Sunday, December 19, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Hayley will be 4 months old at the end of the month. At 2 months 3 weeks she weighed 9.1 lbs. She has huge, I mean huge, eyes and no hair yet. Her lips very defined and she has the most beautiful skin that you just want to touch. Most people’s reaction to her is ‘She is so beautiful, and she has the biggest eyes!’
Jack, is 13 days younger than Hayley. At 2 months, 2 week he weighed 9.8 lbs. His eyes are also beautiful and he has gorgeous lips that make you just want to give him a big smooch! Opposite of Hayley, he has a full head of locks! Most people’s reaction to him is ‘He is going to be heartbreaker,’ or some of Sam’s friends say ‘He has more game already compared to what you ever had.’ I love you Sam, but I think they are right, ha ha ha.
They are both healthy and thriving at the orphanage. Jack is even babbling already (I wonder if that means he will be a chatterbox like his Grandma Beth?)! We will get monthly updates on their health and new pictures. I already CANNOT wait until we get the next update.
We are very very very thankful this Thanksgiving.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sam was at home and I was at work and Tami called us on a 3 way call for our meeting. She said, “Well, I have more good news for you, we have a daughter for you”. Yes, yes, yes! She proceeded to tell her name, age, etc. Then we asked to move our meeting to later so I could go home and Sam and I could go over her information together. I had to take the train home and it seemed to take forever!!!!
I get home and run upstairs to join Sam and meet our little girl for the first time. Sam’s computer had been acting up and just before I got home he had to reboot. It took FOREVER to get his computer running and email up. I kept on saying, “I will just get my computer downstairs and it will be faster.” Sam thought his would be faster, so we waited and waited and waited. Then we saw her precious face for the first time. Those eyes, she has beautiful eyes, when you look into her eyes it is like you can see all the way down to her tippy toes. All I wanted to do was give her a hug. It was sooo hard to not be able to be there with her and care for her and give her all that she needs. Ooooohhhhhh, how I love my baby girl.
Sam and I had our meeting with our agency to go over all of their information later that day. We went over all their medical history, their family information, where they are from, when they came to the orphanage, etc. It was a very smooth and encouraging information. To celebrate, Sam and I went to our favorite spot, Al Vento, and did a little happy hour to celebrate. Of course we had to tell the bartender the good news and share pictures. One of their staff adopted a little girl from Ethiopia too! They made us an appetizer on the house to congratulate us, it was salmon crostini (sounded like Sam-and-christini) hee-hee, I thought it was pretty cute.
My parents drove up from Rochester with my niece to celebrate again! I mentioned a while ago that Sam and I are in the process of a kitchen remodel. Our contractor was finishing it up on Friday and the plumber was also over hooking up a new sink! That being said, our house was not very usable to have a houseful of people and 4 dogs (my parents brought their dog and were also watching my brothers dog). So we ended up going across the street to Kathie and Nick’s house to celebrate (thanks you for being great neighbors).
We shared her picture for first time and we shared some ooohs and ahhhs, hugs and tears. I love my baby girl and I can’t wait to hug her and kiss her and snuggle her. We shared a nice meal, some toasts and prayers. Later Alivia fell asleep clenching the pictures of her new cousins (okay, I may have encouraged her taking the pictures to bed with her, but it was so worth it).
Looking back, it was great that we got our referrals on two separate days. Both Jack and Hayley received their own special attention and celebration that was deserved.
It has been a whirlwind of celebration and tears with friends and family the last week. Sunday after receiving both referrals we had some wonderful friends over for chili (thanks Tara), appetizers and champagne. Thank you to all our friends who have followed and supported our journey. Jack and Hayley will be sooo lucky to have you in their lives.
So what is next? We wait for court! We anticipate our court date being the second half of January. It would be the best Christmas gift if we could travel over Christmas, so please hope and pray for us!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Sam and I called our parents first, and then our siblings. The best part was that it was my mom’s birthday too. Coincidently, our little guy was brought to the care center on my parent’s anniversary. My parents drove up to the cities from Rochester to celebrate the good news. Sam’s bro and sister-in-law and their little girl, came over as well to congratulate us. Kathie, Nick and Anna also joined us in the celebration. It was pure joy.
Because we are not legally the parents of Jack yet, we need to protect his privacy so I can’t tell you much. What I can tell you is that he is 3 months old, 9.8 lbs, and has the most kissable lips and most beautiful eyes. And did I mention that he has head full of curls? He is a heartbreaker.
