

p.s. if you could throw some good health vibes our way that would be awesome! Both moms and Davis are not feeling 100% and Rolyn and I would love to stay well!

Monday, December 13, 2010

For those of you waiting who need a moment of levity...

I present to you:
Double Dream Hands



I so needed this today. Thank you to this hilarious mama for the tip.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Nerves of butter...melted butter.

You know that saying Nerves of Steel? Well, yeah, that does not describe me right now.

I'm not worried about flying 14 hours with a four year old, the plane crashing or being felt up by at TSA agent. I'm not worried about how we'll get all of this humanitarian aid packed into 10 suitcases and still have enough room for OUR clothes (THANK YOU to all my peeps!)...or worried that said suitcases won't make to Ethiopia.

AND after speaking with the National Visa Center this morning, I'm no longer worried that our fingerprints expiring will hold us up on bringing Baby B home. BTW, it only took me three days of constant calling to get through. (Apparently it's easier at 8 a.m. for those of you that might need them in the future.) The agent I spoke with assured me that he thinks or assumes that the "thing" that has posted to the embassy in Addis Ababa would be our approval letter. He couldn't actually see it but "what else could it be?" errr, ummmm, okaaaaaay. I'll take that!

What does have me shaking in my boots/sick to my stomach/feeling as solid as melted butter? Our court date. December 22, 2010. I have heard all about how the procedure will go down. I know there might be a lot of standing around and waiting and uncomfortable-ness energy. I expect all of that.

We are one of the first families traveling since the court process has (again) changed. Previously MOWA (Ministry of Women's Affairs) would give their opinion approximately one month before we would be scheduled to appear in court. IF we did not receive a favorable opinion from MOWA, we would have some time to gather any additional information or our agency to gather additional information they might request or could be missing from our file or Baby B's file.

With the new process MOWA will give their opinion on our case the same day (+HOPEFULLY+) that we appear in court. Word on the street is MOWA might be a little backed up with issuing letters. Which could mean we might not hear the phrase "He's all YOURS!" on 12/22.

I am trying my best not to get ahead of myself and prepare my heart for delays. Kind of how I prepared myself for a referral in September/October, so I'd be surprised if it came earlier. But I think we all know that this is hard. Impossible really.

Today I decided I'm going to remain hopeful that all will go just as planned and on 12/22 you can come to this blog and "meet" our son. And honestly being positive and hopeful feels waaaaay better than not.

But... if someone would be willing to let me borrow their Nerves of Steel that would be great. I promise to give them back all clean and shiny.

:)


p.s. I've had the discussion with many friends and family about the process and how and WHY it takes so long when there are so many kids that need a family. And yes, it DOES take a long time... and the paperwork!? At times I thought it was going to kill me. BUT the sad reality is that adoption can be corrupt, without parents these kids are most vulnerable. Because of this we took great care in selecting an AMAZING agency (Gladney Center for Adoption) and welcome the extra steps to insure that all of these beautiful children are being PROTECTED. Every. Step. Of. The. Way.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hot off the presses!


We are printed. yahoooooo!
I was all set with our sob story of why we showed up 13 days early to get our fingerprints...you know, how this delay could delay bringing our baby home. I had worked on my best smile, my best Southern Charm that has been subdued demolished after years of living in NYC, I even worked on some tears. I. Was. Ready. 'No' was not going to be part of my morning. And then, we walked right in and they didn't even bat an eyelash. I'm not sure they even looked at the date of our appointment much less wanted to listen to the spiel we had all ready to go.

So there ya have it. Fingerprints. Check.

Moving on to stressing about 'Will the mail gods smile upon us?' Oh, yes please. Let's get all the paperwork to where it needs to be asap. Thank you, thank you very much.

:)

edited to add: I had NO IDEA there was a dog in this fingerprint. I just oogled imaged "fingerprint" and this one looked ok to me. When you see it big you don't see the dog. Weird, because little, yeah, ya can't miss it. hmmmmmmmm. Hello D.O.G. we miss you sweet baby girl dog.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Oh. The. Drama.

Is this standard protocol in every adoption? I'm having some serious Déjà vu.
I swear I've read the OH MY! OH ME! My Fingerprints Are Expiring!! drama on many an adoption blog. You would think that maybe they could make your fingerprints last 1.5 years instead of just 1? Seeing as how the average adoptions takes 1.5-2 years. geeeeeesh.

So. CIS Fingerprints, CIS stands for: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Ours expire on January 8. You can apply for an extension 90 days before they expire. The extension involves CIS sending you an appointment to be re-fingerprinted. We sent in our application 76 days before they expire...almost a month ago. I have called twice inquiring about our appointment. Yesterday I was told that our paperwork is in the queue and should be in front of an officer "in a few weeks"...

screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech!

WHAT?!?! A few weeks? No no no no no. That just will not do. I, in my sweetest voice, begged the woman on the other end of the phone to do something. Anything. I explained that we are traveling in 4 weeks and then hope to be traveling again SOON after to bring our baby home. In the meantime, we must be re-fingerprinted, await our new approval letter, send this to another government agency who must then send the approval letter to the US Embassy in Ethiopia. Silently I thought to myself 'And that, my friend, does not sound like anything that is going to happen quickly.'

She said she would pull our file and try to get it in front of an officer asap. I will call again tomorrow to see if this really happened. Until then I am fretting about this ultimately causing a delay in bringing baby B home. siiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

All of you reading this who are waiting:
Mark your calendars now, even get your mom or BFF to make their calendars for 88 days before your fingerprints expire. Get your letter written and post date it. Put it in a fed ex envelope and have it ready to mail on the 89th day so it can arrive with CIS 90 days before your fingerprints expire. And then be sure to call CIS to check to be sure you are in the queue. Make no assumptions.

edited to add: Thank you to MG from Texas who pointed out that it should be:
Mark your calendar for 92 days
Mail your package on the 91st day.
DUH Heather.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Grandmothers getting a piece of the action.



My mom, aka Mimi, on the left and Rolyn's mom, aka Grammie, on the right.
Both will travel with us to meet their new grandson and experience Ethiopia.
I laughed at my mom's pic...wonder where Davis gets her dramatic tendencies? mmmm-hmmmm.

We are getting very excited and a bit a lot overwhelmed with the length of the To Do List.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Signs.

When Natalie called yesterday and told me our court date was December 22, first I was over the moon to have a court date and then I just couldn't believe the actual date.

