Monday, June 30, 2008

A Monday

Not much to report tonight...we did talk to our ped today and she wasn't overly concerned about sunshine's seizures and said we will just line up a full work up once she gets home. We have asked if this medical development might speed up our travel date, but it doesn't sound like it. I guess from here on out it is all in the hands of the ET govt and their timing. I am still hoping maybe this end of the journey will be the easier part. So far, not so much! I hold my breath every time the phone rings, so afraid that it will be more news about her health...but for now we take it one day at a time and pray we have her home soon!

I started looking at potential flights today. Holy Schmoly, the prices are skyrocketing! Yieks. It is almost going to cost us more to get to DC or JFK to fly out than it will to get to Africa. Ugh. Hoping for a money tree to sprout in the back yard!

Okay, off to send three dirty baseball boys through the shower and one dirty decking man too...the deck is just about later in the week!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Picnic Fun

We had a fun time at the ET picnic yesterday. It was so fun to be surrounded by so many beautiful children and to dream more about my sweet girl. It was also great to finally meet some of the people who have been so important on this journey! (Mel, we loved your family...can't wait to get together again!!) It was nice to see that all those logged in names really do have faces behind them.

I am doing okay today. There are moments when I can just hum along happily, and then I think of my sweet girl and all she is going through right now, and my heart aches. I need to touch her and feel her and lay my eyes on her, to see what it is that we will be facing together. As we have learned a little more, we have learned that she was indeed having some medical issues when she was first in the satellite care center. Lucky for us, this info was "buried" in her paperwork. She wouldn't have been referred to us, had her full medical history been discovered. God's hands are all over this and this most certainly confirmed for me that she is my daughter and we are meant to be together no matter what.

This should (fingers crossed) be a very mellow adoption related week. We don't expect to hear anything else on sunshine unless her condition changes. But, then the 10th rolls around and we will finally be able to get through court and then we can post her smiling face!! You will be amazed by her beauty!!

Off to enjoy a nice summer evening with my boys. Thanks for reading along!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Good News!

We had an email from our agency first thing this morning. It was a forwarded note from the MD in Ethiopia. She is doing well on the meds and has been seizure free since starting them. She has also gained 3 lbs. That is very good news!! So we are feeling very relieved and positive about it all. I can't tell you how much better the day is now! Tomorrow is a huge Ethiopian adoption picnic in the cities. We can't wait to meet so many of the families we have come to know and love. I'll post pictures once we are back. Thank you all for your prayers and support. It means so very much! God is good!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Miss Sunshine's Super Cool Room

I finished sunshines room today. I love it. She will sleep in the crib in our room for however long we want her to, but she will also have her own room...for her ever growing wardrobe, her toys and such. I designed and painted the mural and must say I am quite proud of it!! So this room went from all boy with striped wallpaper and trucks to this:

Her mural up close:

And her dolls...ready and waiting to be played with!So fun to design her room. Now I can sit in there and just feel her...pray for her, dream about her, and love her from a distance.

No new news on the medical front. I don't really expect to hear anything until at least tomorrow if not early next week. I am really doing pretty good with it all however. Keep the prayers coming....I can surely feel them!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Update on the status of my heart

So I am really feeling at peace tonight. It was a normal night in our lives, an evening of baseball and mommies sitting around chatting. I had decided I wasn't going to talk about how our day had gone, and just relish the fact that I DO have a daughter. And so I did. One of the moms hadn't heard our I gushed about my beautiful SweetPea and I was at peace. This is all going to work out...this is a glitch on the road, but I have faith. Little Miss is surrounded in prayers from around the world tonight, and my God is a God of miracles, big and small. Tomorrow is a new day, and hopefully we will be able to see a little more clearly this new path we are taking. I have hope. I have faith. I have trust. It's going to be okay.