On a side note, Sam and I are not sharing Jack and Hayley’s back story on their biological parents. This is something that we feel should be shared with them at an age appropriate time. God has given our children two moms and two dads on this earth. It is a bittersweet love story.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
To start, your comments hold little merit if you cannot put your own name behind it. I feel if you are so inclined to leave a message on my blog, especially one that is controversial, sign your name and don’t hide behind ‘Anonymous.’
Don’t judge a book by its cover. The name on my blog, is Two Less, we hope there will be two less orphans in the world and in our arms. There are 55 million in the world. 55 MILLION. And that, unfortunately, is the reality. However, would I ever refer to my child as an orphan or make them think or feel that they are anything but our children because of their circumstance or where they came from? Absolutely not. If you have read my blog you would know that I refer to our children as ‘our children’ or ‘Jack and Hayley.’ They will be loved unconditionally and treated as nothing other than our children.
I agree that the children who come to our family should not and will not be expected to be anything other than who they are. But does that make it wrong for me to want a healthy child? That would be like a biological mom not wishing her child to be healthy. That is absurd. There are no guarantees in adoption and if my children are not healthy, they will still be loved the same. Please don’t assume or insinuate otherwise, because it is offensive.
If you knew me and my husband you would know our decision to adopt a child. And to insinuate that that adoption is second best or our second option, it is just not true. Adoption was our BEST and FIRST option. Maybe I had the option to have a biological child, but you quickly assumed that adoption is our second best choice. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Even if I didn’t have the option to have a biological child, is it fair for you to assume that children who are adopted because of infertility are second string to a biological child? It is not fair, not right and not true. Here is a mom’s story that proves my point.
People choose adoption for multiple reasons. This could be because they have all boys and want a girl, or they want a son, they have battled with infertility, they felt a calling from God, their mission it to help the orphan crisis, etc. Whatever path it is that leads a family to adopt, is their path, and should never be judged unless you have walked their path in their shoes. More time should be spent celebrating adoption and less time judging ones decisions to adopt or who they adopt.
On Tuesday before I went to work, I ran around the lake and I cried. I cried because someone whom I have never met was questioning my character and it downright just made me mad. Little did I know that this day would turn out to be one of the best of my life. There was nothing anyone could have said or done that would have changed that. Oh how quickly things can change.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
The conversation was…well…interesting. We spoke with the Director of the agency and she heads their Ethiopian program. Sam and I are both in sales, we talk sales, we ask the uncomfortable questions, we ask lots of questions, we control the conversation, we gain commitment, and we don’t give up easily. So I don’t think that she was prepared for all of questions and our persistence. Essentially we were trying to get information to make an informed decision on if we should open our criteria to 0-3 months to 0-6 months.
What we were able to find out is that with changes in May, The Department of State requires an orphan investigation to ensure that direct recruitment of children from birth parents by adoption service providers or their employees is not occurring. This is a good good thing. However, this new investigation and documentation process takes 2-3 months and needs to be completed before they can be matched with a family. The process usually starts at birth when the child is either abandoned or relinquished.
Are you people picking up with what I am throwing down here? If this process takes 2-3 months and we have requested a child between 0-3 months, there isn’t a lot of wiggle room here. The documentation process would have to be done within 2 months of their birth, they would also need to be transported from their care center to Toukoul in this time (and that is assuming Toukoul has openings to take in new children), they would need to be in good health and have all of their medical testing completed, and then finally matched. After thinking about it, it seems that this would be a lot to have happen in just 0-3 months of their life. Not to mention we have requested two children, one boy and one girl.
Our director would not say that changing our age range would to 0-6 months would speed up a referral, and she also wouldn’t confirm that by keeping it at 0-3 months would limit our opportunities to get a referral. It seemed pretty clear to us and that opening our range to 0-6 months can only help. The only reason we requested 0-3 months was because our agency assured us that this would not impact the ‘wait’. Certainly we would want the children as young as possible, but what is the difference if they are 3 months or 4.5 months? The goal is to be parents to healthy loving children. We requested today to change our referral age to 0-6 months. We also added that we were open to triplets.
Kidding about the triplets part.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
• Drop off dogs at my parents.
• Meet Brent and Kim at their house. Played with Livliv.
• Went to new bar Doolies.
• Met Amber and Andy at City Café. Kara, my bestie was our server. It was yum. Sam and I shared the steak and seared tuna. Found out Amber does not like to share.
• Went to 63 club. Old friends. Played pool.