Six years ago on December 22 we found out we were pregnant. I couldn't have asked for a more wanted Christmas present. Soon after we found out we would be having twins. Again, wow. Tragically Tess and Oliver were born way before their due date and were too tiny to survive. Heartbroken is the only word to describe that time in our lives.

For more than a year after Tess and Oliver died, I started each morning with one song...Sam Cooke's A Is Change Gonna Come.** It was literally the only thing that could get me up on some days. I had versions by several different artists and sometimes played all of them back to back. Aretha, Tina, and on and on. Sam's made me cry. Aaron Neville's version for some reason made me smile. I always ended my morning walking out the door to work with this version.

When we finally got pregnant again, with one miracle child, it was a very anxious time. I spent 8 weeks on modified bed rest, 16+ weeks of full on bed rest and she still arrived early...thankfully she was healthy and screaming and absolutely perfect.

The first time we took Davis upstate to our little place in the woods, look who showed up to say hello to their baby sister.



Yes, two fawns. Hi Tess and Oliver.

Since then I've gotten lots of signs from my babies. The past two Mother's Days it's come in the form of Aaron Neville's version of A Change Is Gonna Come. The first time the computer started playing the song, even though the screen was black and we had no control over it...yes, strange, but true. Last year we went to a Mother's Day brunch and the restaurant was playing it when we walked in...

I love getting signs from my babies. Yesterday's news of our court date being December 22 felt so fitting to me. Full circle I suppose.

This morning I went to u tube to search for something and guess what was my first recommended video? (I have never searched this song on u tube before) I had no idea Seal had done a cover of this song, but I think it's beautiful.




**I've since done a bit of research and discovered that A Change Is Gonna Come was written soon after the death of Sam's 18 month old son (who accidentally drowned) and his response to his feelings of discrimination and racism in America.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

December 22!

Merry Christmas to us!
Court date is set for
December 22!

Lots to say, lots to do.
Where to start? hmmmm.

Excited. Beyond excited.
That about sums it up.

Monday, October 25, 2010

No pain. No Gain.



We each got 5 shots. OUCH.
Now all we need is yellow fever and we're set.

Davis still needs a few as we opted not to give her 5 all at once, which ended up being a good thing because she was diagnosed with strep throat a few days later. To bad for you that I couldn't take video of the whole scene, but I was too busy holding Davis down. I will tell you the screams could hold up to any scream in a Hitchcock film. Amazing that sound could come out of such a tiny body. She was going for the Oscar limping out of the office as if they had amputated several toes. But hey Davis got three lollipops...the big people (who received five shots) got zero. hmmmmmmm. Who's the smart one?

p.s. this physical pain distracted us from the emotional pain of watching a phone NOT ring with our court date for exactly 6 minutes.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sharing the story.

When we first set out on this adoption adventure I was adamant about keeping our future child's story private. It would be his/her story to tell when they felt comfortable sharing. I had read a bit on the subject and it made complete sense to me... How would you feel if one day you realized that everyone, even people you did not know, knew your story...or even lack of story? How would you feel when you found out that everyone knew what happened to you and the circumstances of how you became an orphan? When I think of it and imagine it, it hurts deeply.

And then we got our referral...and we hadn't spoken about this subject in months...and we got caught up in the moment...and information was shared. And then we found out that the information was shared to others, not by us, but by people excited for us. I feel horrible. I feel heartbroken. I cannot take it back. I cannot reverse time.

I'm now sharing this for anyone waiting for a referral. You should really think about it and plan for it and make a conscious decision to share or not to share.

This post is awesome. (and also kept me awake last night...wishing I had been as strong for my son) Julie also talks about it here and here in regards to a child that IS ready to tell their story.

I am feeling pretty vulnerable sharing this as I feel like I have failed my son. As his mother I am supposed to protect him with everything I have. I also know that as a mother there are lots of times that I haven't felt like I was enough, that I had stumbled. But then after talking to other mothers about shared experiences, I can turn it around and feel ok, and know that I had done no permanent damage. I'm not sure how I feel about this one or what will make me feel ok.

Please do not misunderstand...there is NOTHING in his story (or any child that's been adopted for that matter) that I am ashamed of or my sweet boy should feel ashamed about... but I do feel that it is his story, and it's my duty to make him feel secure and safe with it.

One day Baby B, I will share all of this with you. I hope that you will understand I am human and flawed and won't always be perfect. But I do hope beyond anything that I will be perfect for you.

Friday, October 15, 2010

H2O

I'm supporting blogactionday.change.org



women and children.
In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year just walking for water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking miles to the nearest source, which is unprotected and likely to make them sick.

Time spent walking and resulting diseases keep them from school, work and taking care of their families.

Along their long walk, they're subjected to a greater risk of harassment and sexual assault. Hauling cans of water for long distances takes a toll on the spine and many women experience back pain early in life.

With safe water nearby, women are free to pursue new opportunities and improve their families’ lives. Kids can earn their education and build the future of their communities.
Image and text from charitywater.org

I would like to encourage everyone to open their eyes, and especially their hearts and do something. It doesn't have to be BIG. But it could be. I think you might be amazed at how your friends and family will come out to support you. I know I was blown away. Give up your birthday, have a lemonade stand or a bake sale. Or just donate to someone else's birthday campaign at random.

YOU can make a difference.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Water = Life = Love

Tomorrow. Let's talk H2O.

Blog Action Day 2010: Water from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.

Silence.

The silence of my phone not ringing 817 is deafening.
Way more so than the silence before we received the call with our referral.

There is a long list, a super long list, of stuff that we need to get through before bringing home baby boy. But somehow it remains long without anything checked off.

We are trying to be patient.
Trying and failing.

Come on 817... Ring! Today!
:)

edited to add: this post got me off my bum and there are now three things checked off my list. Nothing like a little pity party to motivate! ;)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The theme of this adoption: Wait.

Wait. Wait. Wait.

First you wait for your paperwork to be finished. Some of this is in your control and some of it is not.

You wait for your referral when you are matched with your child. :)

You have a few days of euphoria mixed with anxiety as you obsess over EVERY detail of EVERY picture and EVERY note written down about your child.

If you are lucky enough to receive your referral while courts are closed you get to relax (yeah right) in the knowledge that your phone will not be ringing with a court date for, in our case, seven weeks. While courts have been closed we are hoping hoping that our son’s original orphanage was able to collect all of his paperwork and get things in order ready to submit to the courts the day they open.

