Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Like Sands Through The Hour Glass...

It appears to me I am bragging to everyone about my little girl. I didn't do this until this past week and I am gaining momentum, so hop on back! I told the dental assistant today at my dentist appt. and she had nothing but wonderful things to say. Her sister is trying to adopt from China and it is dragging on and since she is 50+, they may end up not able to do so with China's new "perfect parent" rules...down to your BMI! Jeez. And then Camden has his follow up appt. this afternoon for the pneumonia and I will brag there, too. Incidentally, whatever they gave him at the ER, knocked that nasty right out of him, because he has been bouncing off the walls since that night!

We (I) had a horrible, gut wrenching scare last night. Brodan has a bad cough, maybe bronchitis(I am last-man standing around this joint)and woke up crying around midnightish and so I went to him and lay there for a few minutes. I dozed a bit, not sure how long and then looked at him to see if he was asleep and HE WAS NOT MOVING. I touched him and he was ice cold. I picked him up and he was a limp rag doll. I shook the ever-livin' daylight out of him and pounded his back and he opened his eyes, looked at me, and took a deep breath and said "Mommy". I almost fell apart. That boy was not breathing for at least 20 seconds that I was awake and would not wake up until I shook him like crazy! He really seemed fine, so I think it was sleep apnea. He did it a couple of more times that night (flashbacks of hovering over the crib, check), but not as severely. I am going to ask the doctor today when I take Cam in. It is weird how many thoughts go thru your head in a moment like that. I thought "Shake, pound, CPR" in that order. I also thought about Piper. What if something tragic had happened and I had to get her in 2 weeks. What do you do? If I was pregnant and giving birth 2 weeks later, you have no choice. She is our daughter, so I couldn't leave her there any longer than she has to be. All of that raced thru my head in seconds.

It seems the closer we get to Gotcha Day, the easier it is for me to fall apart. I am very emotional, and I am not an overly emotional person. Pretty much on the normal part of the spectrum. Not lately. And that is so annoying. I guess adoption is just like pregnancy in many ways!

Anyone else overspending?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

We are adopting from the white tribe...

So after I told Dennis about the nurse's comments, he was like, "Are you kidding me?"
I said "Nope!" He said that I should have told her that there is a little known white tribe in Africa that we are adopting from and that the wait is huge. That would be sooo funny. I wonder if I will ever be in "that place" where something like that comes out of my mouth? Truly I hope not, but still funny.

Yesterday we went to JC Penney's and bought a locket for Piper's mom. I shrinky-dinked our referral pictures and put them in it for her. I know that there is a risk that her mom could sell it, but as Dennis said, "So she sells it and can eat for a few days, that shouldn't bother us." Yes, you are right, D. (He doesn't get to hear that very often ;)

Bought a few little stroller/car seat type toys for the plane and trip. My mom is going to bring her laptop so that we can Skype home(just made that term up...video cam....) while we are there, so that Dad can see her! And maybe we will get her started on DVDs before she touches US soil...wonder what she'll think of that? I never underestimate the power of cartoons! They don't babysit my children (anymore...we are much better now :), but they are a good tool sometimes...esp. a 17 hour or so flight in an airplane!

I still need to come up with something for the caregivers, however I have to email Mary to see if we are giving gifts to orphanage caregivers or foster home caregivers, b/c there is some confusion on my part as to where she is. Not sure if they move toddlers/older children to the foster home or not. Maybe Belay can get a new plaid shirt...I notice he seems to wear a lot of them!


Ahhh, tick-tock, tick-tock.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Some people need to heal THEMSELVES

Ok, so I have had a nap and can think a bit.

While at the ER, got some of those "Hmmm" remarks from the folks there.

The first one was from the x-ray guy when I told him about adopting from Ethiopia, he asked , "So did you not want to do it from here?" or something to that effect. I rambled some stuff off, and then got annoyed, because a: not his business, and b:I should have a pat answer down by now, and c: who cares what he thinks. Then he told me about his sister who was domestically adopted in the 50's, whose Mom didn't want anything to do with her, etc., so maybe I can see where he was coming from. He may of had an opinion on that stuff, or he could have just been asking out of curiosity.