• In the a.m. went to the farm. There were 7 -10 horses loose. Told neighbor horses were loose in the road.
• Rake, rake, rake, rake, rake, rake
• Play music from car while we rake some more.
• Car battery dies. Dead. On a farm with no farm equipment or way to charge it.
• Sam takes the John Deer rider to neighbors.
• I am in a scary movie, like children of the corn. I keep busy raking trying to not to think about it.
• Neighbor helps. Neighbor is nice man, but hasn’t seen a non-Amish woman in a while. Awkward.
• Drive to Harmony nursing home to visit my grandpa.
• Grandpa lost his teeth.
• Sam finds teeth, but they weren’t grandpa’s teeth. Gross. Yuck.
• Grandpa very happy to see us.
• Drive to Lanesboro. Very pretty.
• Go to a martini bar. More my style. Key lime martini. Yum.
• Meet Casper the friendly ghost. Yes, Casper.
• Casper spills about her bad business break up and divorce from the turkey farmer.
• Have dinner at the Old Village Hall. Delicious.
• Meet Dana, our server, nice gal.
• We help her narrow down her top 5 college pics.
• She is going to Univ. of Iowa. Pre-med. She plays Volleyball, a setter, has a boyfriend going into the military, 2 older sisters, parents are both vets, she has traveled to 5 continents.
• Dana said we made her night. We pretty much did.
• Stay at Coffee Inn. The Inn Keeper compared the Inn to Italy. It wasn’t even close to Italy.
• Drove back to Roch. Met my rents for breakfast.
• Picked up dogs. Drove back to Mpls.
• Wrote a paper. Competitive Analysis on Diapers. Exhilarating.
• Unpack, Laundy, etc. etc. etc.
• Clean out Kitchen for start of Kitchen remodel.
• Sam made Chili.
• Went to Fritz and Mel’s to watch the Vikes.
• Vikings lose. Sad.
• Long weekend. Tired. Bedtime.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Last night I went to the play Rock of Ages and it was FANTABULOUS! Soo funny and great 80's music. We also celebrated Anna's 28th birthday (the one on the right). Uhhgg, that makes me feel OLD.
I didn't get the babies room painted last weekend. But I did get a lot of stuff for the babies! Okay, not tooo much stuff, but I do need to cut back on buying stuff. I have a closet full of clothes with no babes! I will post some pics later of some of my favs.
Sooo, to all my blog readers...when do you think we will get our referral? Leave a comment below on when you think we will get the CALL! I know I have some closet blog readers out there, don't be shy, leave me a note and your guess!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
So in case you are wondering, here is what we have been up to. Friday was spent at Amyjo’s new house discussing our book for book club, or in my case the movie! Ha! Yup, I am a slacker and didn’t finish the book. It was the The Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo. Great movie and worth seeing. I watched the Swedish version and would recommend going that route if you watch it. It was an early night for Book Club (considering it was a Friday night) because we had a date with Miss Stella on Saturday at the Pumpkin Patch for her first birthday! We did the whole shebang! Petting zoo, pumpkins, hay ride, apples (a 23.00 bag of apples I might add), etc. It was good times had by all! I have to say though, it felt like having a kid or being pregnant was a pre-requisite to get in the door! I guess adopting counts too!
Later in the evening we meandered over to the Stiles house for some Fallapalooza! Good food, drinks, bonfire and lots of laughs. Of course, it ended up being much later night than anticipated. I guess we may as well pack in these nights while we can! It was a beautiful fall evening: smell of autumn, no bugs, perfect weather, harvest moon and cumulous clouds all around.
Last week I painted our new guest room and Sam and I moved all of the guest room furniture in from the former room. It looks great! Now the babies room is empty and ready to be made into a nursery. I have been holding off as long as possible getting it set up, but I just couldn’t wait anymore. I will probably start painting this weekend. Sam is in full nesting mode moving all sorts of furniture around and organizing in preparation for the babies. Our basement storage area looks great now that Sam organized and re-arranged it to make more room for all this ‘stuff’ that we have started to accumulate!
I started another class this week. I only have three left! I am trying to pack them in before the babies come. It can be done!!! This weekend Sam is playing in the State Flag Football tournament in St. Cloud. I will be getting the babies room primed and painted! We are also starting a ‘kitchen on a budget’ remodel so I will be picking out some stuff for that with Kathie’s help!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
To Jack and Hayley:
Amharic (Amarigna/Amarinnya) has 33 letters, all of them consonants save for 1. The one vowel letter produces the 7 primary vowel sounds. The vowel is "A", and derived from it are the following vowel sounds.
uh, oo, ee, ah, ay, ih, and oh.