The Unexpected

Things have taken a turn again. We were notified today that our little sunshine is having seizures and is now on meds to control them. That is all we know. I cannot begin to tell you the range of emotions that have coursed through my soul today. At the initial call, I was all business, my nursing brain kicking in, wanting details that no one knows. This is my child. No, I haven't touched her face, or heard her coo, felt her heartbeat, or seen her smile, but she is my child, and she is a world away and something is not right. The information we have is in three short sentences. There is nothing to read between the lines, just a vast unknown full of questions and concerns. My heart aches. If I could hop a plane today, I would be there. I would camp outside the Care Center and wait. But that isn't how this process works. I have been able to talk to our MD who together with me came up with a list of questions to get more info. We can contact the MD in ET through the agency and hopefully get more information in the next few days. E is out of town, as is my good friend with the best shoulder, so I have been crying to the dogs and painting a mural of Africa on my daughters wall with tears running down my cheeks. My adoption sisters have rallied and called and talked through it all and i know that God is being bombarded with prayers for princess sweet pea, and knowing all of that helps some. But not enough. My baby is on the other side of the world, and I can't help her. So please continue to pray. Pray that we are able to get more information, pray that the medication is doing the job and that there isn't something else underlying that we don't know about. Pray that those caring for her continue to surround her with love and healing. God's hands are all over this journey, and I have to believe that at this point, he has her families right up there next to his heart, and will see this through. I have to have that faith. Mommy loves you princess sweetpea.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back to Reality

Vacation was a grand get away...and coming home always feels so good. Then reality sets in and it is back in the fast lane. E left for the week on Sunday (yes after returning Saturday...!) So I am single parenting it this week. All I can say is all hail single moms. I have no idea how you do it. You are truly amazing to me. Huge kudo's to you!!

Now that we are home, have a court date, and things look like they will continue to move forward, it is time to kick it into high gear! There is a lot of nesting to be done! I started the great brother bedroom merger Sunday and by the time I get home from work today, it should be about done (thanks Gr and Gr!!) The boys are pretty excited about their spaces and I think we have found a solution to how they can share space, remain civil, and we won't go broke! I will post the pics tonight if it is really camera ready!

I am soo excited to do sunshine's room. After 10 years of blue and cars and trucks, I can't wait to do something with a hint of pink. Hoping to get going on her paint tonight...we'll see! I am not going to share any more of the decorating plan for her room yet...I have to do something to keep you all in suspense.

This weekend is the ET picnic in the cities. I can't wait to go. I was very sorry to hear that Tesi
is not going to make kids are bummed too, they wanted to meet this other crazy blog family. But, none the less, it will be so fun to meet lots of the families in the area who hold an extra special place in their lives for ET. Can't wait.

Back to work...but stay tuned for room pics and all things baby girl!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Home from the Lake!

Here are a few shots from the week. It was fun, fish, sun and too much good food. We had a blast! (Captions follow the pic!)
Little Beans, fishing meditations!
The Queen of Fishing....
yes I really did catch many larger than this...but this won me the smallest fist award!

The Z man, enjoying the delectable dessert know as a smore!

My baby, who is growing way to fast for his own good...J-dog at 10, a cool dude for sure!

Three men on a fishing mission!

Proud parents of 4! Yieks!

Definitely the pot of gold at the end of my rainbow!

Rootbeer float boys....
Can't quite imagine how things might change with a toddler at the lake next year...probably now quite as much time fishing, or kayaking, or basking in the sun....but so much more fun!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008


YAY! Just got word that we have a court date of July 10! Yay! So very relieved about that. Now I have to figure out how long it is to travel time....but I am still at the lake for about 24 hours..and now I can finally relax.

Cheers and thanks for the prayers!!!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

News from ET

Well, it wasn't a court date, but it was great news! We got the developmental assessment for little peanut yesterday. She is doing really well. She is crawling, sitting, and possessive of her toys...gotta love it. It is a huge relief to know that she is doing so well given her itty bitty stature .

Not much else to say, just wanted to share a little sunshine. Still sunny and gorgeous at the lake!

Keep those fingers crossed for more good news soon!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Suprise post from the lake!

We are having a bit of quiet time here at the lake. We do get a weak internet signal, that happens to be just a bit stronger today, so I thought I would make a quick post.

We are doing fine. The kids are living in the water and in the boats and having a blast. It has been cool and windy until today, and now it is gorgeous sun and a slight breeze. I finally got out in the kayak today! Yeah me!

I am having a hard time completely relaxing as I continue to worry about my daughter. We still haven't received a court date and it has me all spazed out! I don't like these days that continue to tick by ever closer to those courts closing. If you are the praying type, please say a few prayers that we get the call that we have a court date soon. I will be a much happier camper!

I am on hubby's computer. I can try and upload some pictures later...can't figure it out right now, and it is time to go chase some loons across the lake.

Keep praying for that court date...and please say a special prayer for my friend Gina's little one who is in the hospital in ET. Prayers for her healing and strength for her family!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Not quite gone...

