Sunday, August 31, 2008

Showers of Blessings

Last week, we asked our home congregation to help us fill a suitcase with donations for the care center. Our church has been wonderful throughout this journey, supporting us with prayers and many kind-nesses. Today was no exception. The boys have taken this project on themselves and they sat in the commons area, with a bright red suitcase, eager for donations. They were not disappointed. The suitcase is almost filled, we have several monetary donations, and so many promises of prayers, offers to help with the boys, and so many people so excited to welcome Sunshine into our church family. I was over whelmed by the love and care of my church family. We trurly are blessed beyond measure.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Warp Speed

Time feels like it is going at warp speed, and yet not quick enough. I am amazed that we only have 1 week and 4 days left before travel. Yet I am equally amazed that we are still waiting.

I am finding myself in an interesting place. I still can't let go and imagine all the moments that lie ahead. I can visualize saying goodbye to the kids (and crying), waking up at my in laws and getting ready for a full 24 hrs of traveling. I can imagine the plane ride, meeting John and Melanie at the airport, hanging out in Dulles, pacing the narrow walkways on the airplane, high above the ocean below. I can even imagine landing in Africa, the smell, the unfamiliarity. I can imagine getting to the guest house and settling in to our home away from home, unpacking and making it feel like home. I can imagine not sleeping, although fatigue will plague me...and this is where it ends.

For the many years I taught childbirth, I always encouraged my couples to imagine themselves in labor, what they were doing, how they were coping. It helped with the uncertain-ness of all that was to come. I think that is what I am trying to do, but I just can't. I get to that point and I just freeze. Am I really still protecting my heart? Is it just such an overwhelming experience that I can't go there yet? I don't know...I am hoping as each day gets closer, I can imagine more, and try and prepare myself, even just a tiny bit, for all that is to come!

Friday, August 29, 2008

This Mama is for Obama!!

WOW. Obama's speech last night rocked the house and then some. I LOVE this man and the hope, ideas, and plans he is bringing to this nation. We have had is time.

I loved watching the speech last night, esp when the lenses of the cameras focused on Michelle and the girls. His daughters are beautiful and I couldn't help but think how wonderful it will be, as my daughter is growing up, to have a family that looks like her, heading our country. It gives me goose bumps still.

On another note... have your notices how adorable my daughter is???? I just fall in love with her more each day, and in less than 2 weeks, she will be in my arms. I love you sweet baby!

It is the last weekend before school starts. Alleluia! It is time for those who fight like cats and dogs to go have their minds stretched a bit, and not live on top of each other, but be seperated by the hallowed halls of education!

Off to pretend I am working! In reality, I am totally already on that plane to Africa!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sleepless in Minnesota

I must be more anxious about all of this then I thought. My sub conscious is having a hay-day and taking it out on me in my dreams! I have been having a load of totally bizarre dreams. Like the one where my dad traveled with me instead of E and we had the paperwork in the sealed envelope for immigration with the explicit instructions to not open it until we reached immigration in the US, and dad opened it because there was chocolate inside that he needed! Or last nights dream that we had to go and find Sunshine somewhere in this huge hotel/market and they wouldn't tell us what room to find her in, only that she was there and our job as parents was to know where! I also woke up at about 2am and couldn't get back to sleep until at least 3. I am not supposed to be sleep deprived before I GO to Et!

On the plus side, I think I am just about packed. I sorted back through Sunshine's suitcase last night and shifted things around a bit, then started in on my stuff and except for 2 things I need to wash, I think I am there. That is a great feeling! E made his packing list last night, so that was a relief as well. We are taking one suitcase from the agency full of their donations/necessities, and a huge suitcase of donations from our church. Then two more suitcases with a mix of our stuff. So far so good.

Today is yet another run to Target...gotta get the cipro filled, and see if the car seat we are waiting for is in yet! And maybe a few more of those adorable travel size deoderants...oh yay, I need some sleep!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Notice the ticker today??? Trip agenda too!