Take the letter S, for instance. The "S" consonant is made to produce 7 different 's' sounds with the addition of those.
Suh - as in supply, suffer etc
Soo - as in soot, sue, Sudan
See - as in see, Sierra
Sah - as in sand, South Africa
Say - as in -well- Say,
Sih, or just s - as in distance, asks (scant or no vowel sound)
Soh - as in so, sort
Every word in Amharic is made up of letters with one of those these vowel sounds since you can take any consonant and make the 7 sounds out of it.
L would be … Luh, Loo, Lee, Lah, Lay, Lih, Loh.
D would be… Duh, Doo, Dee, Dah, Day, Dih, Doh.
M would be… Muh, Moo, Mee, Mah, May, Mih, Moh.
...and so on.
..............Take these English words and say them out loud the way you'd normally say them while paying attention to the underlined syllable.
bundle, behoove, seat, tar, great, grape, snore! …There you have it!
• A is pronounced like Ah • E is usually the uh sound as in Selam • I is short i. • O is long o. • U is oo • G is a hard G. • AY is pronounced as in Bay, Stay ...etc. • EW is uh followed by the consonant W sound (Not oo). • Double letters usually denote emphasis on that syllable. The Amharic word for cat, “Dimmet” is pronounced Dim-met but as one word. • CH and TCH are pronounced as in Church or Watch. No discernable difference • GN is like the Spanish N with a tilde over it, or like the French gn sound. There are different words/word endings depending on if you are talking to a Male, a Female, Either, Plural or Formal (important or elder person). There are also hard consonant sounds that don't have an English equivalent. Usually, the closest approximation (the softer English consonant) is used in transliteration. For example, the Amharic word for Beautiful should be written Qonjo to denote the harder consonant. But, Konjo will do just fine for now, so as not to complicate things.
Hi/Hello - Selam (literally meaning peace)
How are you?/Are you well? (to a Male) - Indemin neh?/Dehna neh?
How are you?/Are you well? (to a Female) - Indemin nesh?/Dehna nesh?
Please (to a Male) - Ebakih
Please (to a Female) - Ebakish
Thank you - Ameseg'nalehu (Ah-muh-suh-gin-ah-leh-hu)
Bye/See you - Ciao (Italian)
Be well (to a Male) - Dehna hoon
Be well (to a Female) - Dehna hoogn
Be well (to a Group) - Dehna hoonoo
Highlighted is the easiest and most common greeting if you want to say more than a quick Hi (Selam) to someone.
The response to all of the above is “Dehna” - Fine/Well; or “Dehna negn”- I’m Fine/I’m Well. Almost all religious people will add on “Igziabihayr Yimesgen” – Blessed be God. Muslims would say "Allah-Amd’ilah."
Also Note: “Igziabihayr Yistilign”, maning “May God bless (give) you on my behalf”, is often said instead of or in addition to “Ameseg’nalehu.” The response to “Igziabihayr Yistilign” is “Abro Yisten” – “May He bless us both/all” ........... The most formal greeting is "Tena Yistilign" - (May He grant you health on my behalf.)
Mother - Innat
Father - Abbat
Sister - Ihit
Brother - Wundim
Uncle - Aggot
Aunt - Akist
Grandmother/Grandfather - Ayat
Friend – Guadegna
Yes - Awo (Ah-woh)
No - Ayi (Ah-y) or Ayidelem
I love you (to a Male) - Iwedihalehu
I love you (to a Female) - Iwedishalehu
Come here (to a Male) - Nah
Come here (to a Female) - Neyi
Foreigner - Ferenj (White person)
Ethiopian - Habesha
Beautiful/Handsome/Good Looking - Konjo
Very - BetamClever/Good Job!/Smart – Gobez
Language - Kuankua
Important: “New” in amharic is pronounced Nuh-w, …like how ‘No’ sounds in English. It means “is” and you may see it a lot.
What's your name? (to a Male) - Simih man new?
What's your name? (to a Female) - Simish man new?
My name is ___. - Simay ___ new.