Back to The Wait and you wonder, “Did our paperwork get submitted yet? Will it happen today, tomorrow...”etc etc

Next step, you wait for the phone to ring again with your court date.

This wait, for those of you crumbling waiting for your referral, I’m sorry to report, that THIS wait is waaaaaay harder. As I look at every photo a bajillion times a day and watch the amazing short video clips we’ve received from other amazing Mamas....I am sad. I’m sad that he is growing and changing and we are missing it. I seriously want to hop a plane NOW.

All last weekend Davis pretended to be flying on a plane to Ethiopia to pick up her baby brother. Even when we grew weary of the game she just flew by herself and would say, “Look Mama! It’s my baby brudder! I went to pick him up all by myself...cuz I’m four years old and I can do that!”

When the phone finally rings with the lovely 817 area code we will receive two dates. One for the date our case will be presented to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, MOWA, and a second date for when we will go before the Ethiopian courts to make our statement of desire to adopt this child. MOWA must rule favorably on our case before moving to step 2 and we only have to be present for this second step.

And then?? Yup, you guessed it, we wait. The wait between passing court and the U.S. Embassy date is approx 2-6 weeks. It all depends on how many families are in the queue. We can either come back home while we wait for our embassy date, or we can stay in-country.

The moments we get down or frustrated or sad, we look at these pictures and video of a BEAUTIFUL BOY and we fall head-over-heels-in-love over and over and over. And we know that once we have him home all of this will fade and none of this waiting will matter one bit.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9.11



My heart and mind can instantly go back to that day nine years ago as if it were yesterday.

There is only one word to explain the feeling:
Heartbreak.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Name game.

We still have not decided on a name.

Davis has been throwing names in the hat for months. Here they are in a list, complete with her very solid and sure arguments for her choices.

Davis.
Mama: Really, Davis? TWO Davises?
Davis: Yes, TWO. Then you can just say "Daaaaaaaaaaavis" and we will both come running."
hmmmmm. Efficient. I like that.

Orla.
Davis' BFF had a baby sister in July. Her name is Orla.
Mama: TWO Orlas? Even if it's a brother? Orla?
Davis: Yes, then M will have an Orla and I will have an Orla. And it will be fair."
Laughter. But we eventually have to be very direct that there would not be TWO Orlas. She does not believe us.

Spencer. Nicholas. Jada.
Little brother of another friend. Children of two other babysitters in our neighborhood. Same reasoning as above.

In the car coming back from seeing Lion King with Mama, Auntie K, Mimi and fav cousin M, she says randomly "What about Luca for a name?"
Mama: I LIKE that.
Davis in disbelief/shock: You DO!?!

Other names in the mix:
Shu Shu, Tootsie, La La,
and my all time fav, Miss LaRose.

The story of THE call.

Here's how it all went down.

Monday morning Rolyn and I head to the NY International Gift Fair to work our booth for wee see. These are long days but also fun. The first two days of the show were great. I am wondering constantly where we will go IF we get the call. I have my flip camera in my purse, justincase. Monday comes and almost goes. About 10 to 5 I say to Rolyn, "Well, siiiiiigh, I guess it's not coming today." There was no need to explain that IT was. He simply answered, "yup."

My little cousin and her husband flew in earlier that day to spend the week. I sent a text asking where they were. They had stopped for a bathroom break and a cold drink at a bar just a few blocks from the convention center. So I decide to leave early to meet up with T&D and then head home. I mean, because, the call is NOT happening today...

So excited to see them and we are chatting away. They had been to our place and spent some time with Davis and then bravely headed into the city to explore. We were in the middle of the crazy scary story of how their house burned down just a month ago... when. my. phone. rang. 817.

I stared at the number in disbelief. And then thought ok, who is this? See I have lots of friends and family members that live in the 817 area code. Recently the IT dept at work "fixed" my email by deleting all of my contacts, so sometimes I'd get a call from 817... get excited and then it would not be the call. This has happened more than twice.

But. Something felt different as I said "Hello?" Then I heard Natalie's voice and the words "Hello Heather I have your referral!"

Instant tears. Bawling. Joy.

T&D knew what was happening but no one else in the bar did. I told Natalie I was not with Rolyn and I needed to call her back. Just as I was about to hang up, she mentioned I should write down her number. Oh. Right. Yes. So I look at our bartender and say scream "I NEED A PEN!" Every bartender handed me a pen. I wrote down the number and then realized this might look like something tragic just happened so I told the bartender this was HAPPINESS. T&D explained to everyone as I told Natalie I'd call her back in 10 minutes.

My head is spinning. WHAT?! This is it?! Where am I?

We hop into a taxi, going the wrong way, and head back to the convention center. I decide not to call Rolyn to warn him. And then it hit me I didn't ask if it was a boy or a girl! This was the one piece of info we had agreed I could ask Natalie before we could get together to hear all the info. And I completely spaced it. I told T&D how Davis had been certain it was a baby sister for months and months and months. That she was not backing down and I wondered if she was on to something. T&D then tell me Davis told them that she wanted a baby brother and that her baby was going to be a boy. REALLY??? Yes, really.

We get to the Wee See booth, I see Rolyn and again the tears start flowing. He is confused but he knows what's up. It's pretty much closing time at the show so we go out in the lobby to call Natalie back.

We were using my cell as a speaker phone and Rolyn pulls up the email on his phone. And then we saw our SON. There are no words. We are in awe. Instant LOVE.

We call our families. More tears.

We rush home to tell Davis. Rolyn and I spend the entire subway ride home flipping back and forth and forth and back through seven pictures of the most beautiful boy we've ever seen.

We let our babysitter go home for the day. Coincidentally another little cousin is at our place. She's here doing an internship for a few months and had stopped by to say hi to Davis. We sit on the sofa with Davis in between us. And then we show her his sweet face. "Awwwwwwwwwwww. He's so handsome!" declares Davis.

As we all prepare to have a champagne toast... we look over and see Davis flipping back and forth and forth and back between seven pictures. She is kissing the screen and talking to him and telling him how much she loves him. She was not doing this to put on a show for us. She is in her own world.

Tears.
Again.

And then she says, "Let's call him Tootsie!"

Smile.
Laughter.

Silent thought in my head: um, no. We shall not call him Tootsie.

Patience.

A good friend sent this to me after my desperate plea for patience on the book of face.



