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Monday, March 29, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

On parenting two

I've been thinking about this topic for a while, knowing that it needed its own post, but I haven't had it in me to even think about its reality.  Tonight I find myself thinking about it a lot and have found some quite peaceful time to refelect and actually put it all into words. We had planned to have a date night tonight, the second one in a year, but I felt tired all day and Adi had been up past her bedtime 3 nights in a row.  It felt wrong to leave her with Ama, overtired and wanting to stay up late and play with her gramma. It also felt wrong to waste a very seldom precious date with Andy when I was exhausted and cranky.  So I find myself instead with a clean house, a clean sleeping kid(after hours at the park) adn a glass of wine.  I feel calm and ready to face reality, finally.

This morning I went to a friends baby shower.  There was excitement in the air and you could sense the nesting that was going on with the mama.  I left thinking, wow Jane! you have a baby on the way too, but there has been none of that.  Part is, I'm sure, that I am not a first time mom, but the fact that I am not pregnant is really a huge part too. I am not bitter or jealous that these women are pregnant and I am not. I am not bothered that strangers at a gathering or the park don't know that I am about to have a new child. 

When you tell a stranger that your 2 yr old is also about to be a big sister and they look at you confused, then look at your stomach, then get kinda awkward and want to get out of the conversation, it feels easier not to say anything at all.  In a lot of ways it is kind of nice not to have every stranger at the park feel obliged to talk to you about your pregnancy and reaching out to touch your stomach and asking you how much weight you've gained and making comments about how much cuter maternity clothes are these days and the list goes on.  But I'm not nesting. I'm not collecting onesies or burp clothes(grant it I have them all) I'm not even pulling out the baby clothes (because I don't even know what sizes I need because we don't really know how big he is)or getting diapers together(that's because I am DREADING dealing with diapers again.) I don't have new special boy bedding or a new boy nursery theme(Bay gets to share Adi's pink room).

Heres the thing, I know none of this matters. I know he will be ok wearing clothes that don't fit until we can run to target and pick some up. I know he will be ok sleeping on ladybug sheets in a pink room, I know he will play with Adi's toys and doesn't need special little new baby toys. I know he can drink out of a Dora the explorer sippy cup until we can find him some sort of bottle he likes(this is a whole other issue, I have no idea about bottles, which are good what age needs what, do 11 months old even take bottles????any info on this would be great).  But I need to realize that I am about to be the parent of 2! I have honestly not thought about this until the last few days.  And I don't have a few months of him being a new born, just sleeping and eating all day. I am about to have 2 toddlers and I have no idea how to prepare for it. I guess the reality is that I will figure it out as I go.  The trips to the grocery store and library will take longer. Getting to Doctor apt will take longer, getting to bed will take longer, going out to eat won't happen and date nights won't either.  Play dates will be shorter and less gossip will be spilled because there will be more eyes needed to watch little ones.  Trips to the gym will take way longer, if at all, and runs with the Jogger won't happen, because I don't have a double stroller(and according to Andy don't need and won't ever get one, also probably true).  So moms of multiple children...do I sound about right? At least at first? Thank goodness Andy and I will both be home for at least 2 months this summer to try and figure this all out together. 
And now I'd like to open the floor up to you readers...what do I need to be doing to prepare for this? What advise do you have? Is nesting over rated?
Jane

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mama Bear

I am ready for Belay to come home. I  am beginning to feel antsy and stressed about not being there for him.  We got an update and according to it he has lost weight. Now, I know that scales aren't accurate and each measurement may be different, but even with a pound or so discrepancy, it still means he hasn't gained much weight. I am beginning to feel like mama bear who can't be with her baby and this weight thing has set it off.  I know he is a peanut and I'm used to Adi who is a "good eater" to say the least. But I just want to know if I should be sending special formula over there or what. 
 I had a dream he was home with us the other night.  So I think I am just really getting ready to get my hands on this kid and hug hug hug him.  Adi is too, she "calls" him on the phone all the time and says that he is going to sleep in her bed with him. We still don't have a date to travel yet, but we were hoping to hear this week.  We are still thinking it will be first week of May but it would be nice to confirm and start getting ready. Honestly, we haven't done anything to prepare yet, we are just now working on shots.
The weather is hopefully taking a turn for the sunny but we had snow on Monday! ugh. Racing season is upon us and my first race is april 2nd. I haven't been able to train like I had planned between all the snow and freakishly cold winter we had and catching every virus and bacteria that comes my way.  But it has been feeling great to get off the treadmill and out of the gym.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

learning our colors

Look at me posting twice in one day, but I had to write this down before I forgot it. Adi and I were talking about brother Bay and what toys she planned on sharing with him (so far, one of the dogs is the best she has come up with) But then out of no where she said "Brother Bay is brown". Now, we've been working on our colors, and she is getting pretty good at them, so I know she knows what brown is.  I was amazed at how she could put this concept of his skin being brown together. What did she mean by this? So I thought I'd test her adn asked what color Mommy was, she said "white". WOW. Then I asked what color Adi was, and after thinking really hard and looking at her arm she said...PINK! thats my girl!