Good - Tiroo,p>
Bad - Metfo
Very Good - Betam Tiru
Small/Little/a little - Tinnish
Big - Tillik
Sorry (my apologies) - yirkita
Other words you may find useful:
Child - Lij
Boy - Wuhnd Lij
Girl - Sayt Lij
Children - Lijoch
Education – Timihirt
Pen - Scripto
Pencil – Irsas
Book – Metsihaf
Ball - Kuas
You (Male) - Antuh
You (Female) - Anchee
You (Plural) - Enantuh
I/Me - Inay
My/Mine - Yenay
Your/Yours (Male) - Yantuh
Your/Yours (Female) - Yanchee
Your/Yours (Plural) - Yenantuh
He - Issu (Issoo)
She - Issua
Clothes – Libs
Shirt – Shemeez (French)
Pants/Trousers – Sooree
Dress/Skirt - Kemees
Shoes – Chammah
Handbag/Purse – Borsa (Italian)
Luggage - Shanta
Coat is Coat
Jacket is Jacket
Sleep - Inkilf
Hands - Ijj (ih-j)
Legs/Feet - Igir
Finger/Fingers - Tat/Tatoch
Head – Ras
Hair - Tsegoor
Face - Feet (funny, I know!)
Forehead - Ginbar
Eye/Eyes - Ayin/Aynoch
Nose - Afincha
Mouth - Af
Lips - Kenfer
Teeth - Tirs
Tongue - Milas
Stomach/Tummy - Hod
Sickness/Ache - Himem
Food - Migib
Water - Wuha
Breakfast - Kurs
Lunch - Misah
Dinner – Erat
Salt – Chew (Chuh-w)
Sugar - Sikuar
Plate - Sahin/Sahan
Tray is Tray but Ethiopians pronounce it Tiree
Drinking Glass - Birchiko
Cup - Sinee
Coffee - Bunna
Tea - Shahi
Milk - Wetet
Pop/Soda/Soft Drink - Leslasah Metet
Beer - Birra (Italian)
Home brewed Eth. Beer - Tella
Home brewed Eth. Honey Wine - Tej
Home brewed Eth. Moonshine - Araki
Banana - Mooz
Orange – Birtookan
Lemon/Lime - Lomee
Apple - Pomme (French)
Strawberries - Injoree
Tomato - Teemateem
Lettuce – Selata
Eggs – Inkulal
Meat - Siga
Time - Geezay
Year - Amet
Month - Wuhr
Week - Sammint
Day/Date - Elet/Ken
Hour - Sa'at
Minute - Dekeekah
Second - Second
Morning - Tewat
Daytime - Ken
Evening - Mishit
Night - Matah/Layleet
Today - Zaray
Yesterday - Tinant
Tomorrow - Negeh
Sun - Tsehai
Moon - Chereka
Star/Stars – Kokeb/Kewakibt
Sky - Semay
Earth - Merayt
Country - Hahger
City - Ketema
Neighborhood - Sefer
Road - Menged
Car - Mekina , Machina (Italian)
Compound – Gibee
Tree/Trees – Zaf/Zafoch
Plants - Atakilt
Flower/Flowers – Abeba/Abeboch
Roses – Tsigayreda (Tsi-gay-ruh-dah)
House/home - Bet (Bay-t)
Door - Ber (buh-r)
Window - Meskot
Living Room - Salon
Bathroom - Bagno Bet (Bagno being Italian for Bathtub)
Bedroom - Megnita Bet
Kitchen - Wot Bet/Cuccina (Italian)
Bed - Algah
Sofa - Sofa
Table - Terepayza (Teh-reh-pay-zah)
Hot - Mooket
Cold - Bird (bih-rd)
Rain - Zinab
Mud - Chikah
Dog - Wusha
Cat – Dimmet
Goat – Fiyyel
Sheep – Beg
Cow – Lam
Ox/Bull - Beray
Donkey - Ahiyah
Camel - Gimel
Store/shop/kiosk/stall - Sook. Sometimes spelled Souk.
Price - Waga
How Much - Sint
Discount - Kinnash
It should be noted here that when you are out shopping and you're interested in an item, you may say "Wagaw sint new?" (how much is the price?), but whatever the seller may quote you (usually in English), and it may be ridiculously cheap, assume the look of shock! ...And throw back the "Oh, come on?!" look with the word "Kinnash?!" Welcome to the age old custom of haggling! No one really wants to pay "retail"!
