The Sweetest Things

We received an update on our little peanut about a week ago and I’ve been showing off the pictures like crazy.  Today I had the photos sitting on the kitchen table when Caden came in and saw them.  He carefully picked up a picture and then said, “I love her.”  So sweet, it’s one of those Mommy mushy moments.  Later, we were playing at the park and he took off for the edge of the playground.  When I asked him what he was doing he said, “Picking flowers for you.”  Wow, two mushy mommy  moments in one day.

We are hoping to hear something this week about our court date.  I think that this particular waiting period is one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced.  It’s like being a little kid right before Christmas but someone keeps changing when the packages are going to be opened.  There are so many variable up in the air and so many things that can’t be done until I know when we are going.  We have started packing and collecting donations but still have a ways to go.  I’ve been having problems with insomnia because my brain will not shut down at night—It just keeps chattering away about all I need to do.  Arrgh!  Getting the update just made the anticipation worse.  Anymore, I’m not sure whether to pray we get the call or pray that it holds off a little longer so that I can get a few more things checked off my to do list.

We did receive our travel vaccinations and opted to get the typhoid, yellow fever and adult polio vaccinations.  Since we are planning for a long stay we decided it would be better to cover all our bases.  The nurse at the travel clinic told us the most injections she’d given to someone at one sitting was eleven.  Ouch!  Luckily we’ve all had the Hepatitis A and B series.  She also offered us the rabies vaccination series for $600.  We decided to pass on that one.  Caden was a trooper and held very still for his shots and only got a little teary eyed.  For some odd reason the child has been asking to get a shot for the past couple of weeks.  Hmm…don’t think he’ll be asking again anytime soon.

Here’s hoping for long and pleasant dreams.

~Alisha

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Can I Do A Little Planning Please?

I am a planner.  I think part of this is an inherent trait and over time has been helped along by my environment:  working rotating weekends, having stepchildren on alternating weekends, etc.  Get the picture?  I have to plan my life or chaos slowly starts to erode what little order there is.  Now I have the adoption to contend with.  Okay, I knew when I went into this that most of it was going to be out of my control (Okay, confession #2 I like to have a little control over my life.  I’m not all control freaky but I like steering…a little.)  I knew that certain areas would be more challenging for me.  I procrastinated my way through paperwork and then waited PATIENTLY for my referral.  Yes, I said patiently.  I was actually surprised that the call came as soon as it did.  I had just started to get a little antsy.  The night before we got our referral I was going to post on one of my groups asking who was waiting and when they had submitted their dossier.  It was late, I was tired and decided to wait; the very next day we received our referral!  Coincidence or cosmic intervention?

This current wait is driving me freaking nuts!  What wait?  Why the wait to find out about when our court date is.  With the policy changes we are trying to go and stay in Ethiopia for 6-8 weeks—this makes life a little complicated.  The most I’ve been able to get out of our adoption agent is that you usually hear about the court date 6-8 weeks after accepting your referral.  Okay, we have to be in Ethiopia 6-8 weeks or we hear about a court date in 6-8 weeks???  He wouldn’t answer that question.  Then to complicate matters further there is the minor matter of elections occurring in Ethiopia.   All I want is to be able to line up a pet sitter but it’s really hard when you’re talking in maybes….Sigh.  I’d also be able to book the accommodations I’ve researched and book airline tickets.  Rant over.

What about the baby you ask?  Well, I’d really like to hold her too…

~Alisha

The Call…or not

May 6, 2010 a day that will live in my memory.

It was an average day and I was rushing around trying to get myself and my son out the door so that I would get to work on time.  I heard the phone ring but didn’t think much of it and let it go to voicemail.  We had recently changed our home phone to a cell number and I hadn’t gotten around to programming in all my numbers…not even the special adoption number!  Right before I left I noticed that I had a message on there and listened to it.  Well, the message was from Radu saying that he had tried to send me an email but it had come back as undeliverable so he had sent it to my husband (Now I ask you, why would you do this?)  At this point I thought hmmm could this be the call?  With the longer referral times I didn’t think it was likely.  I called my husband and of course got his voicemail…Urgh!  I left a message asking him to check his email and explained that this could be THE CALL but I thought it was early.  I decided to take Caden to daycare and get to work on time.