Okay, need to throw myself a quick pity party. We didn't get word of a court date today and I am concerned. Many around us, who got their referrals the same day have gotten theirs...but my email was all too quiet today. The longer we wait for court, the longer sunshine waits in the care center, and the longer my arms are empty. And there is still that looming Aug. 1st cut off.

God, I am trying so very hard to be patient, and to let you work the plan you have...but I really don't know how much more of this I can handle. The ups and downs of this journey are so wearing. Give me strength, perseverence and a court date!



It is time to force myself away from the commune with the loons and my kayak, and forget about court dates, travel dates, and not getting any updates! I am trying to prepare from the withdrawl I might face, a week with out my blog, my computer and my cyberspace family...but I need a break.

A year ago at the lake, we were just getting ready to start our adoption orientation. We were sure it was our last week at the lake toddler free for a few years. But now we are at this baby in hand, but baby in our hearts and minds. I would have never guessed a year ago that we would still be waiting. So as sad as it makes me some days...I am pledging to fully enjoy vacation this year. The big boys are at the age where they can pretty much run free, which means more kayak time, more novel reading, more wine drinking ;) ! Next year will be a whole different ball game with an almost 2 year old, so I am going to take full advantage of being a family of 5.

We (I) am impatiently waiting for a court date. Several others who got their referrals the same day as we did have gotten court dates of July 7. I need to clear this know she is mine. So cross your fingers we hear soon!

I will post pics of vacation when we get back. Enjoy a week break from the saga of my life...I think I will :) ! And check back next Saturday for an update!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mama Bear

Mama bear has reared her head today.

I woke up this morning needing to know how my daughter is doing. Has she gained any weight? Is she smiling? Is she being loved enough? Is she feeling better? In all honesty, I am doing okay with this part of the wait. I have so much to get ready before Miss Sunshine comes home. But I need to know more about her. I have memorized her picture, to the point that I can bring it into my minds eye at any moment, and it is no longer enough. It seems the agency has a really sporadic system of getting updates to families. I guess it is being worked on, but we have been told that we may not have any updates until right before we travel. I can't wait, I am a mama and I need to know how my child is doing. The theory is no news is good news. That still isn't good enough.

So for now, I guess I just wait...stare at her picture some more, and hope for an update. One more lesson in patience!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Walk to Beautiful

E and I watched the Nova version of this documentary two nights ago. about powerful. I knew from several friends that it was not an easy movie to watch, but that it was also wonderful. The story is about 3 women who are dealing with obstetric fistula. One of them is only 17, and had already been married off and given birth, and in the process, suffers a fistula that ostracized her from her family and community. The story follows these women as they journey to healing at the fistula hospital in Addis.

The movie left me with so many mixed emotions. Seeing the beauty of the country, listening to the rolling lilt of Amharic, and being awe struck at the beauty of the women, my appetite to travel to this amazing country was heightened. It also made me ache for all my daughter will lose. She will lose her culture, her family, and the beauty of her land. But she will be given an easier (physically) life, more opportunity than she would have ever known in her own country, and she will be given life, for I am quite certain that were an adoption plan not made for her by someone who loved her more than anything, she would not be alive. But the loses she has already faced and will continue to face, pain me to my core. Of course we will plan to surround her with as much of her birth culture as we can, and I have no doubt we will return to Ethiopia in the future, but all of our efforts will not be enough I am afraid.

At the beginning of this adoption journey, I don't think I really understood that much about how I would come to love Ethiopia, and the losses my child would endure. Now that she has a face and a history, I am more committed than ever to include the fabric and the culture that is Ethiopia in our everyday lives.

When the movie was over, E and I both said, "makes you want to just pack up and go there...make a difference, to live amidst that amazing human spirit. " I think the seeds are being planted, I am sure at some point this will become reality. One of those Ah, Ha moments, when much of what you have done in your life, comes together and there is a glimpse of what God may have instore.

So this was rather rambling, but they are thoughts I needed to capture for myself. For those that are reading along who may have just started this journey, promise you will leave your heart to the pain, the joy, and the hope and the despair of this process. If you can stay open, you will be filled, changed, pained, stretched, and most importantly grown in ways you never imagined.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


The garage sale was a success. We made a bit of rid of lots of treasures...and did some fabulous people watching all from the confines of our garage. Not a bad way to spend a weekend.

Summer starts in earnest tomorrow. Swimming lessons, the first baseball games, and hopefully a day without rain. I wish I could send the over abundance of rain to Ethiopia where they need it. Here it is just causing mud puddles, spawning huge mosquitoes, and dampening my spirits. It doesn't seem to phase the kids...but oh I would like to see some sun!