Then, later, one of the nurses who came to help with what turned out to be Cam's bloodletting, said in response to my comment about Sissy coming home next month, "Ethiopia...does that mean she'll be black?" I smiled and said patiently(and looking back it could come across as patronizingly sweet-smiley patient, which makes me feel a little better)"Yes, she'll be black." And that was it. She didn't ask with the lilt in your voice that you have when you ask a question. It was definitely more flat. To me, that gave me some clues about her....you don't ask that question (and in that way) without being a bigot to some degree (if there are varying degrees, and I tend to think so).

I hope that at some point I don't analyze every comment or question made. I realize right now I am a little hypersensitive(plus tired...it was a long night) and maybe once she is here, people will clam up a bit, who knows? Most are great and that counts for a lot.

Maybe I should start over....

So Dennis got sick yesterday and so did Cam. Camden was breathing oddly so we go to the ER and Cam has pneumonia. And I killed a squirrel on the way home from the hospital. I really want to sleep... Not shaping up to be a good day.....

Friday, May 25, 2007

Petite...in OUR house?

We looked up Brodan's past well-checks(Cam was always too oversized) and saw that Piper is the same size he was at 6 months! Bro was on the hefty side of things, but just above average in height. I am going to have a petite child? Definitely not used to that!

I had bought some 12 month and 18 month clothes, but it looks like those will have to wait a bit. Good thing it still feels like summer here until November. So I had to buy some stuff at Toys R Us for church, and went ahead and bought a few 9 month things. It can be a little big on her, and be fine. She seems fine on the weight end of things, which is good.

I was looking up close at her latest pictures and you can tell, even in that odd get-up she has on, that her tummy has that bloated-orphan-look. With the shaved head and that, it just reminds me that SHE IS AN ORPHAN. Doesn't change anything, and not that I forgot, but just drives it all even more home.

I think that today I will write out some questions that I want to ask her mom when I meet her. I am afraid if I don't, then I will forget. Knowing the life expectancy and the risks out there, I want to get as much information about her as possible. I will ask her what she wants Piper to know about her. I am sure it will be a full-on bawling session. It is going to be so hard, but I know it is a great gift that I can give Piper.

I had someone from work give me their opinion on what to tell Piper someday (the lady was adopted) and while I didn't agree fully(she is all for a completely closed adoption-domestic would really be different), I took it pretty well. It was my first real "opinion" from someone. I have absolutely no problem with Piper visiting her mom someday and more than once. All correspondence, which her mom deserves often, in my opinion, goes thru the agency, so I know she won't show up at our door. I do, however, think that I owe Piper the connection to her mom in whatever capacity I can give it to her. If that means we can only visit her once while she is growing up, then I want to do that. If it means we can figure out a way to sponsor her mom for school, then let's do it. Her mother is still a child, and I want Piper to know that we tried everything that we could to make her life better. If it means that all we can afford to do is send her pictures and updates several times a year, then we will do it. Anyways...the teacher I work with looked at me and just rolled her eyes when she left, and that made me laugh. I think that since the other lady was adopted, it was easier for me to take, since I am sure it is something that affected her personally and felt passionate about. She is entitled to her opinion.

Maybe someone not so close to the issue would have affected me differently. Although that isn't really fair, since there are lots of issues that people feel strongly about who haven't been directly affected by them...they are just moved by the issues.

Whatever...this is making me tired...must be overthinking!

On a much better note, we will probably be leaving on June 13th to return the 22nd. It seems SOOOOO FAAAARRR AAAWWWAAAYYY! But I know it will be here before we know it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Gettin' ready!

So do I bring food for her? I know that she eats normal (well, Ethiopian normal) food, so maybe I should bring some toddler foods from here for her to try? I guess it would help to see what she is willing to eat or not eat before the ride back home! I guess some toddler biscuit things, cheerios (of course), and maybe some of those toddler meals for her to sample. We may end up throwing out a lot of food, which seems dead-wrong there in Ethiopia....maybe we can figure something out.

I also need to get some toys to bring for the plane...quiet toys, huh?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Courtdatecourtdatecourtdatecourtdate!!!!!!!!!

June 4th! They expect us to travel June 13th-22nd!

I am so happy, I could explode!

