Friday, May 30, 2008

This, That, and the Other

Boy, it feels like a long time since I sat down to write something. Or just sat down, for that matter! We're shifting into high gear now in hopes of fetching our beautiful baby girl in early July.

Oh, there is so much to do! There's the rearranging the boys bedroom and switching to bunks (by the way, when I was organizing our stuff last weekend I counted 7 different beds in this house and a total of 5 different types. Crazy!) There's preparing for baby, but also trying to not get too prepared in case our court date isn't successful: clothing, bottles, a new stroller / car seat, diapers, a name(!). There's planning for the trip we'd like to take to see a bit of Ethiopia before we get our baby and also planning for our boys while we're gone. And there's Yogi's birthday which we'll celebrate a few weeks after we return. We're going to rent ponies for an hour of rides in our own backyard. And then of course, all the usual stuff of life like my bottomless laundry pile, grocery shopping, and garden / yard work etc...It's a lot. I'm happy and excited and worried and overwhelmed. And really really tired since I haven't been sleeping well.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Folklife

Folklife was last weekend and we took the boys early on Saturday for some good music, good food, and good vibes.


This was early in the day, otherwise we wouldn't have scored so much space on the bench around the fountain.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Court Date!

I called the agency today and found out that our court date has been scheduled for June 17th which is just 3 weeks from today! They will tell us when to travel after a successful court date, but if all goes well we would probably travel about 3 weeks after that which would mean meeting our daughter in the second week of July! I'm just so excited!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Goodbye Onsie


Here's Yogi. See his cute white onsie? Well, this is the last time because... he's potty trained! I thought Beck was easy, but after just two days of 50% accuracy, Yogi is 100% there. He's wearing his undies and telling me when he gets the feeling -- even when we're out and about. And so, for the first time in almost 4 1/2 years, we're diaper free -- at least until baby comes home!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pinkwater

Well, I read Uncle Boris in the Yukon, the Pinkwater book and while it was entertaining enough and a quick read, it wasn't as good as his other books of essays like Fish Whistle or Chicago Days / Hoboken Nights. Apparently these two are now published in a single volume called Hoboken Fish and Chicago Whistle. And that's the book I'll recommend today. His essays range from plain funny, to poignant, to weird, but they are all good. Definitely worth the read. And while you're at it, pick yourself up a copy of Alan Mendelson, The Boy From Mars. That's a book that I read when I was probably 12 years old and I still remember so much of it's wonderful strangeness. A bowl of Green Death from the Bermuda Triangle Chili Parlor, anyone?

Adoption Update

To be honest I'm getting kind of confused about which "world" I'm in and who I've told what. There's the real world, my blog world with my blogger friends, and now there's my new Yahoo group world. Another person adopting through Children's House International started a Yahoo group which includes several families who are in the exact place we are: have a referral, waiting for the court date. I've already learned a lot from the conversation there which is nice since otherwise I wouldn't have any idea what's going on! This is what I've learned:

1. There are many of us (at least 6 families) who have gotten a referral and are waiting for a court date.

2. That CHI might have already requested a date and we're waiting for the courts to schedule it.

3. That apparently CHI doesn't want a really large group to be scheduled at the same time so there might be more than one date.

Of course, none of this is actually coming from the agency so I don't have the official word on anything, but at this point I'll take what I can get!

We've also started a little planning since we'd like to travel around in Ethiopia while we're there. Luckily there is a person in the Yahoo group who just returned from picking up her new baby and did the same thing herself.

So, that's it. Waiting for a court date, starting to make travel plans.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cabin Break


The boys and I made fresh pasta. They loved working the crank and it was a surprisingly easy project to do together.


Mom and the boys on the cabin deck gearing-up after naps.


Launching the rubber raft into Drayton Harbor. Beck opted for some beach time after his first trip out. It was impossible to keep the boys clothed on the beach. No matter how hard I tried, no matter what I had them wear, they always ended up naked.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Busy

Overheard from the kitchen while the boys lined up large wooden dominoes in the living room.

Beck: Mom, Yogi just wrecked my runway!
Me: Tell him to stop.
Beck: Stop ruining my runway.
Yogi: I can't.
Me: (Shouting from the kitchen) Why not?
Yogi: I'm busy. (Wrecking the runway!)

Monday, May 19, 2008

We're Back!

We're back! And I'm really exhausted. I spent the morning packing us up and then did the 2 hour drive home. Before even walking into the house I started in on the yard. It's warm out today and after being trapped in the car, the boys wanted to play outside immediately so I mowed both lawns and pulled weeds and worked on various yard projects until Chris come home after work. Then we all went in and I started on the laundry and unpacking and now as I sit here I'm feeling like I won't be able to get up! But, it's good. We're good.

In the last few minutes of putting away the gardening tools the sky began to look very spooky. I think these clouds are called mammatus - or at least that's what the cloud appreciation society calls them! If you love clouds like we do, then you might poke around their site. Here's a photo of the sky looking east from our yard.

I've been thinking of all the things I wanted to write about that we saw and did the last few days: the tiny sea star no bigger than your fingernail that Yogi pulled up while they were playing in the shallow water off Semiahmoo spit, the perfectly smooth breast of the Cedar Waxwing that we watched on the branch of the willow, the flock of Goldfinches that kept bursting out of the bushes like a handful of bright yellow pom poms, the boardwalk around Tennant Lake surrounded by lily pads in bloom and all sorts of wild and strange bird calls. It was wonderful and lush and alive. And as much as I think it's good for the boys to experience the natural world, I think I need it too. Don't we all?!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

At Last!

