Sunday, December 25, 2011


p.s. update coming soon! Hope everyone has a magical holiday and VERY Happy New Year!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, indeed.

Today I got to open the best birthday gift ever...organized by the best husband ever and made possible by the best family and best friends a girl could ever ask for... again!

Many happy tears rolled while reading about these two wells.

The most awe inspiring and yet tragically sad charity:water campaign is Rachel's Campaign. I am certain she is smiling down at the thought of giving clean water to more than 60,000 people in her memory. Wow.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August 16

One year ago today we first saw this beautiful face.

Bekalu John. Our boy, always and forever.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Update...long overdue.

Ummmmm. Wow. It's been how long since I've posted?

I guess I will say life is busy. VERY busy. I still can't figure out how adding this small little person feels like we've added 200 people to this family.

Bek is doing great. Awesome. Really really awesome. I am still in awe how he has quickly found a comfy spot in our family. It seriously feels like he has always been here and it's only been 2 months since he was placed in our arms forever.

We've been to all the docs and the grand consensus is: He. Is. Perfect. :)

So here is the run down on Mr. Bek....

He quickly moved from the arms-up wobbly walker to running at top speed.
He is signing the word "More"
Home three weeks, he said his first word. "Hi!" complete with a wave.
Other words he's using regularly: Hi, Bye-bye, Mama, Dada (sometimes also Gaga. Rolyn has a nickname!) Davis (sometimes Day-day) Cat, Book, Baba (for bottle) and More.
He is eating everything in sight.
He's had one tooth come in, giving him the grand total of seven. I think eight is right around the corner.
He is a climber. He is a mover of small furniture in order to climb. He is fast. All small furniture is now in storage until further notice.
He might have extend-o arms and legs. I haven't seen it with my eyes but I have seen the consequences. New mantra "Nothing is Safe."
He likes the toilet, thankfully he has yet to figure out it flushes. I fear I will need the number of a good plumber one day soon.
He loooooves his big sister. He thinks she hung the moon. The feeling is reciprocated. (This makes Mama&Dada so happy.)
He is a Belieber. Sigh. Yes, thanks to the influence of the 4.5 yr old moon hanger, Justin Bieber can get him squealing in delight with some serious booty shaking.
He loves Sandra Boynton's Moo Baaaa LaLaLa. He can read it one million times a day....or more.
He loves Davis' markers. Again, thankfully he has yet to realize the cap comes off. I now have a stash of Magic Erasers specifically for this day.
He is a flirt. He is effective.
He is cheeky. Very, very cheeky.
He likes to pull his sister's hair. He likes to pretend to pull his sister's hair even more. He grabs a curl and then cuts his eyes over to me. See above.
His smile is GOLDEN.

While we were waiting to bring Bekalu John home we were desperate for the monthly update that had a brief description of what he was doing or some other bit of insight into his personality. Almost every update for seven months ended with "What a happy little guy!"
Rolyn and I used to laugh and even made fun of it, because it started feeling a bit canned. Bek has been home for almost nine weeks and I cannot tell you how many times I've heard someone say this phrase. Over and over. Every single doctor he has seen, other mamas at school pick-up (yes, here in Brooklyn there is no car-pool line. We all hang out waiting on the sidewalk) even strangers on the street or on the train... "What a happy little guy!"

You know what,? It's true. He IS a happy little guy.
And that makes me so happy, so grateful, I could cry.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

International Adoption Doctor appointment.

First, because this is likely to be a short story that I make long and I want you to get this tip, the one thing you should know that I had not even thought about before meeting with the doctor...she mentioned casually "Bekalu should not be bathing with ANYone until we get the results back from all the tests. After he bathes the tub should be cleaned with bleach." errrrrrrrrrrrrr, ummmmmmmmmm, eek. At this point Bekalu had been home 2.5 weeks and I couldn't WAIT to have my babies in the bath together. Finally. So yeah, they took a bath together almost every night. Lovely. So now we are bathing a bleaching over here. Oh how I long for two bathtubs.