What - Min
Why - Lemin
Where - Yet
When - Mechay
Who - Mann
How - Indayt
Green - Arenguaday
Yellow - Beetcha
Red - Keh-yi
Blue - Semahyawee
White - Netch
Black - Tikoor
Brown - Bunnama
Monday - Segno
Tuesday - Maksegno
Wednesday - Erob
Thursday - Hamoos
Friday - Ahrb
Saturday - Kidamay
Sunday - Ehood
Heavy - Kebbad
Light - Kellal
Hard - Kebbad
Easy - Kellal
Alphabet (letters) - feedel
Meto (Muh-toh) 100
“Asra”, derived from “Assir”, which means 10, is a prefix for 11,12 and teens
Asra Ahnd is 11
Asra hulet is 12
Asra Sost is 13
Asra Aratt is 14 … and so on.
All numbers are straight forward otherwise.
Haya Ahnd is 21, Hamsa aratt is 54, Sebah Siddst is 76 and so on.
Meto / Ahnd Meto -- is -- a hundred / one hundred
Hulet Meto – 200
Sost Meto – 300 and so on
467 would be aratt meto sidsa sebatt – same syntax as four hundred sixty seven.
895 would be simmint meto zetena amist. And so on.
6000 is siddist sheeh.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sam was gone all last week and part of the previous week traveling for work. He arrived home on Thurs. so to celebrate we had dinner at Heaute Dish. A fun and fancy joint that does a gourmet spin on Minnesota Hot Dishes. We had the sweetbreads (which I kinda had to trick Sam into, but my friend Anna gave him the DL so he was on to my tricks), foie gras, steak and eggs which was tartare and it came with an oyster shooter, and lastly tator-tot hot dish. It was delicious! That evening also marked out seven months of on the wait list!
This weekend was spent babysitting Alivia, my brother and sister-in-laws daughter. I think Brent and Kim thought this would be good training for parenthood, but in all honesty, she was a piece of cake! We actually liked having to go to be early and staying close to home for a change!
A quick shout out to my lovely sister Laura, who did a style on the Denver Post Fashion Editor last week! We are hoping she will do a write up on Laura and her salon. If you are in Denver and need a sassy stylist check her out here.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
And the he thinks,
Whoever said that cards were a waste of many and over rated, are wrong. Plain and simple, you are just wrong. This was the best part of my birthday. I love you babe and you make me the happiest wife on this planet.
Here is another wife's birthday surprise from her husband.
Background info: 35-year-old Sydneysider Kristian Anderson was recently diagnosed with cancer and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. Despite his illness, he wanted to express his gratitude for all the support he’s received from his wife Rachel, so he made her this special birthday video, complete with cameos by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and actor Hugh Jackman.
Better get the plumber on the phone, because you’re about to break a water main.
Rachel's Birthday Video from Kristian Anderson on Vimeo.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
So let me talk about the ‘waiting’ period a little bit. It wasn’t not hard for me, at all, up until month 5. At month 5 we were smack dab in the middle of the average, so I think at that point I started to have expectations. When you have expectations they don’t come to fruition, it is disappointing. Regardless of what the expectation is. It is a constant wanting for something, and being let down. Every day when the clock strikes 4:30, I figure today won’t be the day.
If you know me, you also know that I am also a planner. So this whole waiting thing, doesn’t really mesh with my personality or my ability to plan. So this adds a whole other element that is equally frustrating. For instance, Sam and I have been saving as much of our PTO as possible for our adoption. Lucky for me, my company will allow me to carry over 80 hours of PTO if it is not used before the end of the year. Unfortunately for Sam, his company does not allow to carry over his PTO and he has banked over 100 hours of PTO. If we don’t travel to Ethiopia yet this year, then what is unused is just lost.
Another ‘planning’ snafu that we ran into is we have been putting money into a Flex Spending Health Savings Account with the idea that our kids will be home by Christmas. Well that just isn’t going to happen. We need to spend the money in this account otherwise it is forfeited. I originally thought, not a problem, we can stock up on diapers and formula. Well, come to find out neither will qualify. We need to figure out what we are going to spend this money on. If you have ideas, please let me know. *sigh*
The last planning issue that we are running into is I am finishing up courses for my MBA. After my current course, I only have 3 courses left. Yeaahhh for me, although this is a long time in the making (6 years). The challenge is when to schedule my classes when we don’t know when we will be traveling. Ideally, I would like to have them all done before we have the kids’ home, but we don’t know when that will be. *uhhggg*
So with all of this bubbling up, I pressed our agency yesterday for some answers. The first response I received was a bit generic. I understand the agency doesn’t have all the answers either, but I still wasn’t satisfied with her response so I pushed harder. I did feel better after their second response. Here is a summary of what we were advised.