Ah, finally some great news! Our agency called with our referral late on Tuesday and we couldn't be more excited! I know we're not allowed to reveal any "identifying information", but I will tell you that she is adorable and very young and so perfect and sweet. And she has the most beautiful big eyes and I just can't wait to scoop her up and hold her and finally have her with us. We feel so lucky right now!

Here's how it went down: The phone rang while Chris was still at work and the boys were napping. When I realized it was Lisa from our agency, I knew it could only be one thing! She told me some basic information and sent an email while we were talking with lots of photos and other documents. It's always a surprise to see your child's face for the first time, but it's also like your heart door is open and you just can't wait to welcome them in. She is beautiful and I had to choke back some happy tears because this means we finally have our daughter - something I've wanted my whole life. We ended our conversation and I called Chris to share the news and photos. Yesterday we got the various documents notarized and since I had planned to bring the boys up to the cabin for a long weekend, I opted to hand deliver the documents to the office in Ferndale, WA today. That felt especially nice since I had a good chat with Mike (the case manager for the Ethiopia program).

Now, we hope for a successful court date before they close in August. If all goes well, we will probably travel to Ethiopia in July. Oh my goodness! Can you believe it's actually happening? I have to admit that even though it didn't really take that long, I did have some low points where I began to wonder if it really would happen at all. And now it is!

After I dropped off the paperwork today, I felt so light, so spacious. Sometimes it feels like life is all right, you know? And the clouds cleared away and we had the second sunny day of 2008. And we saw six bald eagles soaring in the sky at the same time, and there is a little Killdeer nest with a mother bird and 4 perfect spotted eggs on the gravel driveway and the boys ended up splashing around naked in the shallow water of the sandy beach at the end of the spit and it felt just right. Everything felt all right.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!


Here she is: my wonderful mom -- and that's me on her lap! I must have been about 7 here and my mom was younger than I am now. I can't think of a time in my life when I wasn't close to my mom. I love her so much. Plus she gardens, sews anything you please, knows how to cook everything, makes her own organic applesauce, plays bridge, hikes in the back country, and is amazing on the piano, makes me laugh, helps me a lot, and loves us all. She's pretty special, my mom.

Playing in the Dirt

The other day I was out weeding and while the boys played in the dirt nearby I listened in. They had a few cars, some sticks, and I don't know what else, but here's a list of the scenarios they covered:

Army guys
Race cars
Workers on a construction crew
Loggers
and at the end they got out the shovels and "dug for treasure"

That pretty much covers all the bases, doesn't it?!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Update

So. I finally broke down and called the agency. I was trying to hold off, but I hadn't heard anything - or even received one of their general "newsletters" in well over a month. And to be honest, I was beginning to feel a bit paranoid. Had something changed? Was there a big staffing overhaul? Did something happen in the Thomas Center? Was the program going down? I know this all sounds extreme, but lack of information coupled with intense emotions leads a person to think the worst. At least that's what it did for me.

Anyway, the good news is that all is well. They updated their email distribution list and somehow a letter was left out of my address so I just wasn't receiving anything they sent out. It sounds like they should have another batch of referrals in the next few weeks and with a little luck we should be included in that group! They also said that it is still possible that we could pass through court before they close in August which means our baby daughter could be home with us late this summer! Yay!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Adoption Update

Don't get too excited; I don't really have any news. We're still waiting on that elusive referral. All I know is that our agency is waiting for some medical reports and other documents for the next referrals in general. We still don't know if we're high enough on the list to actually get one this time around. Sigh. At this point we're just a few days short of four months since we turned in our dossier.

Twitter Etc...

So, does anyone out there use twitter? I'd never heard of it, but I did enjoy this little video explanation. The video claims that "life is what happens between blog posts". I'm wondering how anyone would have time to keep up a blog, a facebook page and twitter and live their life enough to have something to write about in all of these places.

This guy also does a nice explanation of RSS feeds - (not that all of you tech savvy people would need it!)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Weekend Report

Oh, what a day! Finally some decent weather. So far we've had only three days that were at least 60 degrees and no rain. Yesterday it poured all day so we went to the children's museum in Everett, which is the best of it's kind if you ask me. After playing for several hours we went out for pizza. We had just planned on sharing a cheese pie, but Yogi wanted to look at the menu anyway -- as if he could read it! Then he slammed it down on the table and announced, "I'll have RICE". He looked shocked when we told him they didn't have any. Cute boy.

Today we worked in the yard. So far every year with the boys has been so different than the previous. Last year, they really weren't interested or able to play independently while I worked in the garden, but this year they're busy and happy the whole time. I got a lot of weeding done. And it felt so good to accomplish something! This afternoon we met my parents at the zoo and had dinner together here at home afterwards. It was a lovely day!


Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Poisonwood Bible

I finished The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver last night and it's a good thing since I've become a little sleep deprived since I started it. I usually read in bed at night and then relax, become very sleepy, throw the book down and drift off to dreamland. But not with this book. It wasn't what I would describe as a relaxing read, but it was gripping and complex and heartbreaking and bittersweet. Here's a bit that I liked:

Misunderstanding is my cornerstone. It's everyone's, come to think of it. Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet. They are what we call civilization.

Now I'm ready for some lighter fare: Uncle Bois in the Yukon and other Shaggy Dog Stories by another one of my favorite authors, Daniel Manus Pinkwater. He's nuts!