This wait is breaking my heart. Just want to hop a plane to Ethiopia and hold my boy. But for now, finding patience wherever I can will have to do.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Still on cloud 9.

I need to write down the details of the call. But life seems to be too busy to even pause. Hopefully this weekend we will have a moment to write and reflect.

This Mama is headed to Ethiopia to work in a hospital for the next month. She is taking a little package for us. So thankful that she will get to see our boy and give him some cuddles from NYC. She will also get to see her sweet boy as they received the call the day after us! woohooo!

Today we received a little update from this Mama. She said our boy is doing well and that she was able to get some great pics of him. I can't wait to see more!

More soon.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Feeling Blue...in a good way!

So sorry to keep all of you waiting. We've seriously been in a whirlwind.
After getting the call yesterday at 5pm it has been full on... we've have countless calls/video chats with family&friends and we're looking at seven pictures over and over and over and over.

My little cousin and her husband are here (so incredible to have them here for the call!) and we are still in the middle of a trade show. We are happy and exhausted. Not much free time to do much of anything. I thought I would be able to post about the call from my phone at the convention today, but that was not the case. Sorry! I would have killed me if I were you. ;)

I can barely hold my eyes open at the moment. TIRED is not a tired enough word.

Sooooooooooooo here is the skinny (in brief because Mama is going to bed!)

It's a BOY!!!
He is 5 months old.
We are head over heels in love.
He is Precious. Divine. Gorgeous.
or as Davis would say "Awwwwwwwwwww. He's so handsome!"

Happier than happy.
And.
Wishing I could go to sleep until we have our embassy date. Not really, as I would miss Davis' first day of school, but kinda.
If you don't know what I mean, trust me, if you are still in the adoption process you will.

woooooooooooooohoooooooooooooooooo!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lovely Day, indeed.



Details coming SOON!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

For Realz.

Number One.
Blue or Pink?

Davis still says baby sister with a little tone of exasperation in her voice as I think she's just as tired of not knowing as we are! ha!.

We will be at the NY International Gift Fair selling Wee See through next Wednesday so posting will be sparse. Yesterday was our first day and it went well but it was exhausting. Only FOUR more days to go. Six Museum shops placed orders yesterday which was wonderful and validating too. We were a bit worried at the beginning of the day that we would get no orders...you know kind of like having a party and wondering if anyone is coming? I'll post a pic of our booth at some point. It's pretty crazy because every other booth is color overload and we are all black and white.

Would be fitting to get a referral while working in the Baby & Child section of a trade show, no?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

At some point....

...my phone will ring. It just wasn't: in the car on the way upstate for our big 4th of July celebration, on Davis' birthday or on the 11th etc etc.

But at some point my phone WILL ring.

Right? It will ring? Please say yes.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

11.

Anyone that know us in real life knows that we have some serious number eleven mojo. For a moment or two it seemed like it was bad but overall if you look at everything it is mostly all good. So today is August 11. My girlfriend V predicted months ago that we would get our referral in August. hmmmmm. Then at the beginning of July when we were at the top (haha) of the list she again predicted 8/11 would be the day we got the call.

So V, I hope you are right. And if you are, could you send me six numbers that you are feelin'?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Phew.

Thank you everyone who commented on my last post who either A: also needs to make an appointment with the eye doctor or B: saw the AND SIBLING that clearly must have changed somewhere in the process but was not updated on the list!

Regardless, I feel less crazy than I did last week. It also confirms I do in fact have friends out there in Blogstonia. I was wondering why none of you sent me a gentle nudge with a stage whisper "Hey, er ummm, Heather I think you might want to recount your place on the list." Unless of course you hated me. So today I feel happy this is not the case. You do love me, or at least you don't hate me. Right?

Come on Monday.
Bring it.
We're ready.
All. Of. Us.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I think I might need glasses.

Yesterday as I was looking at the list for the one billionth time...
I noticed that there was indeed a referral this week! On Monday!

Dear Barrett Family,
First let me say congratulations on your new son! I hope the process goes quickly for you when courts reopen in October. Secondly, I must apologize for misreading your child preference profile, for some reason I only saw the AND sibling part....and here I've been thinking I was number 1 for a boy for the past six weeks, and number 1 for a girl for the past two weeks. DUH. Though it sure makes sense why my phone has been silent. I wish you had a blog so I could post a message to you. If you've been reading my blog and thinking "who does she think she is?!" well, that would be a totally valid thought. I'm even thinking "who do I think I am!?" I do hope you see my apology. :)
Best,
Heather

NOW....we are (un)officially number 1 for either a boy or a girl.
If you could see my face right now, you'd see it is beet red from the 'DUH! Heather!' that is rolling around in my head.

Anywho, back to the wait.

Hoping for phone calls for these two families THIS week please. They have been truly waiting at the top of the list for long enough. Unlike me who's only been there for, ahem, 2 days.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

FOUR.


Today my baby turns four. Not sure how it's possible. We are still pinching ourselves that she is HERE much less four years old. She is our brightest light and keeps us in tears from laughter. I am so proud and grateful to be here Mama. Rolyn is so proud and grateful to be her Daddy.

Today she slowly stood up in bed so big and so strong. In her head I could tell she felt different. She felt bigger and smarter and more special that she did the day before. So awesome. I remember that feeling as a child.

As she was sitting at her new "artist table" that was her birthday prezzie (IKEA hack by Daddy, quite impressive if I do say) she said, "Mama, maybe today is the day that I will be a big sister! A four year old BIG SISTER!"

Me too sweet Davis, me too.

p.s. I am also thinking of all the mamas who are becoming first time mamas right now. I know it's an amazing feeling. There is nothing like it in the world! Congratulations to ALL of you lovely women. Hoping for good news from this mama today too! xo

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Thank You.

Just wanted to post a thank you to for all the words of love and support.

While the phone still has not rang with 817 we've been a bit distracted with an big bad asthma attack that started in the early morning of Thursday and is still not completely over. We were off to the ER about 5:45 a.m. after a pretty much sleepless night. In the car I couldn't help but think about this new mama and her experience in Ethiopia with a sick child. I cannot imagine having a sick baby and not being able to find medical care. Thankfully everything worked out for Heidi and her precious boy when they happened upon a hospital(after stopping at several others without a doctor available) that was not only staffed by a doctor but one that was just right for what they needed.

Davis handled all of this like a champ (and was quite pleased that there were no shots involved). Her mama and daddy have a few more grey hairs. She's on the mend and I suppose so are we. A good nights sleep would be nice, maybe tonight that will come.