We are really hoping to hear about our court date this week, and I am secretly hoping to get a little update on Ms. Sunshine. I need to know if she is growing....

Stay tuned!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Sinking In

Bit by bit this is all sinking in. I have a daughter on the other side of the world, I will travel to Africa this summer, we are adding a 4th child, WOW! Last night I babysat for a little one who is the same age as Princess Sweetpea and actually not a whole lot bigger than she is. They will undoubtably be buddies as they grow up. It was quite the reality check to have a baby around again. She was missing her mama and was pretty sad for the first while...I kept thinking, this is just what we will face when we get to Africa. The agency we use transitions the kids and parents over a few days. As much as I mentally want to just take sweetpea into my care the minute the plane touches the ground, I certainly see the logic in taking it slowly. By the time she is fully ours, we will have had time to get to know each other. My biggest fear is she won't like me. I have wanted a daughter since I was about 2. I want her to cling to me...know that we are together forever. We'll just have to see what happens I guess.

Summer started around here yesterday. Everyone but mom is now off for the summer. I must admit, the thought of having to "escape" to work doesn't sound too bad! There are lots of projects planned and things to do, so it should be a fun summer. The boys are at the stage where they can pretty much run wild. We back on to a huge nature preserve and have an endless sandbox and pool in the yard. Vacation at home will be quite wonderful I think! If you are anywhere near...or want a destination...head on over! The sand, the pool and the deck (give us a week to finish it!) await!

We are in the midst of a garage sale this weekend. I am always soo surprised at what sells and what doesn't. We have been dodging lots of severe weather, but so far we have missed it every time. Yesterday was a lot of take stuff out, bring it back in...but we have made some good spending money for Africa!

I best scoot and get back to my post in the garage. Continue to keep sweetpea in your prayers...hoping to hear of a court date soon!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

1 week ago

One week ago tonight, life changed for the better! If the next 12 weeks fly by like this one did, princess sweetpea will be in my arms in no time! For fun today, I started looking at flights to Addis. Wow was that eye opening. We are having a garage sale this weekend to add a little more cash to the pot. I think I might just have to sell everything that isn't bolted down! Flying to Africa is no cheap event. But you know what? I really don't care. I will get there one way or another...because I have a daughter in Africa!

I wanted to say thank you to all the people who have been rocks for me through this journey. I have met some wonderful new friends along the way. We may never meet in person, ( I hope we do!!) but I feel more connected to them than to some of the people I see everyday. So thank you friends. And to those that I do see all the time...thanks for caring about this little girl halfway around the world. The love and support you have so freely given is worth more than you know!

Love you all!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sending Love in a Bag

We get the joy of sending Princess Sweetpea a few presents in a 1 gallon ziplock bag. Let me tell you, that isn't much room and it certainly doesn't fit all the love I want to send her. I also couldn't fit in the bag, so for lack of anything better, she is getting...
1. 1 soft pink blanket, slept with for the last few nights by her parents
2. 2 laminated 8x10 pictures of her new parents. This will either scare her to death, or hopefully amuse her. (I reacted both ways!) Supposedly the nannies tape these pictures in her bed so she know who we are.
3. 2 teether rattles, to share with her friends
4. One baby safe photo album, labeled in amharic, with pics of the whole family.

It's all sealed up in a well kissed ziplock...
Oh how I wish I could go with it. We love you Princess Sweetpea. We are counting the days until we can be together!

Monday, June 2, 2008

What comes next

A few of you have asked what next and why does it take so long to go get her! Chalk it up to red tape! At this point, our acceptance is in ET and they are getting a few final papers together. Once everything is in order, (hopefully today) it is all submitted to the MOWA (ministry of women's affairs) and to the court registrar. Then we wait for a court date. Currently it is taking about 2- 3 weeks to get a court date assigned, and about 1-2 weeks after that for the date. Once our case is heard, we hope and pray it goes through on the first try. Once that is done, she is legally ours in ET (then i can post her picture!!) Then we wait to get an amended Birth Certificate with our names listed as her parents. That is taking about 2-3 weeks after the court decree. Then we wait for a travel date, which is usu. 3-4 weeks after that. So although we have come a long way, there is still quite a ways to go.

We don't expect to get anymore updates on her until closer to travel time. That is going to be so hard! They will let us know if she gets sick or is hospitalized (not uncommon).

I am off to shop for a little more pink today! It's so much fun!