It still feels very surreal, but it really is going to happen! I got some new pictures of Piper. This first one is her sitting on the pot :)




Not real happy about that, is she?


And here she is walking....




Poor thing, they keep shaving her head. I guess I will learn how to take care of her hair as it grows out, which may be best anyways. Thank goodness for the Adoption hair care Yahoo group!

She looks so sad, or like she really needs some sleep! Probably both! The thing I want most is for her to smile. I understand that that may be awhile and that's ok.


Side note...went to check on Cam to RE-tuck him for the umpteenth time into bed and found her picture under his pillow. He said he just wanted to sleep with it. That makes my heart very happy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Shower scene music from Psycho please...

Ok...no one that I know of is getting their child this week in Ethiopia and I am jonesing for my stalker-like connection. Silas and Deacon are home and I am so happy for them, but I miss that excitement of seeing the pictures and the updates!

Maybe I am crazy...don't tell the social worker!

Cue the Jeopardy song!

I hate waiting.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Worries as they come...

I have been reading the book "Toddler Adoption-A Weavers Craft". It has thoroughly frightened me. It talks about attachment, grieving, behaviors, etc. I know that is something that we should prepare for, but come on! How depressing....I want sugar coating and there was nothing but bitter pill for me!

So now, I add more worries to our list of worries. What if she goes straight to me and is never fussy? That is bad, probably attachment disorder. What if she pitches a fit and hates me for months? Ironically, that isn't so bad. That means she had normal attachment to her mom and there is hope. Definitely stuff I didn't prepare for when we thought we were waiting on an infant.

Then there is this nagging feeling that we are stealing a child. I know we aren't. I know it is what is best for her life, but I think about her mom and how she is willingly giving her child away knowing her fully. Not just as a mother who carried her baby to term and gives life to her, but one who did that and lived with her and cared for her until she couldn't do it anymore. Why can't she keep her child? Why do some never get to see their biological children at all, because their bodies won't cooperate? Why is life this way? It is so unfair, and I KNOW that life is nowhere near fair, but it is one of those things where I just want to go, "God, come and get us...we are making a mess down here." Why do I get to be the one to have my own bio children AND someone else's? Hello, Guilt, my name is Rachel.

But I know He sees the beginning, the middle, and the end, where I just see a teeny blip in time. Glad I'm not God, 'cause I'd have given up on me a long time ago! And the rest of you suckers, too!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Thoughts as they come....

We will be able to meet her mom when we go to get her, just got word yesterday. That will be awkward and awesome. It will be happy and it will be sad. I am not sure that we will be able to take her to visit her Mom, not sure what the rules are on that one. WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU SAY???? I will thank her, of course, and make all the promises of care and well being that I can, but that is kind of the surface stuff. WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU SAY WITHOUT SOUNDING TRITE??? There are some mixed up emotions going on right now.

I can say that she was relinquished about 2 1/2 months ago by her mom, so she has not been institutionalized very long. That said, she is grieving and they used the term "markedly sad" over the loss of her Mom. I can not imagine placing the boys for adoption at a year and a half....the pain both must be feeling. To top it off, there is even more to the story that I will leave unsaid, but I am sad for them both. I am sure that when we meet, she may not want to come to me, and I am okay with that. In fact, I am preparing for her to be completely upset. It may or may not be the case, but I think I should really prepare for that, because no matter what, down deep, you hope for that perfect running-into-each-other's arms type of union, you know? Can you imagine going to people with white faces who have never seen you before and being whisked away to another country you have never seen before, into a house loud with kids and a TV blasting. Being strapped down in a chair you have never experienced, unable to move, while you speed along in some huge metal contraption. Getting tossed into a world that doesn't eat anything remotely close to what you ate before. Can anyone say "culture shock"? I think back to my trips to Haiti, where I am there for only a week, and, even though I completely love the place and the people and the food, I am soooo relieved to go home! She is up against some major changes and adjustments, soon.

We are about halfway through our required 10 hours of continuing adoption education training, which some you can do via video online through Gladney, and we just got a video on grief and loss. What I do know about grief is that there will be stages she will go through...some interesting days ahead. In September, after the 2 youngest's birthdays, I will have a 2, 3, and 4 year old. I have lost my mind.