2 weeks until take-off. OMG!!! I am feeling like I am living in the twilight zone right now. It is all still so surreal! Two weeks from now, I will be having breakfast at my in-laws, getting ready to board a plane for a true life changing experience. Here is a little more about our trip:

We fly out of Mpls at 1:15 and arrive in DC at 4:45. It looks like several of the families we will share the week with are on the Ethiopian Air flight so that should be fun! Anyway, John and Melanie are going to meet us at our gate and then we are going to grab our last American Meal, then board the plane to Addis. We have a fuel stop in Rome, then continue on to Addis, arriving at about 7pm Addis time (8 hrs ahead of CT). We will be met at the airport by a rep from the agancy. Once we purchase our Visa's and get our luggage, it is off to the care center. We are staying in the smaller more traditional of the two guest houses. I guess there are 3 families total in this house and we walk to the other house for meals etc. Thursday night we attempt to sleep and get ready to meet Miss Sunshine.

Friday moring we have breakfast at the care center and then have a brief orientation at the main office, then head to the care center to meet Sunshine. They do not allow camera's in the care center, but they will video tape the first meeting for us. We get to spend about an hour with her and then return to the house for lunch. Then we get to go back and hang out with her for a bit longer in the afternoon.

Saturday, we spend the morning learning more about our sunshine. We will get time to hang out with her in the care center and love her up! After lunch, we have a chance to shop and exchange our $$. We have the option of going to a hotel buffet at the Crown Hotel. At this point we are thinking of skipping that event as the next moring is really early..we'll see how it goes.

Sunday we get up at 5am and travel south of Addis to Hosanna to meet sunshines birth family. We are hopeful we will meet her father. We spend 3-4 hours in Hosanna, seeing the orphanage she came into intitally, meeting family and experiencing a different part of the country. Then we board our bus and return to Addis. We will not see sunshine this day.

Monday we get to go back to our girl and I think bring her back to the guest house for a while. The afternoon on Monday we see some of the humanitarian projects in the area as well as a museum.

Tuesday Sunshine is all ours! There is a going away ceremony in the morning and then we have our Embassy appointment in the afternoon. After that, she is in our care forever. YEAH!!!

Wed and Thursday are spent in the guest house, getting to know our girl and settling into the routines of parenting a baby again. Thursday we leave for the airport arounsupper time for our 10pm flight home. We arrive in DC on Friday am at about 9am and go through immigration and customs. Then we hang out in the airport....until our flight home at 5:15. It will be a very long day of traveling, but we will finally have Miss it won't matter!

We return to the Mlps airport about 7pm. We welcome friends to meet us at the airport, but know that we won't be passing sunshine around and the main focus will be uniting our whole family. We will most likely be rather strung out and loopy as well.

So now that I have typed all that, I am so excited I can hardly sit still. It is going to be here in the blink of an eye! Yipee!!


Tuesday, August 26, 2008


So little man took a horrible spill last night. I was sitting in the dining room, working on adoption paperwork (imagine that) when I heard the B man crying. His oldest brother was sitting next to me and said, oh he sounds mad...but the mama in me knew he was sounding hurt, not mad. Sure enough, after tripping on a floppy croc, he skidded along the street, head and nose first. He was quite a mess. Today he is sporting a very nice goose-egg, with a huge raw patch, as well as a huge skid mark down his nose. Last night he didn't want to look at it, so this am when he finally looked in the mirror, he was pretty shocked! His comment was he looked like humpty dumpty. And wouldn't you know school pictures are next week. Oh well, it will be one to remember! He is getting a lot of milage out of it...and was pretty convinced that since it still hurt this am, he should really have a cookie for breakfast. Not sure I see the correlation, but you can't fault him for trying! Once I find the camera, I will share his owie with all of you. In the mean time I am going to enjoy the extra snuggles he wants this am...and be thankful it wasn't a lot worse!

Lovin Michelle Obama!

