Sunday, January 31, 2010

What we do on snowy days

Another snow storm came this weekend. The second big one this season,8 inches( a lot for NC). It was beautiful, and I am secretly glad it came on a weekend. As much fun is it for closings during the week, making everything up is just too much of a hassle these days. Last snow, over Christmas, Adi insisting on going out to build a snowman, but was a little freaked out once we got all bundled up and went out. This time, there is a layer of ice over the snow, not so fun to play in. So we stayed inside. 
Andy got a special breakfast in anticipation of the snow (chocolate donuts, a very rare treat). Adi is enjoying her donut in the picture below.  She also read stories to the dogs, lined up all her guys (including Andy), and played a lot with her early birthday present from Mem (what she calls my mom), a fairy jewelry box filled with lots of pretty things.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Some things are hard to think about

No matter how hard we try to bring Africa into our lives our child will not know the Africa he was taken from. I struggle with this. I assume this is one of those arguments that people who want to challenge international adoption bring to light. He won't know what it feels like to be an African. He will be an American, and while we know that we are giving him a life that he never had a chance for, I ache that he won't know his Africa.

We live a simple life, or at least we strive to.  It is a daily struggle for me to not get swept up into consumerism. It all around us, everywhere we look, everywhere we go.  At the grocery store you're bombarded with Elmo balloons and Dora the Explorer plates(don't get me wrong, those are 2 of Adi's favorite "people") but I want to give it to her on my terms, not while we are buying food.  It is so easy for me to buy a little toy for her because it only costs 2$, or want new curtains because I'm kinda sick of the ones we have.  But when I start to think that I'd like a bigger house, so the kids can have more toys and I can have more furniture, that's when I need a reality check.

We live in a little 3 bedroom bungalow with no "overflow" space at all. Its a beautiful house albeit small at times. Adi has a big bedroom with lots of room to share with Bay, when he gets here, and we recently added a new master bedroom.  We have all we could ever need and more than we could ever want.( I don't always remember this when I'm trying to convince Andy that I really need a second pair of Frye boots) Of course it is all in the eye of the beholder, to some we live in a mansion and have all the heart desires, and to others a shack.

Last night I watched a documentary called "The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo"  The title gives away the basic premise, but I'll just add to it that it considered the war in the Congo to be a war against women.  This war is what has caused these men to rape these women. It was a terrifying film to watch, because it is real. It is unimaginable. And I thought I had a bad day because another nurse decided to take her anger out on me.  I forget briefly about my trials and tribulations, and thank God that I don't live in constant fear of the unimaginable. But before I know it my day is ruined because I was treated rudely at a doctors office. I need to be reminded, often, to need and want less. I need Africa, I need Africa to remind me of this, but Africa does not need me. 

Watching this may have been what has made me want to write about this now.  This is the Africa that I fear my son will never know.  While we live in the beautiful mountains and live a life as natural and simple as possible, I fear that it will never be the beauty that he could have had in Africa.  I fear that instead he will be surrounded by commercialism and plastic, TV screens and computer monitors, cars and traffic.  I know he is being given a second chance at life, a family couldn't  have. I know this in my heart.   I am eternally grateful to him and his mother, for choosing us.  We need him as much as he needs us.  Until now, when adoptive parents would say these things, I never understood it.  Why would we not want to think that we were saving a child by adopting, there are so many children who need moms and dads, that we are not struggling with fertility issues so we aren't adopting out of our need.  But its clear to me now.  Our needs are  Bay.  We need Africa, more than Africa needs us.  I can only hope and pray that my baby sees they beauty of his land and knows that he is part of that beauty, that he has brought that beauty to his mom and dad here in the mountains of NC. And of course that we can show him the beauty we have here too, although it may be harder to see through all the "stuff."

Monday, January 25, 2010


There are several families in Ethiopia right now picking up there children to bring them home, 11 families I believe. While they are over there they have decided to take the extra time(which I'm sure is hard considering they have their brand new children with them) to right notes about, take pictures and videos of and find out as much information as possible about each child!  So far we know that he is small, adorable, wears pink:),is smiley, has very delicate features, is sitting up and sleeping well (i think).
I am overwhelmed with how much these few sentences mean to us. Knowing that people are holding him and taking special note of the little sweet things he does gives me something to hold onto for a few more days.  Hopefully we will get more pictures and video clips of him once these families return home and can have a better internet connection to send them (although we will miss getting these updates).So thank you fellow IAN parents, we are so grateful for every word we read about Bay.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm sitting in the dark in my two year old's room typing. I thought these days were done for now. Sitting and waiting until she falls asleep before sneaking out. We got her a "big girl princess bed" There is nothing princess about it except all the pink pillows. But in her world, if she likes it then it automatically becomes a princess blank blank blank like a princess potty, princess car seat, princess broccoli. Ok maybe its more my way of convincing her to like it. Either way, the first 2 nights she loved it. Slept in it all night long but this time at 730 am, when she woke up, she got to climb out of bed herself and bring her and her "princess pillow" into our room. Then I guess the novelty wore off because for the last 3 nights, after we have read stories and tucked her in she gets a very worried, sad look on her face and asks for her crib. Here is the dilemma, she really loves her princess bed and knows that cribs are for babies(unlike for her mature, not quite 2 year old self). So tonight I am sitting in the dark and typing while I wait for her to fall asleep in her big girl bed. Like everything else with parenting, it never gets easier, things just change and are harder in a different way.
We probably could have kept her in her crib for another year, but we are trying to make room and prepare her for brother bay. At least we know we've got a while until he's here.