Monday we'll be back to waiting...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

No news is....well, no news.

I've decided not to post anything else until we get the call.
I have nothing left to say that is clever.
And definitely nothing to say that is profound.
I can't really manage much of a laugh either.
I know it will come.
But I've sort of given up on July.
It will come when it comes and I have
no control
over it. And that's ok. Sort of.
I think I'll take a walk around the block and
try
to get my mind on something else for awhile.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

50/50

This is getting craaaaaaaaaazy.

p.s. BIG congrats to the Sherman Family!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How am I feeling?




Thank you for asking!

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 18.




Life has been so busy I missed our 7 months waiting post.
Here's to month SEVEN being LUCKY.

Contradictions.

No call yet. But we've moved up a bit on the "pink" side! The suspense continues.

Rolyn is coming home tomorrow from his long trip in la la land. And here is where the contradiction begins....

Tomorrow would not be an ideal day to get the call. Rolyn will board an airplane in California and will be in the air approximately six hours. All of which are during normal business hours. IF the call comes tomorrow, chances are he will be unreachable and I just might lose my mind.

After sixteen days of come-on-phone-ring, I'm now wishing it not to ring. Wednesday will be a great day for the call.

I emailed our social worker and asked if our referral comes in tomorrow to please wait to call us on Wednesday. I felt a little bit like a crazy person writing that email, but I can't imagine what kind of crazy I would be knowing that our referral info is here, but having to wait a whole night to actually hear and see.

closer. closer. closer.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I have all kinds of love for this.



My favorite part is when he says, "What does this MEAN???"

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The more I wait for the phone to ring, the more I hear this...



Which proves you can find just about anything on the tube of you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

odds.

Odds are this baby (whenever they come!) is going to be a boy. Right? We are #1 on the list for a boy and #4 for a girl. NO WAY we get matched with a baby girl, right? Add to that, this year out of the 18 Gladney families that did not have a gender preference, 16 were referred boys and 2 girls. I really do not care one way or the other. Really. If I had, I would have said from the get and that would have been it. No surprises. But, it's weird... I've now had three dreams in a row about this little babe, and it's a girl everytime.

Oh the things to obsess about when you are waitingforyourphonetoring eight hours a day for 12 days straight and yet it remains painfully silent.

So anyone feel like the betting type tonight?
Pink?
or Blue?
whatcha think?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

¡Viva España!

Who are you cheering for?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I had a dream...

Last night I had a dream. I saw my sweet baby's face.
I am ready to see this child in real life, in the flesh.
To hold them close to my heart and feel two hearts beating.
I feel anxious about the next step. The wait for a court date after our referral.
My heart breaks at the thought of that wait.

This morning Davis asked me, "What happens when you have a broken heart?"
I replied, "You are really sad."
"And then what happens when your heart isn't broken anymore?"
"You aren't sad anymore."

It sounded so simplistic, but she's 3. And some of it was true. Our hearts were broken into a million pieces before Davis was born. And when she arrived she was the magic glue that put those pieces back together. There will always be a bit of "sad" in there. Missing Tess and Oliver.

Our next baby, when he/she arrives will be a new magic glue. I also expect there to be a bit of "sad" in there. Sad for the circumstances, the beginning of the story. But the bigger picture, the day to day, I expect to be filled with Love and Happiness. I hope I will be enough for this baby and they will feel it too.

Friday, July 9, 2010

No referral today.

Boo.
:(
Rolyn off on a jet plane to sunny LA for the next 11 days. I'm happy my mom, sister and one of my nieces will arrive in nyc in just a few days. Davis and I will be super busy so here's to hoping days pass quickly.

I'm excited for all the Gladney families traveling for court dates, and those traveling to bring their babies home! I hope there are loads of court dates coming soon for those families that have had their referrals for awhile...I know that wait is the hard one.

Court officially closes Aug 6 until end of September / early October.
That's all I've got for now my peeps.
sigh.

Books.


When we first made the decision to adopt from Ethiopia I bought this book. There were chapters in this book that I could not read on my morning commute because they were too upsetting. (Bawling on the subway amongst commuters can be a little weird.) There are moments in this book that now, still, just thinking about bring tears to my eyes. But there is also a string of HOPE and so much love by one woman who by chance, in dealing with her own grief of losing a child to AIDS, stumbled into caring for orphaned children. Lots of them. It also has incredible amounts of history of Ethiopia as a country and how and why of some of the greatest catastrophes came to happen. I loved it. Could not put it down actually, even when I felt my heart would break into a million pieces. It is a must read.

I am currently reading this book. I am turning pages in awe of the information and so incredibly grateful I found this book NOW. I'm not that far into it, but I do know that it will become our go-to book for years to come.


I've also ordered a few children's books on adoption. Both for Davis and her little friends who are all very very interested in the whole idea of adoption. I'll give my reviews of those soon.

What are you reading?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I have no idea what day of the wait it is...

I just know I feel CRAZY.

Now what?

I've told and retold this story so many times but decided to put it here just in case there is someone that has not hear what "the call" means, what will happen next.

When we get matched with a baby it is called a Referral.
Our social worker from Gladney will call and say "I have a referral for you!"
Then Rolyn and I will rush home so we can be together to meet our baby.
We will call Natalie back and she will send an email with our child's file that will include pictures of the baby, all of their medical information as well as their background story. Then Natalie will walk us through all of this information and we will have a few days to accept our referral and move on to the next part of the wait. We will not be able to post any pictures of the baby online until we pass court. This is a very strict rule in all adoptions from Ethiopia. It will be hard as I'm sure we will want to scream from the rooftops and show EVERYONE our baby's sweet face.

Rolyn and I have decided that we will most likely keep the baby's background story between the two of us. We will not be sharing this for many reasons, but mostly because we feel it will be our baby's story to share when he or she is comfortable. I know this will be hard as many people are very curious, but it is what we feel will be best for our baby.

The next step will be waiting for a court date. The courts in Ethiopia close for the months of August and September so we expect a court date in October/November. Rolyn and I will be required to be present for this court hearing. We will have met our baby, but until we pass court will not be legally his/her parents. We will then have to return home (leaving our baby in the loving hands of Gladney caregivers) until we recieve our date to meet with the US embassy in Ethiopia. This takes approximately 4-6 weeks after passing court. Then we will travel to bring our baby home. Oh happy day!