Don't know if you had a chance to hear her speech last night. If not, you really missed out. She was amazing. To think we could have a first lady that dynamic, committed, eloquent and beautiful is wonderful to hope! And what a wonderful role model for my daughter, and daughters the world over. She is the Jackie O of our time, but I think could have an even greater impact on this country. It is going to be an exciting fall...there is finally something full of hope and change in politics in this country!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Muddling around in my mind

We are getting really close. So close, I can almost feel it. So now my mind is finally starting to wrap itself around the enormity of all we are doing, all we will see, all we will experience and I am scared. I am not scared about getting there, or having a baby again, or leaving the boys. I am not scared about our accommodations, the food we will eat, or having packed the right things. I AM scared about how this trip will affect me to my core. I am scared that I will fall in love with Africa, and want to do so much more, but not be able to. I am scared that I may feel called to something greater, but not know how get there .

I am a very passionate person and I know myself well enough to know that this journey will shake me to my core, and that at that core is something so precious and wonderful and fragile, that I will want to take it and grow it and nurture it, right then..but I have to face the reality that I have to return to my life. I fear that returning to my life of material things, my boutique, my rambling old house, my mundane day to day, isn't going to be enough. I know there will be more to do. How do I get there? I am pretty locked into this life I have created thus far, but I can look back and see the roads I have traveled to get where I am and I know that this particular journey brings with it so much more. God's got a great plan in all of this, and I am scared, scared that I will want to jump, scared I won't be able to jump, and believing at my very core that I have more to do...this journey is just the beginning...but where do I go from here? Can a single trip to Africa really change my whole life? I think it can, I think it will, I am scared, I am excited, and I am ready.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Plum tuckered out!

Yieks. It is already Sunday afternoon and I haven't gotten my list accomplished and frankly, all I really want to do right now is take a nap. Alas, I don't think that is going to happen, unless I fall asleep mid-task, which is a possibility. I have made great progress on laundry, and I did get some of J's room cleaned (oh my is he a pack-rat!) I got the donations letter done for church this am, I worked yesterday, and you can see the dining room all in all, I guess I was productive. The week ahead is full. E heads back to school in the am, so I am trying to figure out all the jobs I can get done without his assistance! And the countdown is getting down-right small. Wow. It is the last week of summer...time to enjoy it all.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

3 weekends

That is all we have left until we leave. This morning I woke up to a full bed. The 8 year old came in about 3 am with a nightmare, the 5 yr old came in about 5 am because he was cold. I think the cat was there all night, and I know the dog joined the pile at about 6:30...pretty sure hubby was there all night, but I couldn't really see him through the crowd. As I was laying there awake, my mind spinning with the to-do list for today, I looked over at the sleeping profiles of those I love the most and imagined Miss Sunshine sandwiched in-between all of us and I couldn't help but smile. It was a fitting image. We have a very full life, just like my very full bed, but it seems we can always always fit in the most important things. It won't always be comfortable or easy, but there is always room for more love, more snuggles, and if you wiggle, a little more room in mom and dad's bed!

The list of what to conquer is pretty long today and tomorrow. We'll see how far we get. E heads back on Monday, so it is kind of now or never for a few projects. By the end of the weekend we hope to have the trim painted in the back porch, a new screen door installed, the 10 year olds room cleaned (that could take a life time!) the garage clean enough to actually park a car in, a few pieces of furniture moved around, and about 8 loads of laundry done and put away. Not to mention I have to work this aft, we sing with the worship band on Sunday, and E needs to spend some quality time with his classroom. Yieks...I think I am tired already! But it is a joyous tired. We are getting soo close to so many wonderful things...

Okay, now that I am having a slight panic attack about the above list, I am logging off and getting my rear in gear!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Grab the Kleenex

Okay, so I am an emotional bundle these days...doesn't take much to start the water works. And since it is always more fun to share in the tears, I thought I would share with you the "tracks of my tears" these are happy, bittersweet, joyful mommy tears! If ya don't want to join in, then stop reading NOW!

1. Imagining the moment I leave B at the kindergarten door, and have a whole week ahead of me with three in school, none with me.

2. Figuring out how to say goodbye to the boys when we leave to travel. Kissing their sweet heads, breathing deeply enough to carry their smell with me to Africa and back.

3. Arriving at the airport in Dulles, meeting Mel and John, our journey mates, and having it hit me that we really are going!

4. Landing on the ground in Addis

5. Finally smelling Africa

6. The moment we ascend the steps to the care center and walk into the room to meet our daughter. Then finally we can hold her, smell her, kiss her, make her smile, and hear her voice.