SOS EE matches the appropriate child to the appropriate families as they see fit. Part of this decision is based on the information we provided with our request letter to the Board of SOS EE, what we are approved for in our home study, and the children who have been determined fit for adoption at Toukoul and other factors. During the court closure (they are scheduled to re-open on Sept. 30th) referrals slow down because there is no room for children to move from the regional centers to Toukoul in Addis because families are not being granted custody travel to bring their children home, which opens up space for another child to move into. Dove did receive a few referrals in the first part of the court closure.
There are no families who are in their 8th month of waiting for a referral who are working with Dove and historically they have only had one family who waited 9 months. Since they don’t know exactly when we’ll be matched they can’t estimate when we’ll travel for court but the earliest would be December.
So I just did a lot of writing with not a lot of information to report. I am still hopeful, even though some days are hard, that our referral will come soon. I know when we have our referral, the time we spent waiting will just melt away.
Some people ask us a lot, ‘any news yet?’ While this doesn’t bother me as a I know people are just genuinely excited for us, but honestly, if we have news, you will know. What does bother me is when people say “just try to keep yourself busy.” Clearly if that is your advice, you don’t know us. Sam and I are busy busy busy people. I am honestly looking forward to our social calendar slowing down once we have kids.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Dear Samuel and Christina,
As you continue to get closer to the date you receive your referral, we want to encourage you. Although the average wait continues to be 4 to 6 months, there are times when the wait is outside of this average. We continue to be in direct communication with our international contacts and will contact you as soon as we have referral information.
We hope that you will let us know of anything we can do to help as you are waiting.
So to keep you entertained while we wait...here is an adoption video of a family who recently adopted using the same agency and the same orphanage that we are adopting from. Enjoy!
P.S. If any of you could call in a favor for us, now would be the time :-) (Sigh)
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
"God says, never ignore your struggle with how I do things. Ask every question that rises in your heart as you live in this world. But prepare yourself to struggle even more with My response. You must stumble in confusion before you dance with joy.
Know this: those who live by faith will struggle in ways that those who live to make their lives work will never know. It is that struggle, to believe despite desperate pain and confusion that a good plan is unfolding, that will open your eyes to see Me more clearly. Is that what you want? Will you pay the price?
The price is this: you will tremble in agony as you live in a sinful, self-prioritizing world. You will learn to wait in emptiness and frustrated desire for My plan of love to reveal itself. With confidence in Me and hope in My plan, you will not only feel the pain of living in the valley but also see My glory from the mountaintop of faith.
Only those who struggle in confusion and wait in hope will be strengthened to struggle well and to wait with confidence.
Struggle well! Wait in hope!"
[from 66 Love Letters: A Conversation with God that Invites You into His Story by Dr. Larry Crabb, copyright 2009]
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
This is the first gift that I bought for Hayley and Jack. I bought it on our annual girls ice fishing trip. That trip was also significant becuase Sam had called me to let me know that we received our Immigration Approval! This was a big step in moving forward with the adoption process. I plan to hang it in their room. It doesn't really go with the turtle theme I have in mind, but I still love it.
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step." There are so many parallels that can be drawn from that phrase and adoption. In literal terms, Jack and Hayley are on a journey of a thousand miles! There first step being strength; the strength to survive, their strength to trust, their strength to love. They have a journey ahead of them like no other. In thinking of this phrase, it also resonates with adoptive parents, or parenthood in general. Adoption is a journey that starts with the first step of saying yes. You are trusting in process to grow your family in a way in which you have little control.
I will continue to trust in the fact that we will receive a referral, as hard as it may be some days. Whether it comes sooner or later, I trust that when we have our referrals, it will have been well worth the wait.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Sam leaves tomorrow and is traveling near the Canada border. He won't return until Thurs. Sam is sure that we will get the call tomorrow. Tomorrow would be the worst possible time being we will be so far apart from each other. It is not realistic for him to turn around and drive all the way home, should we get the call. So, that means we are faced with a few options: 1) We will open the information over the phone together on our separate computers 2) We wait to open it together until Sam gets home on Thurs. 3) I don't even tell Sam we got the call until he is able to come home, which would be wed. night or Thurs. morning. When Sam and I discussed our options, 3 seemed like the best option until I realized that I would not be able to not tell him. I could not hold the excitement in, even it was for only 24-48 hours. If we went with option 2, Sam would not be able to contain himself and wait for us to be together to open the information. He is like a kid on Christmas when it comes to things like this. He can never patiently wait to open his birthday or Christmas gifts. So that leaves us with option, 1. There are so many what ifs in this situation that I know I am worrying way too much about something that I can't control.