Andy's pregnacy

We ran into a friend the other night who works with Andy and she told us that her 3 yr old son believes that Belay is coming out of Andy's belly. Well, it makes perfect sense, he is not coming out of my belly so where else would he come from?

It was funny that she said this though, because from the get go we have joked about how this was Andy's pregnancy. He did ALL of the paperwork this summer while he was home and I was in school full time.  He has had all the communication with our coordinator, and he will be able to feed this baby from the beginning(Adi was a boob or bust kinda gal).  While I have thought about trying to breastfeed this baby, and actually plannned on it since we started thinking about adopting, I kinda gave up the idea since Adi weaned herself a few months ago and I had such a hard time and in fact was never successful at pumping. Also, Belay is a bit older and won't be solely on formula.  But I also now see the beauty in Andy having ability to care for him totally on his own and his bonding won't be competing with my milk. Although after hearing about other IA parents bringing home their older toddlers who still wanted to nurse, I am completely open to letting him try and nurse if he feel drawn that way(not that he will get much in the form of milk but  for attachment and comfort sake its all his)

I know the thought of this sounds absurd to many people reading this, but in the world of attachment parenting and international adoption it is quite common.  As a mother who exclusively breastfed her daughter and continued to BF her until she weaned herself at 2 yrs, I truly understand the love and attachment that forms in such a way.  To give this to my son would be an honor for me.  But, back to the point of this post, Andy has equal amount of bonding ability this time around, and it truly is his pregnancy.  It is beautiful to think of in that way.  If this journey wasn't wonderful enough, thinking about what it has given my husband, who is already an amazing father to his daughter, is worth every bit of heart ache that has come along the way.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

He's got personality...

An adoption world friend(shout of for brooke:) has her mother in Ethiopia now loving on all our kids and she just emailed me a wonderful update about our Belay.  He is moving around, crawling, smiles and has A LOT of personality.  Just what our family needs, I guess he needs it to get any attention around here:) He is small, as we know, but looks healthy. That fine, Ill take small and healthy any day!
Another friend (Here's your shout out Monica:) is going to take over some pictures of us to give to Belay when she travels in a few weeks to pick up her son. So he will know who his family is and what we look like. Plus it will give him something new to chew and slobber on!

Still waiting on a confirmation on our Embassy date to travel.  It looks like we managed to slide by the new ruling to travel twice.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Introducing...

Belay Andrew Cross

 
This means we passed court and are Belays Offical parents.  We hope to travel the first week of may but this is not comfirmed yet. We now await (big shock, more waiting) our Embassy date which will confirm when we travel. Much love... Andy, Jane, Adi and our beautiful new son Belay!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Court date 2

what is it gonna be... yes or no... we shall find out tomorrow.

Oh and we got thrown another curve ball, which hopefully won't effect us.  The ET government is deciding that families now need to be present for this court date, which means they need to travel twice.  Wow, that sure does change a lot of things. We should be "grandfathered in " because we already have a court date. There is no more info besides that.  My heart goes out to all those families who can no longer afford to pick up their children.

Just another day in international adoption. Who ever thinks its easier than pregnancy or child birth, think again!

So big prayers and well wishes and lots and lots of fingers crossed for us and the other families who have their second round of court tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Update

We got a reassuring letter from our agency coordinator yesterday stating just what we had hoped.  Our agency and orphanage are not  being targeted and our time line should not be effected.  However it is only to protect the children and assure that they are orphans, and if it does target our orphanage it should only delay travel by a few weeks.
I hope this is all true, I see no reason for it not to be. So, a slight sense of relief as we await our second court date on friday!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The sweet soul of Ethiopia

