Lilypie Countdown to Adoption tickers

Lilypie Countdown to Adoption tickers

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Few Tid-Bits

As I have mentioned, I can’t share personal information or post the pictures of our little peanuts until they are officially and legally our children. However, I will give you a little preview of what we know and what I can share.

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

Referral #2

We had spent the week celebrating the good news of our little Jack. I couldn’t help but show off his picture to everyone at work. I was for sure a proud mama. Having his referral gave even more anticipation and excitement to receiving the second referral. Our adoption director alluded to the fact that it shouldn’t be much longer and she was hoping to have news by Friday. We had a pre-scheduled meeting on Friday with our director to discuss Jacks medical/referral information. The meeting was at noon, and when we didn’t hear from the agency before noon, so I thought that meant we weren’t get our second referral until the following week.
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

Referral #1

I have been waiting to make this post so I can do it justice, which I am sure I won’t, but I will attempt to. It was Tuesday afternoon and we received the call. Sam actually received the call. I was in my team meeting, and this week I had a guest speaker. As the guest was presenting I glanced at my phone and noticed a missed call from Oregon. At first I thought, ‘huh, that is kinda weird, who would be calling me from Oregon.’ Okay, I know, probably a blond moment. In my defense I had saved our agency’s number in my phone, but they called from a different line and it didn’t show as ‘Jack and Hayley’ which is what I saved the number under. So I frantically checked the number that ‘Jack and Hayley’ was saved under and compared it to the missed call. The missed call was one number off from the number saved. So I thought, ‘could this be the call? No, we just talked to them last week. It is too soon, but maybe I should just better check.’ So I left my team meeting and then as I was checking my message and I hear that it was our adoption director, Sam is calling me on the other line. When I saw Sam calling me, I knew instantly. IT WAS THE CALL! I answered trying to fight back my tears. Sam said, “Christina, we got the call, and I am waiting downstairs for you.” I gathered my things from desk and went downstairs to meet him. As I am going down the escalator I am checking my email (why? I don’t know), but there was an email from our adoption director and it said, ‘Inroducing L****”. How crazy and amazing is that? Seeing my son’s name for the first time! So I jumped in the truck and we kissed and the rest of the ride home was kinda a blur. We got home and ran upstairs and I wanted to read everything there was to learn about our son, but Sam went right for the picture. That is when we saw his face for the first time. The most beautiful face that I had ever seen. My heart melted. I loved him from the second I saw him. Then I thought ‘I am a mom, I am his mom.’ It was wonderful.
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

Don’t judge a book by its cover

This common English idiom even adults need to be reminded of. In my last post I received some Anonymous comments that suggested that my comments are marginalizing to adult adoptees , that my wants are above those of my children, that my adoption is second fiddle, etc. If you don’t know what I am referring to, you can read the comments that were left and the blog post of an adult adoptee that was left by Anonymous readers.
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.

To be continued…

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Update on 'The Wait'

Sam and I had a phone meeting with our adoption agency last night. We wanted to discuss why we were still waiting and if it made sense for us to open our age range that we requested. We also wanted to confirm that they have inquired with their Ethiopian contacts that they have Sam and Christina’s file and that they are in fact working on it, and not that they are just inquiring about waiting families in general.

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.