7. Meeting sunshine's family in Hosanna, and the moment we connect in our love for this child.

8. Saying goodbye to the nannies who have loved and nourished her for the past 4 months.

9. Leaving Africa, our daughter's home, but being ready to be home.

10. 8 hours in the Dulles airport (these are tears of fear!!)

11. Arriving home in MN, coming down the escalator in baggage check and FINALLY having my family all together! Holding all of them
12. Seeing J, Z, B loving on their long awaited sister

SO as you can see, it just takes a momentary ride down the ole imagination trail to get the tears flowing. Happy tears...dreaming tears...mommy tears.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Three Weeks

Three weeks from right now, we will be touching down in DC, ready to meet up with friends for supper, then on the overnight flight to ET. Wow. Only 3 weeks left. A year ago right now, I was anxiously awaiting the paperwork for our dossier. I was nervous and excited and predicting that we would travel to get our daughter in the spring. And now, here it is, fall again, and once again I am nervous and excited, but now my daughter has a face and a name. She has things all over our house that are just hers. I have laundry that is hers, I have a suitcase full of things for her...and "her "is a real live little person, who has no idea what the next month has in store for her!

The next 3 weeks are going to fly by. I feel like every moment of everyday is so very precious. I feel like I have to pack it all in, get it all done, before our lives shift so dramatically. I can't wait.

I was reflecting on the summer today. Emotionally, it was a really hard summer. This journey really took it out of me. Mother guilt was really creeping in until the boys and I were talking about the plan for the next few weeks. Z said, "wow, we really got spoiled this summer! It was the best!" I asked him to tell me more...he rambled off all the fun things of the summer...bonfires, dinners with the neighbors, boating, the lake, house projects, grandparent time, I was so relieved! No need to feel guilty for not providing much of a wow factor for the summer...they had a great time, and they are ready to start this new chapter.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Packing Mayhem

Holy Moly packing for a child you have never seen and you don't know that much about is pretty crazy. I have, in the last few days, spent far too many hours at Target, wandering the isles trying to figure out bottles, bottle liners, fast flow nipples, pacifiers, formula etc, etc,etc. You would think I was a first time mother....I have raised 3 children...this shouldn't be so hard. I have most of Sunshine's stuff packed and I have most of my stuff mentally pulled together. Not so sure hubby has thought about packing yet...but he does have 3 weeks, so I think he is okay.

The boys are getting excited for school and they all got the teachers that they wanted. E goes back on Monday, the reality of the school year will set in soon! I am ready for everyone to get back into their groove!

The kids have been gone the last two days so I have gotten soo much done. It has been great nesting time. However on that note, they will be back soon and I think I best finish up a few loose ends...stay tuned...the ride is getting more exciting every day!

Monday, August 18, 2008

A very happy baby shower!

Saturday, my friends had a baby shower for Sunshine. It was so much fun. My neighbor across the street hosted the luncheon. As I came downstairs in the morning, I looked across and she had pink and white balloons tied to the mail box. That started the water works right then! It just felt so good to finally be able to celebrate the end of this journey! The luncheon was wonderful...beautiful china, yummy food, flowers, great friends, and fun gifts. It was perfect.
A beautiful table, yummy, yummy food!
Mother and Daughter...ready to add another generation!The ready for sissy to come home!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sometimes you just have to say...

Wow. I think I am still in shock that this is really going to happen. I got a note from my friend Mel who we are traveling with and she found out that we are going to be rooming next door to each other. It just keeps getting better. Another family who just returned has posted lots of pictures and a video or two. It is amazing to think that will be us in just a few short weeks.

Tomorrow is the baby shower for Meron. I am looking forward to celebrating her with complete certainty that she is ours and we are hers and we will be together soon. I have started a notebook of lists, I made her first DR appointment today, I am finally able to do mommy things for her! I have a list of things to pack for her, and can't wait to see what she gloms on to as her favorite. We got our first baby bottles last night and I just about broke into tears. It is really going to happen.