I tried Jeff again once but got no response…Why do we have cell phones???  I got to work and checked my email and my husband had forwarded the email–OUR REFERRAL!  I immediately called Jeff again and got no answer.  Knowing that if he had sent the email to me he had looked already I opened it up.  At this point I was mentally cursing the fact that I had gone to work as I stood there and blathered that I had gotten our referral.  Jeff called me back a few minutes later and I asked him if he’d looked at the pictures.  Of course, the boy really can’t wait for anything!  We looked at the pictures and read the information together.  At this point I was getting misty eyed and said something like it’s real now we have a daughter.  It’s amazing the mix of emotions that race through you–joy, anticipation, shock, etc.  At this point I had been on the phone about 10-15 minutes and was told there was a body fluid that needed my attention.  Really, now???  I tried to explain about the referral and eventually said “I just had a baby!”  There was a lot of laughter at this, while everyone was very nice they just really don’t understand.  You don’t have the baby in your arms therefore it’s not immediate and real.

I somehow made it through the rest of the evening although I was very ditzy!  I also took the opportunity to show everyone who crossed my path the picture of my daughter.  My tiny little daughter who weighed only 3.75 lbs on admission to the orphanage.  She is growing and healthy and we are anxiously awaiting word of a court date!  So, now we are in the midst of planning:  airplane tickets, packing, pet sitting, etc.  Here’s a little prayer that things move quickly!

~Alisha

What’s in a picture?

I have spent the last few days memorizing my daughter’s face:  the curve of her cheek, the soft bow of her lips, her luminous dark eyes, and the tiny frown wedged between her eyebrows.  She looks at the world with an edge of doubt in her eyes, this tiny little girl.  I feel my heart expanding a little, as I gaze on this little face, making room for her permanent place there.  It is hard to imagine her in her entirety with only a picture.  There is no smell of baby or the press of baby roundness in my arms.  I am left to imagine the silky smoothness of baby skin, the soft down of her hair and the sweet babble of her voice.

So different from the birth of my son, where a little bundle was placed in my arms after 48 hours of contractions and a C-section.  I have only two photos and some clinical facts listed on a sheet of paper…the pain was borne by another woman.  Yet, I am learning her face and it is becoming familiar and dear to me.  I am in awe to realize that I am to be the mother of this little person.  The photo changed everything…It is real now, I have a daughter.

~Alisha

Referral!

I am at work but just had to say that we got our referral!!! More later!

~Alisha

Sucker Holes

It’s spring now in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and sucker holes are quite prevalent.  What are sucker holes you ask?  Sucker holes are what an acquaintance of mine calls those beautiful blue skies with clouds around the edges.  Spring fever lures you out to frolic and then the weather suddenly changes and you have a downpour, a hail storm, etc.  Get the picture?

I think life, and international adoption in particular, is sometimes like this.  Everything is going along well and then something happens:  The car breaks down, the dishwasher breaks, the country you’re adopting from changes their policies…All are fixable, just bumps in the road, but are unexpected and can leave you frustrated.

We’ve hit a couple sucker holes lately that have left us scrambling for solutions.  I recently had my hours reduced at work because of budget cut backs and we found out that we are going to need to make two trips to Ethiopia.  I’m going to practice some restraint and not post about my frustrations with work.  As far as the changes to the Ethiopian adoption process, I realize that change was needed…I just wish they had a longer time line before being implemented.  I’m sure we’ll come up with some solutions; it’s just unfortunate that both of these changes affect us financially at this particular time.

~Alisha

Double, Double Toilet Trouble!

My son has been potty trained for about 18 months or so and generally things are pretty good.  Now I’m only called to do the occasional bootie assist (it really is hard to balance on the potty) instead of diaper detail.  Lately, Caden’s been a bit of a stinker at his baby sitters and we’ve been reminding him when he’s dropped off to “be good.”  To hopefully help reinforce this he occasional gets a reward for behaving appropriately.

Well, the last time we told him that if he was good that Daddy would take him swimming.  He LOVES going swimming with Daddy (Mommy will go sometimes but she hates all the stinky chlorine.)  So, I guess our little man thinks on his feet.  He had a poo accident and instead of telling the babysitter what happened…Yep, you guessed it, he flushed his underwear down the toilet!  Now, he wouldn’t of gotten into any trouble for having an accident but I have to confess to being amazed at his ingenuity.  Of course, his sitter noticed the minor detail of his not having any underwear and let us know what happened.  Amazingly enough, the toilet seems to have survived!  Daddy is really thankful about that!

~Alisha

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