I woke up this morning to a slew of posts that left me confused. I've since gone back and tried to read and re read updates blogs and posts about why all the outrage and am now, for the first time, somewhat worried. I'm worried that we may have a large bump in the road and be delayed in picking up our kid.
So here is whats going on...(see below)
From my understanding the Dept of State has implemented a longer process in making sure that all orphaned children are actual orphans. Where the way for getting an embassy/visa apt in Ethiopia, allowing you to take your child home, may be lengthened from what was 2 weeks, to now being 8 weeks. Now of course I want to ensure that Bay is in fact an orphan, I hate that our adoption is being threatened because of a "few bad apples". I'm sure many of you have seen on the news lately about the child trafficking going on and adoptive parents finding out that their children do have healthy living families capable and willing to raise their children, but have been convinced to let them go and promised they would see them again etc....Well this stuff is real and scary and sickening that their are people out there doing this, just to make $. 
Luckily we are with a wonderful honest agency who is not doing such things and hopefully they will only be targeting some suspected agencies while the rest of us can carry on as normal.  So there are 2 things I worry about with all this. One, we will be delayed a few months in picking up Bay and he will have to spend unnecessary time in the care center and we will be missing him dearly. And two, something much worse, the government will shut down the ET program.  I don't think the latter will happen.  But it has happened in other countries where families have had to give up on a child they believed they would bring home.  Obviously I hope none of this effects us and we carry on as normal. But if it does, I hope we just have to wait a few more weeks.And I really hope that this won't ruin future adoptions from Ethiopia for any families who could have been blessed with a sweet soul of Ethiopia.

Adoption Notice
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues


Change in Processing Timeline for Adoption Cases

March 5, 2010

The Department of State shares families’ concerns about recent media reports alleging direct recruitment of children from birth parents by adoption service providers or their employees.  In response to these reports, the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa has implemented some changes to adoption visa processing.  Adoptive parents should be aware that an I-604 (Determination on Child for Adoption, sometimes referred to as “orphan investigation”) must be completed in connection with every I-600 application.  Depending on the circumstances of the case, this investigation may take up to several weeks or even months to complete.  Therefore, adoptive parents should not plan to travel to Ethiopia until they have confirmed with their adoption agency that their visa interview appointment has been confirmed.

Adoption agencies submit case paperwork to the U.S. Embassy for review  before the Embassy schedules the immigrant visa appointment.  In some cases the I-604 determination could take several weeks or more from the time a case is submitted to the U.S. Embassy to the scheduling of a visa interview appointment.  We understand that in such cases this will result in a longer period before parents are able to bring their adopted children to the U.S.  However, this additional scrutiny is required to ensure that the adoption is legal under both U.S. and Ethiopian law.  The U.S. Embassy will work with adoptive parents and their adoption agency to ensure that each case is processed in the most expeditious manner possible in accordance laws and regulations.  Families should continue to work through their agency to schedule immigrant visa appointments and answer questions regarding pending cases.  

If families have concerns about their adoption, we ask that they share this information with the Embassy, particularly if it involves possible fraud or misconduct specific to your child’s case.  The Embassy takes all allegations of fraud or misconduct seriously. 

The best way to contact the Embassy is by email at ConsAdoptionAddis@state.gov.  Please include your name, your child’s name, your adoption agency, the date of the adoption (month and year), and, if possible, the immigrant visa case number for your child’s case (this number begins with the letters ADD followed several numbers and can be found on any document sent to you by the National Visa Center).  Please let us know if we have your permission to share concerns about your specific case with Ethiopian government officials.

We strongly encourage you to register any complaint that you may have about an adoption agency in the following ways:
  • You may file a complaint with the state licensing authority where your adoption agency is licensed and conducts business.  The Child Welfare Information Gateway, which is maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services, provides such a list at the link below:  http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/reslist/rl_dsp.cfm?rs_id=15&rate_chno=AZ-0008E
  • You may also file a report with the state’s Better Business Bureau.  Following is the link to the Better Business Bureau’s website where you may file a complaint on-line:  https://odr.bbb.org/odrweb/public/getstarted.aspx  
  • If your agency is a Hague-accredited adoption service provider, you are encouraged to file a complaint on the Hague Complaint Registry located at the link below.  This information will be used by the accrediting entities to evaluate the agency in connection with the renewal of its accreditation status.  http://adoption.state.gov/hague/overview/complaints.html

    The U.S. Embassy continues to work with the Government of Ethiopia to ensure that appropriate safeguards exist to protect prospective adoptive children, their birth parents, and prospective adoptive parents.  Please continue to monitor adoption.state.gov for updated information.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I'm wishing there was something new to update about little brother, but not much. Oh, he does have two little teeth, and in one picture you can kinda see them. very cute. Adi seems to be coming around to the idea a little, when she sees a picture of him she grabs it and says "no, my brother bay". I'm think she'll be a bit possessive of him.

What else...still stressing about travel decisions somewhat. I'd say we are 90% sure we are all going, 2 year old included, but I am worrying about everything. In the meantime, I am getting pretty sick of snow, and am so ready for those warm days filled with digging in the garden.