I think I'm still traumatized from the blood draw. Bek seems to have forgotten all about it. In fact, the moment it was over he passed out for about 10 minutes and when we woke up it was as if he had already moved on... He was all smiley and cheeky and giving the doctor high-fives. She mentioned that babies don't have it in them to be mad. hmmmmmm. Maybe? The end of our appointment she apologized for the "extra stick" and in my head I thought "ssssssssssssssss" (as in extra stickSSSSS)

They took four huge vials of blood for all the testing that goes on, and it's "easier and faster" to draw from the jugular vein. Let me just say, this was not fun for anyone involved. Easier and faster would not be words I would use to describe this procedure. Poor little guy. The first stick was his left jugular vein. He was on the table with his head hanging off into her lap. There was another student in her 4th year of med school assisting. Rolyn was asked to lie on top of Bek to keep him still. I was on top of Rolyn reaching around to hold Bek's arms. He screamed. No, no, he HOWLED. It was horrible. And he is so strong that he could not be held down and the vein was punctured rendering it useless.

Stick two: Left arm. For this try they broke out the papoose. My heart rate suddenly increased. One of my earliest childhood memories is being released from such a device. I had to get three stitches in my head and my father almost walked out of the ER with me because they could not hold me down for three measly stitches. The papoose was brought in and three stiches were stitched. I still remember the feeling when they released me....

Back to Bek... They strapped him in and he was still howling. Stick number two painfully and painfully slowly filled one vial of blood before Bek won again. He literally forced the needle out of the vein and broke free of the papoose to get his thumb in his mouth. POOR BABY!

Stick three back to the jugular but this time the other side. At this point it was as if he had all but resigned himself to the blood draw. He still struggled and howled but he had lost some strength in his fight. I was so relieved when we were done and he was soaked with sweat and limp from exhaustion. He curled up and passed out. Little love.

The rest of the appointment went great. Dr. Aronson is a pro and her practice is solely children who have been adopted. She spent the next hour+ checking him out head to toe and asking questions about all the things he is doing. She did a consultation of our referral paperwork back in August so she has been with us from the start. She stated emphatically "The scale and measuring tape in ET were clearly wrong. Which is fine, and is to be expected really. But THIS is NOT the same boy in your referral paperwork." I just smiled and said ok, but in my head I was thinking THANK YOU Gladney. THANK YOU amazing and loving nannies who took care of my son for eight months. It affirmed why we chose this agency. After seeing the care centers and the work that Gladney and Gladney families do for the children of Ethiopia (and not just the ones who will be adopted) with my own eyes I knew we had made the right choice. 100%. Dr. Aronson just gave me affirmation yet again.

Her assessment was "He is perfect." A fact I could have told her myself, but it was nice to hear from a doctor who has likely seen it all. She said he seems to be advanced in the amount of "words" he's using and the inflection in his babble made her very happy. She did not expect to get any crazy results back from the test they were running. We left with referrals for five other doctors to see. So we're not over this yet...but we feel great about the physical health of our boy.

My favorite part of this story is the four days of testing that required stool samples be dropped off at a lab. Favorite part? Really Heather? Yes! This has by far been the easiest thing we've done so far in this whole adoption. For one Bek completely cooperated with giving us the goods and get this...the lab for drop off is only two blocks from our apartment. :)

I'm looking forward to Bekalu being in the "all clear" and soon will be visiting the "normal" pediatrician, like a "normal" boy...for well visits of course!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Thank you to everyone that came by yesterday and remembered T&O with me. Even if you didn't comment, I saw the spike on my tracker. I definitely felt the love yesterday.

My mind drifted all day and one thing that I kept coming back to was this map. It charts the infant mortality rate across the world. The number of infant deaths under one year of age per 1,000 births. Ethiopia's number is 81. That's almost 10%. And they are nowhere near top of the list. In fact, they are number twenty. In Angola the infant death rate more than doubles to 180. Afghanistan, 152.

If a baby is lucky enough to survive birth, the next statistic to conquer is the child mortality rate. One of unicef's goals is to reduce the child mortality world wide.

About 29,000 children under the age of five – 21 each minute – die every day, mainly from preventable causes.

More than 70 per cent of almost 11 million child deaths every year are attributable to six causes: diarrhoea, malaria, neonatal infection, pneumonia, preterm delivery, or lack of oxygen at birth.

These deaths occur mainly in the developing world. An Ethiopian child is 30 times more likely to die by his or her fifth birthday than a child in Western Europe. Among deaths in children, South-central Asia has the highest number of neonatal deaths, while sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates. Two-thirds of deaths occur in just 10 countries.