I. can't. wait.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 8.

I'm feeling a bit more relaxed with the wait. I think after coming off 3 full days of not thinking about it, ok, wait, that's a lie. I was actually saying to myself I wasn't thinking about it today, but I was really thinking "hmmmmmm. Maybe we could still get our referral today, even though Gladney is closed. That would be a surprise!" ALL day.

Now that it's happy hour. I'm back to being relaxed with the wait. ;)
Check with me tomorrow, we'll see how long the Zen lasts this time.

Keeping with the music theme I've somehow started for myself, I'll leave you with this:



p.s. I would like to add one teeny request the the Universe. Please let my referral come before Friday. Rolyn leaves Friday evening and will be gone for 10 days...I would really really love for us to be together for the call. BUT don't get me wrong, if it has to come during those 10 days, we'll take it. Please don't wait. mmmmkay?

The day off.





Gladney is closed today for the July 4th holiday. Even though it's a Monday, we do not expect our referral today. We don't have to go to work either, it's a double-day-off!


Our July 4th weekend upstate was fun. Lots of sun, swimming, good food, good drink and great friends. I gave Davis her first haircut. Yes, she's almost 4 and this was her first haircut. Little lady didn't really have ANY hair until she was 2 and she had some catching up to do. We made it home to see the NYC fireworks from our rooftop. Davis unfortunately was fast asleep. She started a 2 week camp today so she needed to get a good night rest. We dropped her off this morning, she is going to have a blast. I'm so excited because there is a family in our hood that recently adopted two girls from Ethiopia age 3 and 5 and I've had several people tell me about them. So far no one has actually had contact info, but this morning I noticed this beautiful little one about 5yrs old and I asked if her mother's name was A and it is! YAY! Hopefully at pick-up time I will get to meet her. Cool.

I'm off to finish sewing the curtains and not wait for the phone to ring.
Stay cool everyone. It's gonna be a hot one today!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Thursday, July 1, 2010

5pm. Day 4. So much for my Zen.



though I do have to admit seeing Freddie in those tight white shorts put a smile on my face!

Day 4.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tune for Tuesday.



Of course I'm listening quietly so I can hear my phone ring.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Butterflies.

Dear Universe,
Please let this call come soon. Today would be nice, but I'd take tomorrow too.
My stomach is full of butterflies and well, I'm not sure I will get ANYthing done until we get the call.
Wait, was that my phone?
oh. Nope.
I think I have to change my ring tone to this:


Ok, that's all for today....unless of course, the phone riiiiiiiiiiiiiiings!
Love and light.
Heather

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Reality. Or maybe I should say lack of...

I know we will not be getting "the call" on a Saturday.
So why do I have these butterflies in my belly?

Deep breath. Was that my phone? Deep breath. Was that my phone? Deeeeeep breath. And so it goes...on and on 'til the break of dawn.

Seriously, has ANYone heard of a family that got "the call" over the weekend? No? ok. Just checking.

Friday, June 25, 2010

One. Blue.

What? Really? Yes, really.
#1 for a boy and #5 for a girl.

Starting Monday, this shall be the daily mantra:
Deep breath. Was that my phone? Deep breath. Was that my phone? Deep breath.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Feeling Blue.

So another referral yesterday. Yay! So exciting!
That means we are #2 for a boy and #6 for a girl.
Originally when we started talking about adoption, this baby in my head was a girl...but it's now looking pretty blue 'round these parts. I've started talking to Davis about this and she seems ok with a brother as long as she gets to be the BIG sister. I suppose in her head it clinches being the "line leader" forever and ever.

I would also like to record for history purposes this conversation I had with Davis on May 1.
We were visiting family in TX and driving in the car and this is the back and forth:
Davis> "Mama, I think my baby's birthday is today."
Me> "Your baby doll Ruby?"
Davis>"No Mama, MY baby in Africa. It's their birthday."
Me> "You mean they are turning one?"
Davis> "No Mama, it is the first birthday ever. I think MY baby's birthday is today."

If it turns out this baby was born on May 1, after a bit of a mama-freak-out, I will immediately have Davis select six numbers for a lotto ticket.

Friday, June 18, 2010

June 18.

Happy 41 to me but the biggest news today is we are six months into the wait. The last few have been especially hard, I can only imagine it gets harder from here. I received a few 817 area code Happy Birthday calls and because my phone contacts were wiped out, every call made my heart skip. We are currently number 3 for a boy and number 7 for a girl. wooohooo!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Closer.

Just as I was starting to get down with the sloooowness of things...today, two referrals!
If you could see my face you'd see lots of smiling.

And now I'm starting to kind of freak out with my lack of planning ahead.
I mean we haven't been sleeping with a stuffed animal for months that we would send with another traveling family so our babe will know our scent. And a little photo book to send...well we gotta get on that too! and shots and shots...we need to make appointments for vaccines.

As if blog stalking is not exhausting enough, now I have planning to do.
For now, I'm gonna take my smiling face to bed.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A girls gotta dream, right?

So. Friday is my birthday. 41.
After last year's amazing gift organized by the best husband and father on the planet and made possible by lots of friends and family....am I crazy to dream of a referral for my birthday? Especially when there are so many ahead of me on the list? Have there ever been so many referrals in ONE week? hmmmm, maybe I should go back and check. Honestly, with my mad stalker skilz, I cannot believe this fact has not already been calculated! hmmmmm.

You have to admit it would be the best present e-vah.

I have a girlfriend who says August is our month, but secretly I was hoping she got her vision slightly crossed and that August would be the month to bring this child home.

Friday also marks 6 months waiting. Which is less than average wait time for our agency. I have never ever hoped and wished to be less than average more in my life!

Currently top o' the play list.
This song by my all time fav Built to Spill (the lyrics=perfection)

The Wait

You wait
You wait
You wait for summer,
Then you wait for rain
You wait
You wait
You wait for darkness then you wait for day
Yeah, you wait
You wait
You wait

And she said patience, patience, darling
Patience, patience, it will come

You wait
You wait
You wait for August,
Then you wait for May
You wait
You wait
You wait to get up,
Then you wait to play
You wait
You wait
You wait for someone that'll make the waiting worth the wait
You wait
You wait
You wait

And she says patience, patience, darling
Patience, patience, it will come

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Four Years Ago...