I will be sure to post some pics of the shower and the goodies tomorrow. I can't wait!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Leaving On A Jet Plane

We are bound for Africa on September 10th! Yep, just 27 short days from now! YAY!!!! We have our tickets booked and can't wait to get going. It looks like we will have a long time to enjoy Dulles Airport! We leave here at 1:15pm on the 10th, arriving in Dulles at 4:44 pm, we can't wait to meet up with great friends Melanie and John, grab a great meal, then hop the flight to Addis at 8:30pm. We arrive at 7pm Thursday night. Coming back we arrive in DC at 8:55am and don't leave until 5:15...could be a very long day of waiting...but we are waiting pros now. SO, now starts the packing, the list making, and the merry making! Can't wait!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It is really going to happen!

I am really going to go and get my daughter in Africa. It really is going to happen. I am finally letting myself truly relax and just enjoy this time. I am savoring the moments of packing, list making, and imagining. I am letting my mind go to those moments: seeing her for the first time, smelling her, touching her, seeing her play and smile, holding her as she falls asleep, loving her through her adjustment, giving her a bottle, rubbing her bald little head, giving her her first doll, so many moments filled with so much joy, it just bubbles over. I could get really keyed up about packing, worrying about travel to a foreign country, worrying about leaving the kids...but I don't want to waste another moment worrying...there has been more than enough of that this journey, now is the time LIVE this most amazing miracle. To open my heart up to it's core, and let all that is to come fill me up.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

God Is Good

So I am on the phone talking to a rep at the shop. The other line clicks in and I let it go to voice mail. Then the other line clicks again, and I know this is the click that means it is prob home calling and I better grab it. I left my rep hanging for a minute and clicked over to the sweet voice of my hubby, telling me to "Shut up, and open your email" and there, staring at me was a new picture and a picture perfect birth certificate. WOW. We are almost there. Thank you God.
You can really see the extra pounds in those cheeks. She looks far to sad to me however...mama needs to get there and shower some kisses on those cheeks. But oh my, she is beautiful! More news to come tomorrow we think!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Growing Boys or decide!

So yesterday I set out and conquered the boys closets! Three large bags worth of items to donate, and everyone has clothes in their drawers that actually fit! And in a moment of sheer cosmic bliss, I was actually able to take things from one closet, and move them down to the next and so on. It was great! I would love to say that we planned it and when we had all these boys, we spaced them just so, so that hand me downs would fit every year...this is the first year it worked and what great timing. Thankfully it looks like other than a few pairs of jeans and tennis shoes, shopping this year can be minimal!

Then I hit our room. We have a HUGE bedroom, far bigger than any bedroom needs to be. It ends up being the upstairs, it is was full of random legos, Playstation controls, discarded magazines, granola bar wrappers, and laundry that hadn't found it's way to it's proper home. So while watching the amazing Men's 400 meter relay, I armed myself with the vacuum, a large trash bag and some muscle. It's almost done, and lets just say...oh yuck. But it is getting better. Today I will finish that, attack the 10 year olds collection of treasures in his room, and see what else I can find. Nesting? or Fall? You be the judge!

We hope to have news by Wednesday of this week...then we can really kick it into high gear. Bring it on!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

No BC's yet

So the word was that the letter that needs to get sent before the BC's can arrive did come, but the BC's are not coming until next week. I broke down and called my specialist and we had a very good conversation. She is very hopeful that we will see some action next week, so i am choosing to be hopeful.

I am at my parents (sans my fam) for the weekend. We have SKYPE'd with baby Seattle and had fun eating good food and hanging out. Sometimes it is nice to revert to your childhood and be the little girl again!

Probably won't post again until next week, when hopefully there is great news to share.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

No birth certificates today

Got an email from our specialist. No birth certificates today. Please say a prayer for tomorrow. I am not sure how I will go another weekend with out news.


We got a medical update today. The bad news was Sunshine had tonsilitis with a high fever which sparked 2 more seizures back in July. The good news is she is doing well now, was seen by the neurologist who said she is thriving and the report is she is in great health and very playful.

According to all trends and predictions, we should see that BC today. I am kinda a wreck. That pit in my stomach feeling just won't go away. Life feels as though it is spinning quickly out of control and I am a control freak, so this is not good.