And the majority are preventable. Some of the deaths occur from illnesses like measles, malaria or tetanus.

The orphanage where Bekalu was for a brief moment before Gladney took him into their care lost SEVEN babies in one night last year. Seven babies. Why did these babies die? Chicken Pox. Yes, you read that correctly. Chicken Pox. The thought, no the reality of this breaks my heart into a million pieces.

I cannot imagine having a sick or hungry child and being able to do nothing. The problem feels so huge and massive when you look at the numbers doesn't it? I am not sure what the answer is really. But yesterday this information weighed on my heart. And it makes me so grateful that that my beautiful boy was not one of eight-one. So grateful he landed in Gladney's care and was matched with be our son. I'm also thankful I myself was not born in an impoverished country that is war torn, or in the midst of famine and drought. Clean water (or WATER of any kind) is readily available, I don't have to decide whether to send my daughter to school or to collect water for her family. My fate not sealed merely by the location of my birth.

Today and everyday I'm thinking of all the strong mothers and fathers across the planet that are forced to hold broken hearts. Because a broken heart is a heavy load to carry.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Tess and Oliver. Sweet tiny babies born too tiny for this world. Yet not too tiny to leave without great impact. We have two holes in our family that will never ever be filled. I can't tell you how many I times I have wondered what your voices would sound like screeching/singing/laughing through this home. How snugly your hugs would have been. How sweet your kisses.

We should be planning a big huge bash right now. With pirates and princesses, friends and family, balloons and rainbow cake.

Sigh. SIX years. Each year I think 'next year will be easier' and it's not. I don't think easy is a word that will ever make sense in the realm of a child dying.

Tess and Oliver. Sweet perfect tiny little babies.
Mommy and Daddy love you and miss you more than words can say.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I claim "New Baby Brain"...

Moments after publishing the last post we were on our way to Bekalu's appointment to the International Adoption Pediatrician, which will be a post on it's own...we were packing up the diaper bag and I found our ET customs form and I remembered yet another tip! ha.

Bring a pen with you on both trips and have it handy. You will also need the details of where you are staying in country, your flight number and your passport number/place&date of issue. If you don't have a pen of your own you will have to rely on the kindness of strangers, which is fine but probably one little thing that would be less stressful to just avoid. We were ok on trip 1 but trip 2 for whatever reason (ummmmm, we left within 48 hours of a confirmed embassy appointment? Maybe.) we never had a pen handy and I also did not have the address for Bjoe House written down. Anywhere. Yes, I felt like the dumb American saying... "Oh, yeah we didn't fill out that part because we are not really sure of the address we are staying." Because the smart American would have just said "The Hilton or the Sheraton" right?

I dunno. Whatevs. Learn from me people. Bring a pen and the deets for where you are staying. :)

p.s. exactly how long can one claim "New Baby Brain", anyone? Please, please someone say "For the next 10 years." At least.

Monday, April 4, 2011

one more thing, I swear this is it...

I really cannot believe I forgot to mention this tip. It bugged me every single day on BOTH trip #1 and trip #2.

Wear a watch. Here at home I totally rely on my phone for the time. We had one phone to share in ET and I rarely had it on me. I probably asked 100 times a day "what time is it?" The second trip was even worse because I was trying to keep track of when Bekalu ate last.

Ok, really, I think that's it.
No more tips from me. ...until I wake up thinking about something else you really reallly realllllly need to know.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Trip#2 Tips: edited to add....

I still have this changing pad from when Davis was a baby. I have the denim one and you can just throw it in the washer. So glad I kept it. No need for a changing table with this boy because he'd roll off it in a flash. I may not even need this changing pad for long because I seem to be acquiring the ability to diaper him as he is running away. Boys.

Also forgot to mention these Happy Baby Melts. Bek loves them and so does Davis. They are really yummy and have probiotics in them, good for tummy problems. He's eating this oatmeal for the same reasons. Plus DHA which is good for the brain and eyes. For you first time mamas, cereal/oatmeal etc can sometimes constipate, so I always add some fruit to the meal he has cereal. Plum Organic even has prunes that Bek seems to think are tasty!

We bought these Playtex spoons and they work great with the food packs since the handle is long.