World Cup Soccer happens every four years. Here in NYC it's some serious WC fever.
Both Rolyn and I could not wait for it to start. And then yesterday, it did. We were both at work and both posted a similar status to the book of face within minutes of each other. That first game with the sounds and images took us back to four years ago. I had just been admitted to the hospital unexpectedly. Well not really unexpected but we really really hoped that it would not happen. I was 29 weeks pregnant with Davis. I had been on modified bed rest since week 12 and full-on-flat-out-bed-rest since week 20. At my weekly dr. appointment my cervix had dramatically shortened and my doc did not hesitate to admit me immediately. They hooked me up to a constant pump of meds that kept my uterus calm and made me feel speedy. And we waited. Begging borrowing and pleading that this baby would stay put. We waited and we held our breaths and we watched soccer.

6.5 weeks later. Davis arrived, 4 weeks 2 days early. She was 7lbs 3oz (go bed rest) and screaming. Which was what I needed. A screaming baby meant she was alive and she was here. Having given birth the year before to silent babies, all I wanted to hear was screaming. We had finally done it. We made it through 3 ivf cycles and 35 weeks 5 days of anxiety and we were on the "other side" SHE was here and she was healthy. Beautiful. In that moment it did not matter that I had been in bed for so long or all that I went through to even get pregnant. It just didn't matter. She was here! She has healed our hearts in the way they could be healed. She has also made us miss our Tess and Oliver and all that we missed with losing them.

Fast forward to four years later. As World Cup starts we again find ourselves waiting. The anxiety is there too but not the same as with Davis. But it's there. And funny enough some of the same questions of When? How? Boy? Girl? Well, they are all there too.

So I keep telling myself that once we are on the "other side" of all of this. Once we have this sweet baby, OUR baby, in our arms and in our home and in our family. None of this wait will matter. None of the paperwork, the changes in the process, and did I mention the wait? oh the WAIT. None of it will matter.

I'm not saying that I have forgotten about the heartache and anxiety that was the road to Davis. But I am saying that it's faded. It's not front and center. In the big picture it's just part of the story. The beginning.

So here we go. Watching World Cup Soccer, thankfully not flat out in a hospital bed, and we are waiting again. Waiting for the story to play itself out. I expect there to be bumps in this road that we've yet to encounter and that makes me anxious. I have faith that we will make it through and I know in the end this will all just be part of the story. The beginning.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Professions I'm not cut out for...

Professional (adoption blog) Stalker.
Although I believe I now have stellar qualifications, I do not think this would be a good career match for me. It's. Exhausting.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

You're Invited!

....to obsess with me.

The phone lines have been down this week so far in Ethiopia. These families with court dates on June 1 must be going crazy. I know I would be. I keep checking their blogs hourly just in case the phone lines come up and they hear good news. So when it comes time for our court date. Well, yeah, crazy might not be crazy enough a word to describe my feelings.

Current obsession, after I've checked on families with court dates, is looking at the list. While there is a wide range of time lines our agency gives as reference, the date you get your referral, court date and US embassy date all seem arbitrary. I know that they are not, as every child has it's own history and paperwork and situation that affect everything. On the outside looking in, why two families that receive a referral the same week can then go on markedly different wait times for a court date etc. does seem arbitrary. Even though it's not. This is currently happening. One family in Ethiopia bringing a child home and one family still waiting for a court date. But they received their referral within days of each other. ahhhhhhhhh. The hows and the whys are all just part of this process of InternationalAdoption. Sometimes the answers are simple and sometime there are simply no answers.

But still. I obsess. Currently we are around number 8 on the list. Last year during the month of June there were more than 10 referrals. Of those almost all passed court before court closed for the rainy season. BUT that was last year before the new laws were passed therefore probably not best to compare, right? Yeah. But. Oh how I would love for this to happen again this year! Because yes, it would be great to get baby home asap...but also because our bonding time, my maternity leave (which will be unpaid. hot topic for another post.) would be happening end of summer into early Fall. Perfect for NYC. I was swinging in the hammock with Davis last night and all I could think of is how awesome it will be to do this holding both of my children. Which won't be happening in November-February folks. In fact for me November is the most miserable month here...the days are short. It's dark in the morning and it's dark by 4pm. I'll take the snow and rain in April over the November dark any day. ok, if I am totally honest when it's freezing cold in February I'm pretty miserable too. November seems to mark the end of Fall, so that stands out and best illustrates my obsession over timing. ;)

Crazy. Yes, I'm obsessing and working out calendar days on something completely 100% out of my control and really cannot be compared to this case or that case or what happened last year. Because when we do receive our referral, it will be our case. And our case will be unique. Maybe everything will be in perfect order and we will be expedited through the system and maybe it will be quite the opposite. For now, I will sit on the side that is happy and hopeful all is in order for us to hear news soon, and time is on our side. Even if it's not, I know in the end none of this will matter and life will be good.

But.

It sure does pass the time to obsess a little, no?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Repeat.

1. Turn on computer.
2. Go here.
3. Look at the list of waiting families.
4. Note that nothing has changed.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 over and over and over.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Overflow.

Reading all the comments on Heidi's baby shower blog have me bawling in my office.
Reading this this this and this also have me bawling.

Am I just super sensitive? Hormonal? Completely normal?

All I keep thinking is "good grief how the heck am I going to get through OUR story with one memory, interaction or picture that doesn't have me rockin' the ugly cry face?"

Note to self: Pack kleenex. Lots of 'em.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Single digits.

I had a different post in mind for today. But then I found out we have broken into the single digits on the unofficial list of waiting Gladney families...and well, that just took over!

It's feeling really real now. My plan of not thinking about any baby news until September/October is officially out the window. Seriously, who was I kidding? I was trying to keep my expectations low so as to not be disappointed. Impossible.

Congrats to all the Gladney families that have received referrals and especially those that have passed court in the last few weeks. It's all very exciting and gives me much hope.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Love and loss.

The past few weeks have been oddly quiet on the referral front. We have not budged one spot on the wait list. It's probably not a coincidence that with this "quiet" there has been everything but quiet in my head. Thoughts have been creeping in for some time now and the closer we get to this actually happening, the more real it becomes, the more my thoughts about loss have taken over my thoughts.

When we did our home study the social worker asked us what about this adoption were we "grieving" Which might sound odd that loss or grief would be or could be associated with adding a miracle to our family. But, the real fact is that adoption does come with a loss. Though the definition of loss is different for everyone involved.