Speaking of, I guess the newness and excitement has worn off for me too. Not that I am any less in love or excited for Bay, but I have moved on to being anxious about everything that lies between now and bringing him home. We are now waiting on the Ministry of Woman's affairs to approve our adoption and assign us a court date. When court date comes, someone in Ethiopia, on our behalf, will legally make us the parents of Bay. We have to actually "pass court", which requires that all the right paper and people are there at the right time in the right place. This has not been happening on the first try for a lot of families lately. It has nothing to do with our part here, it is basically out of our control. So passing court really is the biggest step in bring our son home. When that time comes I'll be asking for everyone to pull out all the big prayers they can to help gets us through. After passing court we should be able to travel 6-8 weeks later.
For now, we keep waiting. We are waiting to hear when that court date will be. And for some reason I a have a pit in my stomach, thinking it may be a while. I guess its all part of parenting, even when you haven't met your child yet.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Our pediatrician called this morning to let us know that Bay looks healthy and is adorable:) I'm glad we didn't wait for that called before we officially accepted him, ooops. Its not as bad as it sounds, there was minimal medical info on him and i was able to see that is was all within normal limits. We debated waiting till our doc got back to us, but we were already attached, there wasn't anything he could have told us that would have made us change our mind. However, it was still nice to hear from him that our son seems fine!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Here goes nothing. I still don't really know what I am doing of how to "blog" but I have felt compelled to do so ever since I began my latest adventure. So for years now I've heard people talk about blogging and having a blog and blog this and blog that. I had no idea what they were talking about. I tried once or twice to read some of my sisters and friends who blogged, but still nothing clicked(no offense to all y'alls(like that grammar huh, been living in the south too long), although at least I kinda got the idea of what these blogs were. Anyways, this awesome adventure called international adoption took over my world, and suddenly it all made sense. This is why I need to blog. I finally have a reason and an audience, that is of course assuming that anyone besides my mother reads this.
We love to read, we love books, we love reasons to buy books(I know this may come a bit as a shock to those of you who grew up in the same house as me, but alas it is true) yet we did not buy or read any actual books about adoption. I stressed about that for a while in the beginning. I mean we got a book about breastfeeding before that happened, there was one (read ten)about how to get your baby to sleep through the night, and seriously, we bought one about how to save money when buying crap for your baby. So, why would we not buy and read one when embarking on one of the biggest journeys of our life? I don't know, at least I didn't know. Then the paper work got done, we had signed with a great agency, and I found my self explaining to friends and family all about the adoption process I realized that I must have read some book about "how to adopt" or "adopting parent guide" or certainly an "Idiots guide to adoption." Nope. I read blogs. Thats it. These wonderful families who are going through what we are going through have written it all down, step by step for me. They have made this all way more real than any book could have. So thank you bloggers, escpecially IAN (internation adoption net) families for getting us where we are now. I hope this may help new families who don't even know where to begin.
Now onto the good stuff.
We are adopting for the sole reason of why not. We were blessed with fertile eggs, we have a beautiful daughter, we could probably and may, have many more beautiful daughters and sons with these fertile eggs. But we chose adoption for now. And I would never do it any other way.
When beginning the process we were not sure if we should be sex specific. We have a daughter, so should we get a son? We have a daughter so should she have a sister? When it came down to it, we couldn't make that decision. There was a child somewhere who needed a mommy and daddy, and they will find us. What was even harder for us was knowing that there are so many older children,waiting for a family . But we have a 2 year old who is very much an "oldest" child and in our hearts felt that she should stay the oldest. That put us in a narrower box. We then waited for a boy or girl 0-2 for 5 months before getting our referral. Last monday night, after a grueling day, we got this beautiful picture of a little 7 month old boy. WOW. it was love. Just like how you love your baby as soon as they come out of the womb. He was our son. He had been born right as we started the processes and was waiting for us.
So now we wait. And just like all those blogs I read 5 months ago that said it was even harder to wait once you had a name and a face, it is. I didn't believe it, and I still would rather know who he is,but the waiting doesn't get any easier. I won't bore anyone with the details (which I don't even really know, guess I should go back to some of those previous posts)of court dates and MOWA approvals. We hope to travel in may or june to bring little brother home.