Rolyn reminded me we wished for more money on this trip because we bought art at Makush and 2 suitcases of coffee beans. Just thought I should clarify my previous $$ comment.

***Please note, anyone who may have received an email from me saying Rolyn and I are trapped in the UK. We are not. Do not even answer this evil person. My "book of face" account was hacked and I am no longer in control of it. Unfortunately there is no way to contact FB to get answers or figure it out. I spent all day yesterday trying to regain control and in the process Rolyn is now locked out of HIS FB account. It makes me so sad that people will go to such great lengths to rip people off. If only they worked so hard to do something good...this world would be amazing.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Trip #2 Tips.

I have a post in my head about both our trip for court and our trip to bring Bekalu home...but I'm feeling the urge to post these tips for traveling families first. I'm thinking positively that this week brings great news and there will be 20+ Gladney families traveling for embassy dates and 24+ children will soon with be with their forever families, forever.

Ok, trip TWO! woohooo! We had about 48 hours to get packed. Some of these things I had on my list, some were tips from other Gladney moms and some were just pure luck. Oh, and some, some were huge misses on my part, hopefully this list will keep you from making my mistakes. :)

A sling of some sort. I took two and used them both. I used this one for the plane as it was the easiest to pack and the quickiest to get Bek in and out. This one is the most comfy for carrying babes for longer. I bought the organic one because the fabric is much softer...they are kind of spendy but you can check around for places that are offering % off, a resale shop or even craigs list. They are built to last and seem to hold up for more than one kid.

I took Playtex dropins for bottles. They were passed along to me by another amazing Gladney mama, and man they sure made keeping clean bottles easy. I took 4 10oz bottles and 2 4oz bottles. Don't bother taking the slower nipples. I took both medium and fast flow and the medium flow just made Bek mad. ha! All that really needs to be cleaned up is the nipple and the ring, easy peasy. On the plane we made sure to have at least 2 bottles full of water and ready to go. Much easier than waiting until you need a bottle...and then hunting down a flight attendant or digging for your bottle of water. We also just rinsed the nipples out with bottled water to clean them on the plane. We did not bother with any other food for the flight and Bek seems just fine with bottles only. We bought formula in ET and then brought home a can with us...over the course of a few days we slowly mixed the ET formula with what he's drinking now. I am planning on keeping him on formula for a bit just for the nutrition factor and bottles for the bonding factor.

One of these formula dispensers. MUCH easier than dealing with the can on an airplane. Even now I find it's helpful. Being tired is an understatement and just counting to 3 or 4 seems to be difficult. ha! I'm constantly asking myself, was that scoop 2 or 3? Did you say 2 while you were scooping and 3 while dumping it in the bottle....hmmm? Exhaustion-proof to just dump in pre-measured amounts. ;)

For clothes, I took layers for Bek. Some long sleeve stuff and some short sleeve. It was unseasonably cool and wet when we were there, so I was happy to have a sweater for him and even a hat. He never wore any of the short sleeved things. Extra socks (most of the ones I brought he had already grown out of!) I wished for more with the sticky bottoms since Bek started walking our second day in ET. Footie PJs, it got cool in the night and forget about covering this boy with a blanket.

Diapers. I planned for 10 a day plus 4 days extra. Didn't come near to the end of the stash. But I've been stuck in an airport before without diapers. The terminal I was in was also sold out of diapers. That will never ever happen to me again. (I hope)

3 packs of wipes. Again I didn't come near to using all of them, but I didn't want to run out mid-trip either.

Burp Cloths. These are pretty thin and gauzy but seem to do the trick just fine. I took all 12 to ET and was happy to have them. I also ended up using them to wipe Bek's face rather than the baby wipes. Even though I brought the "free and clear sensitive" wipes, they made his face break out. Travis mentioned that even the soap you wash your clothes with can irritate their skin since they are not used to it. I've now learned the best way to wash Bek's face is to take him to the sink and douse him with water. He loves it! It's how the nannies did it in ET and he does not fight me. But try to get a tissue next to that nose, oh man forget about it.

California Baby shampoo and Aveeno Baby lotion (tip from another awesome mama) This shampoo we've used since Davis was a smells soooooooo good. I have been using the lotion in Bek's hair too. So far so good.