For me, my answer was the grieving the loss of those first few days, weeks, months after our baby is born. That teeny baby stage that we will not be a part of or may not even know anything about. When Davis was born those first few weeks were like heaven. After the long road, the long wait and the months in bed and in the hospital, she was here. We floated. We pinched ourselves. 3.5 years later we are still pinching ourselves, soaking in every single moment. I don't want to miss one second of anything with this new baby either.

For our baby, the definition of loss is fairly obvious, everything. Their mother and father, possibly siblings, extended family, their country...

My thoughts have been filled with: Is this baby born? Has the tragic event already happened that will make my baby an orphan? Is there a mother, father, grandmother, somewhere hurting, debating a decision that will change many lives forever?

The pain of all of this can keep me awake at night. And brings tears to my eyes as I type. It can be difficult looking forward to something that will bring pure joy to me, knowing it might be causing the opposite emotion for someone else.

Love and loss.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Movin' UP.

So. We've packed up and moved from the second floor to the fourth. More space, better light and a massive roof deck. This happened right about the time that the weather turned and the referrals started rolling in for waiting Gladney families. It's exciting to read about everyone getting "the call" and really exciting to see our name move UP the [unofficial] wait list. It's all good in the hood.

We are pretty much settled in the new place. Just curtains that need to be sewed, er, by, ah-em, ME. Hopefully soon. We are updating all the paperwork that needs to be updated because changing your apartment number affects, well, EVERYthing. That's a bit of a bummer but it's keeping us busy and I'm doing my best to keep my brain occupied.

I think our little one must also have babies on the brain as she told the UPS delivery man all about her baby today. Let me say that Davis loves Harry. Harry loves Davis. He pulls he truck over to say hello when he passes her on the street. When we lived on the second floor Davis screamed at him from her window when she saw him downstairs. Loooooove is the word for Harry and Davis. And I love that Davis is getting excited about her new baby too.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Light.

After the afternoon spent feeling a bit sorry for myself, I started looking at this situation in a different light. While I believe the reasons the laws have changed do not have anything to do with, nor do they apply to, our agency, I do think they are rooted in a good, honest and well-intentioned place. And really, I suppose, I have no choice in the matter.

So. Enough with the whinging.

A little light for the darkness. Here is the list I came up with on my way home tonight why this could be a good thing.

1. We will make TWO trips to Ethiopia. That is twice the time to get to know the country, the culture, and the people of the birthplace of our child. (likely still not enough time, but better!)
2. Two trips means TWO chances to over pack suitcases with shoes, clothes, diapers, formula, school supplies, soccer balls etc. to deliver to those in need.
3. Maybe we will have the extra/time/chance to visit where charity:water is building the well. How cool would that be?
4. We will make TWO trips to Ethiopia. :)

I'm not going to think about how hard leaving Ethiopia will be after the first trip...at least not for now.

Sadness.

News today from Ethiopia. This does not mean that we cannot still adopt, but new policies have been implemented, effective today, that will require the adoptive family to appear in person in court to finalize the adoption. This means that Rolyn and I will have to travel to be there for the court date, then we will have to leave our baby in Ethiopia and return to the states to wait for our US Embassy date (which is currently a wait of 3-6 weeks after passing Ethiopian court). The thought of doing this makes me literally sick to my stomach. Thankfully our agency takes loving care of these children, but my heart is already hurting for the day that a long-awaited for baby will have to be left behind, even if it is for just a few weeks.

We knew going into this adoption that laws can change at ANY point in the process but...ugh.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Birthday.

2009 was one of those years that had one of those birthdays. You know the one that starts with a 4 and ends with an Oh. Honestly it was not as dreaded as I had imagined it might be. Aside from the mini freak out with the realization that I was in high school when my mother turned forty, and my grandmother was already a grandmother at 40. I wondered if Davis will even remember me turning 50. Other than that moment, there was just too much going on to think about it. We were full on into adoption paperwork and launching a new business and balancing everything with the almost-3-year-old and two full-time jobs. Rolyn felt horrible not acknowledging my "big" day. I told him puh-lease there were only so many hours in a day. I was really really fine with June 18 coming and going without any fanfare.

Or so I thought that was to be the case.

Somewhere around August or September Rolyn finally had a (little) moment to pause. Then he got an idea. A really big idea. A really really huge amazing idea. The PERFECT idea. And so he got to work all incognito and ninja like and made it happen.

Without me suspecting a thing. Seriously. Nothing. Me = Clueless.

Last weekend I thought we were headed to Rolyn's boss' apartment in the city for a little afternoon cocktail party to celebrate his new kitchen. Davis' babysitter came to hang with her, which for us is a rare weekend treat! On the way we were going to stop by a photography show at a local pub. Sounded like a nice afternoon to me. No pressure, no stress.

Little did I know that Rolyn was feeling so much pressure and stress he was about to pass out. Again, Me = Clueless.

We get to the pub and the door opens and I hear SURPRISE!
I was in such shock I could not even think. There standing before me were loads of friends and family. All singing Happy Birthday. As I slowly started to breathe again I realized that this was for me, I looked around the room. My parents, sister and brother-in-law, and three friends that are like family all flew in from Texas. Old friends and new friends from NYC that are my home away from home. Lots of beautiful children. I was in total disbelief (and still am even a week and half later)

He even set up a few video chats with friends in the South of France and Sydney that could not be there in person. Wow.

After watching/crying/laughing through an incredible slide show that had pictures of me as a baby through the next forty years of my life celebrating the big and little things with so many people that I love, I thought, "This is Awesome."

Little did I know how Awesome it was about to get.

Rolyn held up a flip chart. He asked me to read it out loud.

dear Heather,

In honor of your milestone birthday...

Your friends and family got together to raise...

$1,000...

then $2,000...

then $5,000!

...for a cause we know is dear to your heart.
charity: water.

Inspired by your generous spirit, 68 donations were made to provide 250 people in Africa with clean drinking water.

We love you.
Happy Birthday!

Needless to say I could not read much after $5,000. I was too moved to speak. Too teary to see. I have never felt so loved. And I thought, "It does not get better than this."

And then it did.

Today we received an email from charity:water

Hi Rolyn,
This is it!
In December we sent your funds to Ethiopia.
The construction has started, and we are ordering plaques to adhere to each water project site.
Yours will read:
Sponsored by: “Heather’s Big Heart”.

Thanks again and I look forward to following up with you in the coming months on our progress!
Best,
Christy
charity: water /charitywater.org


Ethiopia. This well is being built in Ethiopia.
Hands down. The Best Birthday Ever.