On a happy note, my new nephew is absolutely precious...I am going to focus on his picture all day and hope it takes my mind off this wait. (or atleast I can try!)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Welcome to the World Jackson!

There was great news in the world today. I am a new aunt. Jackson (baby seattle) arrived this evening. My baby brother is a, that is pretty awesome! And his most beautiful wife is a rock star...enduring labor and a c-section! Congrats new mama and daddy, and just so you know, the most obnoxious, loud, bright, many parted toy is on it's way (just kidding, but I warned you, pay back will be sweet!)

Tonight we all go to sleep happy.

Still No News

At least not here...

might be some elsewhere....

tomorrow has to be the day, right?

Get to sing with the praise band at church tonight, that will be good.

Need to clean the house

Want that email.

Miss my girl.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Where oh where is that da*% BC?

Okay, so the patience I mustered for the first half of the day is now all used up. Logically, I know not to expect news of the BC before tomorrow at the earliest. But really, how much longer do I have to wait??? I must have me some bad Karma...this waiting just goes on and on. No one else on our agency forum has gotten one yet this week, so I can at least rest assured knowing that others with my court date aren't jumping ahead of me in the que. I just wish we had some idea of how this works. Does our agency have us penciled in for a travel date? Do they really just wait to see when that BC comes in and then put our names on a wall and throw darts to see when we travel? I am beginning to think it might be this way. I just want to know how much more patience I need to find.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Chubby Monkey

So baby girl is growing!! We got a growth report today. She is up to almost 17 lbs and 26 1/2 inches. Her head also grew 1 cm. I am soo excited to know that she continues to grow. She has had nice steady weight gain since coming in to care. Yay!

I am still holding out hope for that birth certificate on Thursday. I am hoping we get that and my brother's little one finally decides to come into the world. A banner day all around I think! Wouldn't that be wonderful. I am also really selfishly hoping to travel with the Sept 10th group. My dear friend and her hubby are traveling then and it would make an already amazing trip about 100x more if we are going to be picky pray-ers we are asking for the BC this week and a travel date of Sept 10. That would be perfect. (and for baby seattle to make his entrance soon!) So pray away!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

It's Time

It is time for good news. It is time for that birth certificate, it is time for the travel date, it is time for an update on Miss Sunshine. It is time for the store to have a great week, it is time for my nephew to be born ( :) ) It's August, it is time and it needs to be a week full of good news!


Saturday, August 2, 2008


Well, I finally heard from my specialist this am. No news really, except to say that my travel date hinges on the birth certificate and that they hope to see that soon. I hope her soon and my soon are the same. I just laid out the calendar for August. The first two weeks are really busy so that is good. Then it is going to be slow going for a week or two. Hopefully after that, we will be busy with school and packing.

I don't want to wish away the month of August. It is the last time we will be a family of 5. And yet, I look at the calendar with all of those weeks staring at me and it seems like an eternity. So I am going to try and relish the days we have, try and have some free fun together with my boys. I think a date day with each of them is in the plans.

I have a ton of work to do for the shop. The next few months will be very telling. My lease is up in Jan and I have to see where we are going...profit or sinking ship. So my goal for the week is to get a better grip on where that ship is sailing. That may help my stress level or send me completely over the edge. Time will tell.

So, not in a much better place, but as I type, I am eating home-made cookie dough and it is a great balm!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Another week goes by...

and still no news. No update, no birth certificate, no news. I have e-mailed my specialist twice this week to see if we can get any sort of remaining time line, any info on how Sunshine is doing, any idea when we might travel...she has not answered. This does not please me.

We just got back from a few days at nana and papa's house. It was helpful to be away. I am finding myself returning to that yucky place I was in right before we got the referral...the place that is sad, unproductive, and no fun for anyone. I am trying to stay positive, but in all honesty, it isn't working for diddly squat. So my apologies to all that love me. I am just going to be a crabby bitch until I KNOW how long it is until I get my child. It is what it is. So, if you are looking for positive posts, smiles, and all, you're gonna have to look elsewhere. Cause here, we're scrapin the bottom of the barrel.