Puffs! They babies don't get the chance to feed themselves at the care center. Bek LOVES to sit and feed himself. Even in ET I could put him in the highchair and he would keep himself busy eating puffs long enough for me to eat breakfast. :) Since we've been home he's had Mum-Mum and is now eating cantaloupe and apples too.

I took the packaged food from Happy Baby, Baby Sprout and Plum Organics. So far Bek has liked everything except the Turkey dinner and the Salmon. Both are pretty chunky and I think it was a texture thing. They all smell reallllly good. Something I don't remember happening with Davis' baby food. ha! Some of the faves are this one, this one, this one, this one and this one. And of course, all of the fruits are a hit. No surprise there.

Age appropriate toys. We took several different things that were great to have. Bek loved his Hotwheels the most, but I think that is because that was his favorite toy in the foster center.

I packed 12 plain white onesies and packaged each with a diaper in a ziploc bag for the plane ride home. Just in case Bek had tummy issues it would be easy to do a quick change in the bathroom with just grabbing one bag and some wipes. We thankfully did not have to deal with that, but we were ready for it. I also packed two extra shirts for both myself and Rolyn in our carry-on bags, just in case we needed them.

I brought bibs but didn't use them in ET. Now that Bek is feeding himself jucier foods and also letting me know when he's full by blowing raspberries we are def using them here.

A flashlight...and I took this lantern on our first trip but forgot it on the second. I was def wishing for it while we were there since the flashlight was not bright enough and the overhead light was too bright to use while Bek was asleep.

Any and all medicine you take regularly or even rarely. Rolyn's back went out the first morning in ET. Right before our embassy appointment, fun! He hasn't had an episode like this in 3.5 years. UGH. Thankfully he brought all his meds plus a steroid pack. The steroids saved us and he was upright in a day and half and able to make the flight just fine. I brought Pedialyte for Bek and powdered gatorade packs for us (again planning for tummy issues).

My misses were things for the adults. Bek had everything he needed plus more! We did not bring ANY food for us. Not that there aren't plenty of amazing options for eating in ET, but when you wake up at're a bit peckish. No, you're starving. The m&ms we bought in Dubai did not fill the hole. ;) So don't forget the snack food for yourself.

I didn't bring many clothing items for the cooler weather for myself... I think planning to layer is probably the best idea. It did get warmish during the day, but I was always on the cool side.

We didn't think we'd need as much cash on this trip as last, but we were wishing for a few hundred dollars more by the end of the trip. You will have a driver again every day...not sure why, but I didn't think we would on the second trip. It was great to have someone to get us food/formula etc. etc. and who doesn't adore those drivers they are all so great! :)

We stayed at Bjoe and loved loved loved it. My only complaint was we were in the downstairs bedroom and it was kind of hard with the separation from the living room. I was wishing for a baby monitor. Would have been helpful both for when Rolyn was in bed and when Bek was napping/sleeping. We pretty much went to bed on the early side, but not quite as early as Mr. Bekalu. I would suggest requesting a bedroom on the mainfloor or at least knowing if you are downstairs so you can bring a monitor. It was nice a private though. The Bjoe staff rocks. And Genet is the best of the best.

Oh one big thing to think about or be aware of...We flew Emirates and requested a bassinet for Bek on both legs of our flight. From Addis to Dubai we were fine, but they almost did not let us have one on the long flight from Dubai to NYC. They said he was too big. I think the cut off is 10 kilos and he is 9.something. I couldn't remember his weight in kilos, and the man sitting next to us did the math but then it seemed they didn't believe me. We waited while the attendant asked her supervisor and then she stood there watching when we put Bek in the bassinet like he was going to hang over the edges. In the end it worked out, but just be sure to know where you are weight wise. If we hadn't had the bassinet it would not have been fun. We definitely would have purchased him a seat if we known it was not an option.

If you have any questions at all, just leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. Or if you have any tips to add PLEASE do. :)

p.s. Before buying bottles and stuff on Amazon check the prices compared to your target or walmart even babys r us...I have found that on some things amazon is higher. BUT for the diapers, food and formula it's great! If you sign up for a subscription (I did an order every six months, and you can cancel it at any time) the food is cheaper even down to under a dollar each and being that it's all organic produce that's a pretty good deal. It's also free 2day shipping.

Friday, March 25, 2011

NOW the fun begins!

Ok so maaaaaaaybe I spoke too quickly.