And I wonder how the boys will adjust to it all. I honestly think that Cam will be fine, the little Mother that he is, and the fact that there has always been another younger child here. Brodan doesn't like to share me, and may have some problems at first, but maybe he will like having someone to play with that won't push and shove...well, at least just yet ;)

So, there are my thoughts and doubts for the moment. I get them throughout the day, and I really want to write them down, because I think that they are thoughts that probably everyone has. Here, I'll get brave. How about this one....was anyone so superficial that they worried that they wouldn't have a "cute" baby? What if he/she was ugly? I had that thought with ALL THREE kids. Don't get me wrong, it was nothing that was dwelled upon...more like a fleeting thought that I was anxious to suppress because it disappointed me to have it in the first place. Lucky me, it wasn't the case, and my children should all be on TV, of course. But let's get real. You always hear people say, "It doesn't matter what I have, I just want a healthy baby." Of course you do! Let's state the obvious, why don't we, but I am sure that 90% of people DO care which sex of child they have and have a preference, choice or no choice. I think they call it "P.C.", right? I am politically correct sometimes and sometimes, no.

Looks like I had a few more thoughts, huh?

Well, time to go feed the boys....

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice!


Howz this for Mother's Day....our little girl Chaltu (pronounced "Shaltoo") which means "big/best". There she is taking some of her first steps! I have a full on face picture that isn't in jpeg form, so I can't get it on here, but I will be carrying it around with me to show off! I am beside myself. First of all, can I say beautiful???? It has only been since, what, April 20th? That is TWO AND A HALF WEEKS!!! for those of you in Waitingland. Now, we had asked, I am pretty sure, for a child that was 0-12mos, but she is 19 months old. Did I tell you that it turns out that her age doesn't really matter one iota, 'cause she's perfect? Maybe they did that since she is close to that range, and since we already have children, I don't know, and I am not going to ask, 'cause it don't mattah! She is about 18 lbs, and just started walking in April. She is semi-potty trained, as they do that pretty early there apparently (do you hear that, Brodan?) She is also starting to say just a couple of words. Let me think...that is like I had a child Apr 03, Sept 04, and Sept 05. Her birthday is September 11, 2005....the same as her Granny Elliott!

Her story is a sad one that will be very difficult to tell her someday. And I have a feeling it might make our meeting difficult. I wish that I could put it out there for some advice, but I made a promise to her that it is her story to tell, so I won't. Until we tell her her story, I will have to do a lot of reading, for sure.

I am figuring that we travel mid to end of June. I NEVER thought it would be that fast! Now we wait for our court date, which can take up to 4 weeks, and travel is usually 1-2 weeks later.

It is really cool how "The Call" came. Apparently, Mary called this morning and I saw that I had an unknown on my cell, but didn't get a message. Besides, it was still too soon, right? And then, as I was loading the kids in the car after Parent's Day Out, Dennis drove up and smiled and gave me a big hug. I thought it was for Mother's Day or something and he said "Guess who called? Guess what we have?"
I almost screamed!

Still not sure on her name yet, but that will be soon...we'll let you know.

I am so happy. So to those waiting, maybe it won't be real long!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Our dossier has made it!

Well, our dossier has made it to Ethiopia! It made it there on April 30th! My impression is that it goes to Belay from Gladney(who represents us there in Ethiopia until we get there) and gets translated and then waits to go through the court system until we get a referral. From reading others' posts, what happens is that a match is made and then the medical tests get run on our baby to confirm that she is "healthy". Then the referral is made. Lots of people have gotten their referrals in a month to a month in a half recently!

We were officially put on the wait list on April 20th, so we are almost 2 wks into the wait, which is just like the last month of my pregnancies. This whole experience is just like being pregnant with all of the anticipation and excitement and the love you have for your child without even seeing them. I may have said it before, but in the beginning, that was one of my questions or doubts. Maybe because we originally had a heart to adopt from Haiti, but as I learned about Africa and did the paper chase, that completely erased. The same goes for Dennis, too. I think it has been nice for him because he feels we are on equal playing ground with our little girl. With the boys, it was ME who was pregnant, feeling them grow and kick. He had to wait until the birth to really experience them. This has been a wonderful experience for us together.

And so we wait......