Sam and I have also been talking about what information regarding our children's past that we feel comfortable sharing with others. For instance, how they became an orphan. I am sure depending on what the story is, will somewhat dictate what we feel comfortable sharing with others. It is likely that we will keep parts of it private as this is their story and we would not want others to know before they are old enough to understand and comprehend it for themselves.
Send us good thoughts and prayers for a referral this week!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
The frustrating part is the waiting and not knowing. It will be such a life changing moment and we have NO idea when that moment will come. I literally jump now when my phone rings! We have heard of another family who did receive their referral this week of a little girl and they had been waiting just 5 months. So this is encouraging that people are getting referrals!
Some good news, our friends just passed court in Ethiopia. You can see their new baby boy here and read their story!
My work also started a baby pool and they are all guessing on when we will get our referrals! If you have a guess on when we will get the referral, leave a comment on my blog and put in your guess!
Last night Sam and I went on a run and here is a recap over our conversation. I think it is kinda funny, if you read my blog and you don't actually know us, this is normal humour between Sam and I.
Sam: I heard you put a new picture on the blog?
Me: There are a few, what are you talking about?
Sam: Is there one on a deck? Dave asked where the picture was taken on the deck?
Me: Well if you actually read our blog you would know.
Sam: It would be nice if I could get our blog email updates instead of my friends.
Me: It think he probably referring to my last post and the picture was taken last year when we were in Hawaii. Plus this is your blog too, you don't need automatic updates.
Sam: Where are we adopting from again?
Sam: Oh yeah, that is right.
Here are some pics, in honor of my dear husband. Some of his fine, and not so finest moments. Love you babe!
Monday, August 2, 2010
We have not received any news of a referral yet. We are hoping that it will be very soon so keep your fingers crossed for us!
Here is the last update we received from our agency:
Dear Sam and Christina,
We are emailing to check in and see how you and your family are doing; we know you are hoping to hear information about who your children are. Please be assured that SOS EE in Ethiopia are doing their part in finding the perfect match for your family. The current average wait times are still the same time frame of 4-6 months, although each adoption is different. Some families will wait outside the average time frame while others will not, as Ethiopia matches the child to whom they feel will be the best family for them.
We do hope to deliver the exciting news soon. Please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. We always welcome the opportunity to support you in every way we can.
We also want to remind families that the courts are scheduled to close on August 9th with the official opening date to still be announced, however, courts dates have been scheduled for October 2010.
So we wait...and wait...and wait...
Here is us waiting....only the view isn't this nice in MN...and it is humid with lots of mosquito's!
On a positive note, tonight is the finale of the Bachelorette! Who will Ali choose?
I am hoping she is going to pick Chris! Ooooooooooohhhhhhh, I can't wait to find out! My friend Kathie is having a little shindig at her place for the finale, should be a great time!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
This video is very touching, inspiring and emotional. I hope you take the time to watch it. On this adoption journey I have come to have a much different appreciation for those who have adopted, have been adopted, or given up a child to adoption. I realize that adoption isn't in the cards for everyone, but everyone can have an impact on a child's life, even if it is just reading them a story or giving the a hug.
"As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person."
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Tomorrow marks our 5 month mark of on the waiting list! Knowing that this family is only slightly ahead of us and got their referral is encouraging to us. I even wore my Ethiopia necklace today for good luck!
In the meantime, I have slowly been collecting clothes for Hayley and Jack. We have been VERY fortunate to have friends and family who have given us a ton a stuff for them. I have also been hitting up the garage sales too. I also discovered Saks 5th Ave has some great deals (thanks to Melis - my sisterinlaw)! Here are some of my favorite finds!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
We also received Malaria pills that we take prior to being exposed to Malaria risk areas. We also chose to take the Typhoid pills rather than another shot. We will take those soon as the side affects from these immunizations ware off.
We did NOT get the Yellow Fever immunization today. This shot is not required, but reccomended if you are traveling to remote areas in Ethiopia, which we plan to. Here was our conversation with the Dr. today on if we needed the shot.
Me -"Is there any reason we should consider not getting the shot"
Dr - "Yeah, it is the nastiest of nasty of all immunizations out there."
Me - "What do you mean?"
Dr - "Most people get sickness and a fever for a few days. There is also a 1 in 300,000 chance you could die."
Me - "I think I really need to decide if I want to get this one"
Dr - "It is okay if you are a chicken. What, you don't want die?"
Then he made balking chicken noises at me with the arm motion and everything. Who does that?