Don't get me wrong, Bek is awesome. But man who knew that BOYS were so, so, so BUSY? Ok all you boy mamas knew, and yeahyeahyeah I know I've heard you kindofsortof mention it here and there. But I guess until you have one that is yours to keep alive, you. just. can't. know.

Last night 7pm was the happiest of happy hours. Bek was fast asleep and my body and mind could melt into the couch. I went to bed at 9:30 and it took me .05 seconds to fall asleep.

We thought we pretty much had this place "baby proofed" you know, all the outlets are covered, there's nothing sharp or heavy or breakable sitting out within reach of a baby...a baby GIRL that is. Because holy cow this boy is fast and smart and has the arm-reach of Michael Jordan.

So far Bekalu has:
Started walking for realz. I suspect he will be running by next week if not sooner.

Mastered the stairs and mastered getting around whatever roadblock I can devise to deter him from said stairs. That includes climbing and stacking things to climb and/or un-stacking things to make it to the finish line.

He has found every single piece of anything that you would not like your child to put in his mouth, and well, put it in his mouth. Luckily for us, he likes to play with his "treats" moving them from his lip back to his tongue and laughing hysterically while doing so. So though you must be quick, it is possible to grab it from him. Also luckily for us, and before anyone reports me to CPS, most of these "treats" have been made of paper.

He thinks the word NO means laugh. Hard.

Me, "DO you smell gas in here?"
Rolyn, "ummmm..."
Me, "Yes, Yes you do."
He has found the knobs on the stove and turned on the gas. What? HOW? He's not that tall. Plus Davis never ever did that. (mental note, order that stove top safety guard thing you always thought was overkill on the baby-safe items. edited to add: this task is now complete)

Even with the exhaustion of chasing after this little guy we are in heaven. He is awesome. He's laughing like crazy and has one laugh that is a cross between a purr and a giggle. His smile can light up a room in an instant. So far, I hesitate to type this, but he's sleeping at night. We've had one all the way through and two nights where it was just up for a diaper change. Wow. Go Bek. I've done much better with sleep and getting back on "NYC time" on this return than I did from our court trip...but I think maybe falling into bed at night completely spent has helped that just a bit.

Speaking of sleep, my bed is calling my name.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The beginning.

We are home. Now a family of FOUR settling in...
It hasn't been as crazy as I expected. (Maybe that is still to come.)
I feel the same way as I did when we brought Davis home from the hospital.
Nothing could top the stress of the road to actually get her here. Having a tiny newborn, sleep dep, and the physical effects of childbirth felt like a cake walk. Ditto for this adoption.

I have so much to say and so much to write...but for now I will leave you with a pic of one sweet babe who makes this family complete.

Yes, he's found Davis' markers. I fear the day he realizes the tops actually come off.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cleared for take off.

We just got word we are confirmed for our U.S. Embassy appointment on Wednesday, March 16. YES, you read that correctly. We leave Sunday night. What have I been doing the past 12 weeks since our court date? ummmmmm, apparently not enough. So much to do. But I cannot even describe the joy and excitement.

Tuesday we received word the embassy had requested another letter on our case. I was gutted and resigned to the fact that Bekalu would be without us for his first birthday on the 17th. Now not only will we be WITH him, but we will be over our embassy interview and ready to come home and start our lives as a family of four.

Over. The. Moon.

I had hoped to offer to take packages for waiting families, but doesn't seem like there is time. But if you want us to visit you child, send us an email at heatherandrolyn at gmail dot com with name, foster center number and maybe a photo.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Last Thursday our paperwork was submitted to the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We are not sure when we will hear if everything is approved and when we will need to be in ET to have our embassy appointment and MOST importantly have Bek in our arms forever. We are hoping and hoping for good news SOON. Just the thought of that gives me chills and sends happy tears rolling down my cheeks. He has been without a mother's arms for almost 9 months. While I do not doubt he is being loved and well taken care of, it is not the same as the love of a family.

Bekalu John we can't wait to have you join our family forever.
It's going to be such a happy amazing incredible unbelievable giddy heartbreaking hearthealing lovely over the moon kinda day.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Natalie just called and said she had GREAT NEWS.
MOWA decided to issue our paperwork after all.
I'm sitting here crying PURE happines.
I think I might also be in shock.

Gladney has our MOWA letter and Bekalu's birth certificate and is waiting on his passport. Next Thursday they will submit our paperwork to the US Embassy and they will review our paperwork. The estimate for this is one week, but we don't really know for sure as we are the first Gladney family being processed with the new embassy procedures. There is still a chance the US Embassy will want to do a further investigation or request other paperwork on Bek or us. But we are at least through this one hurdle. Fingers crossed everything goes ok with the US Embassy and we could possibly be WITH Bek for his first birthday.

To all the other families waiting for their own good news, I'm sending you lots of LOVE and positive vibes to ET for things to wrap up quickly. I have to think that us getting our paperwork issued is a good sign. And you know how I looooooove signs.

Six Months.

Six months ago today we saw his beautiful face for the first time. Tomorrow Bekalu John will be 11 months old. I'm trying my best to stay positive that we will be together for his first birthday. But as the day draws closer and closer my hope is fleeting at best.

It's been fairly easy to fall into moments of grief during this wait. As I look through 6 months of updates and pictures it hits me how much he's grown and changed. We have missed so many of the precious moments that make up a child's first year of life. I have tried my best not to look at other's adoption time lines because it gets the "WHY US?" questions flowing. Especially when I read about those that went from referral to home in less than 4 months. It DOES happen, just not with us. Our time line is filled with, ooooh hmmmm wait delay wait delay wait. So much out of our control. It is beyond frustrating.

I know that we will have a lifetime together. But honestly that offers me no comfort in this moment...I don't want to miss his first birthday or his first steps. But it's likely I will. And that is hard to accept.

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” ~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Mama always told me....

...there's a lid for every pot.
What a perfect pair.
The lighter on cue at minute 1:29 = the BEST.

Happy Friday everyone!
Another week bites the dust. Sigh.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I Just Want To

I just want to.... listen to this song all day.
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The light...

Sorry I dropped off the planet. But my mother always told me, "If you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all." Sigh. Seriously...the waiting...the waiting to go back to Ethiopia and bring our beautiful boy home, well, there are no words to describe the torture.

It's complicated, but we were given original dates to travel. We booked tickets. (Hello $500 in change fees) We let our jobs know. We got our babysitter another job for my maternity leave since my leave from work will not be paid. Yes, you read that correctly and I will save it for another post, or not...please re-read my Mother's words of wisdom above. And then everything stopped. The skinny is this: we are missing one piece of paper that in 5 weeks has not been able to manifest itself. I could give you the blow by blow but honestly it's hard for ME to wrap my head around and by the time I got it all'd be asleep.

Every day for four weeks we've thought this is THE day. Only to be crushed when it was not. It is similar to that feeling when we were waiting for our referral and about 5pm without the phone ringing we would both let out a sigh that hurt. It is exactly like that if only that feeling could be multiplied by a million plus.

Yesterday after hearing bad news yet again I made a decision. It just is what it is. When our paperwork is complete we will go and bring our beautiful boy home. No more looking at our timeline and being sad that we have fallen into almost every pitfall that could cause a delay. That is all in the past. There is nothing that can be done about that now. Just as there is not really anything that we can do about this piece of paper that is the missing link.

So I've stopped waiting. It will come when it comes. Today when we got our daily "Nope, nothing." I just said ok and got back to work. No tears, no sigh, nothing. Maybe I'm just numb?

Tonight I looked at this picture and I thought THIS is the light. He is the the beautiful light at the end of the tunnel.

My sweet boy. Bekalu John. We are coming for you soon. And until we do, we're getting ready for you here. Your room that you will share with your sister is almost complete. She said tonight she wants to cover the wall by your crib with drawings just for you. She is very concerned that you do not have "your song" yet, so we worked on that while getting ready for school this morning. Sorry to say Mr. Bek, but your song will likely include your sister's name and probably something sparkly or pink or both. But them are the breaks when you have a big sister. There is more love growing than can be contained within these walls and I'm certain you've felt it covering you.

I'm only focusing on the things that are positive and the things I can control. Everything else is in the dark for now. And the light, the light is YOU and the love and joy I feel when I imagine you in your family's arms forever.

p.s. I reserve the right to change my mind about being positive if __ more weeks pass without said piece of paper. And yes, the number of weeks I can promise being positive without some movement is TBD. ;)