Saturday, June 28, 2008

The journey begins...

It's 12:13 am and I think I'm ready. We'll be pulling out of here in about 5 hours and we begin our long journey to Ethiopia. I'm exhausted and excited. I'm so sad to leave our boys here without us and I'm so ready to wrap my arms around our baby waiting for us half way around the world. We did it!

I wanted to post to Homecake during our trip, but I just never set it up so I'm afraid you'll have to wait to hear about our adventures. Until then!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


After a doctor's visit, a trip to the pharmacy, and several calls between the doctor and the insurance company, we found out today that our health insurance plan will only cover malaria pills after you get malaria. How crazy is that?!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Still no word about our paperwork at the embassy, but our agency gave us the green light on our travel plans so we're packing! So far I have all the baby stuff packed and one giant bag full of diapers to donate to the Thomas Center. We're getting closer!

Monday, June 23, 2008


I just heard that the embassy will inform our agency of the status of our paperwork tomorrow. Well, that would be nice!

Are we leaving or what?

It's 7:33 am and the work day is over in Ethiopia. I was hoping to have heard whether our embassy appointment has been confirmed or not which determines whether we leave this Saturday or not! Just checked my email. Nothing. Urgh.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

New Bike


There are only a few days each year where I'm perfectly warm. That is to say, not hot enough to sweat, but not cool enough for a sweater. Just skin and air and it's just right. Yesterday was one of those days. Even the breeze - which was strong at times, was warm.

After the boys went to bed, Chris and I washed the deck and then sat on the deck chairs and watched the sky. It was about 9:30 and the sun was still playing on the clouds. Oh, it was beautiful - the colors, the movement, the temperature. Finally it all went gray and I realized that the sun had just gone down on the longest day of the year. I'm glad I was there to appreciate it.

Friday, June 20, 2008

More Limbo

It looks like we're still up in the air as to whether our embassy date of July 8th will work out. We waited all day for a confirmation, but never got it. But because of our planned week of travel before the adoption week, we had to either buy our tickets today or lose them entirely as the planes are full for next weekend. So we bought them! If we find out next week that our embassy date really is delayed, we'll just have to pay a $100 change fee and re-book so we're covered either way. Whew. It's been crazy trying to figure all this out!

Yesterday I had a bad case of anxiety. Nausea, heart palpitations, the works. I'm not sure if it's the going to Africa part, or leaving my boys here without us, or all the unknowns that are in store for us. It's much better today. Funny how it comes and goes. I have a feeling that once we're on the plane headed half way around the world to meet our baby girl and see a bit of her birthplace, we'll be fine.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Adoption Granted!

I started checking my email at 6:30 this morning and at 7:30 a note arrived with the title "Adoption Granted"! We've been waiting so long to hear those words and I'm a little overcome with feeling when I type it. Can you believe it? It worked out! She's been in our hearts since we first heard about her and now she's officially part of our family. Forever.

Our projected embassy date is the 8th of July. This means we'll meet her for the first time on July 7th which is her 4 month birthday. And because we want to spend our first week in Ethiopia traveling around, we'll probably leave on June 28th! That's just a week and a half away! Oh my goodness!

On with the pictures! I wish I could share her name with you, but Chris and I haven't totally worked this out yet. Here she is!

This was included with her referral at two months.

Here she is at 3 months!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Not Yet

It didn't happen. I checked my email first thing this morning and found a note from our agency that said the court hearing has been postponed until tomorrow. The message was a little confusing, but it sounds like MOWA, the Ethiopian government ministry in charge of women and children’s affairs, hasn't had power for two consecutive days and so had not written up their ruling to be submitted to the court. The courts told our attorney that they have until tomorrow, otherwise "another far appointment will be given!" That's a scary thought.

The good news is that the biological mothers in our group have given their consent. The note didn't go into what exactly this means, but I'm guessing this means that they have done what they can and don't need to show up again for the court hearing??

Our attorney in Ethiopia said it well, "What a challenging!!!"

Monday, June 16, 2008

Snail Track

Look at the snail! He's almost off the chart! We should know whether we get to be the parents of our beautiful baby girl in 24 hours!


Uh, I'm feeling a little scattered today. That and anxious and excited and busy! Besides trying to prepare for our new baby, a trip to Africa, and paperwork to complete the adoption I'm trying to prepare for my parents to take care of the boys while we're gone. Beck has only spent two nights away from us since he was born (one time for Yogi's birth and the other when Yogi was at the emergency room for a breathing episode). And even though my parents spend a lot of time with the boys I already have pages of notes to hand them. Speaking of the boys, they are jumping on the couch and waiting for me to get out their clothes right now so I have to go! Here are a few photos from the weekend!

At the arboretum. We had a nice walk there yesterday. The boys loved all the winding forest paths.

Beck and my dad at a violin recital for my niece and nephew. They were amazing!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


My armpits hurt. It feels like I pulled a muscle in deep in both pits a few days ago and I think it's the shots.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Baby Update!

Today we got a new photo of our baby girl with a huge smile on her face! I wish I could share it; she is just adorable! Our agency also mentioned that while our court date is scheduled for next Tuesday it may be delayed due to the power outages the entire city has been experiencing lately. I'm just feeling so great right now that I'm not too worried about it. And I'm busy getting prepared to have her home which is so fun! All the little clothes and soft blankets. I'm having a ball!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Shot Report

Not as bad as I thought. With 3 injections into each arm you get a chance to really pay attention and experience the shot instead just experiencing fear of shots. They weren't that bad.

Travel Developments

Well, we still haven't heard back from Susan Parr travel. And we are sick of waiting for things so we contacted a few Ethiopian travel agencies ourselves to see their ideas and price for our week of traveling. In less than 12 hours we heard back from Getts who was recommended in my Bradt travel guide. Using our general outline they proposed a trip of spending our first few days in Addis, a few nights in Axum, and a few nights in Lalibela. Their price included a private guide for each day, entrance fees, a car when necessary, and lodging for both the first week of travel and the second week in Addis for a total of $998 per person. We thought that was pretty good and we're really impressed at how quickly they got back to us!

We can't make any commitments until we get through court and have an embassy date scheduled. And we still want to hear back from Susan Parr. I'll keep you posted!

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Custodian's Office

Remember when you were in school and there was a gray metal door with a neat little sign on it that said "Custodian's Office"? Sometimes if you were lucky and were walking by on the way to the gym or library, the door would swing open and while the custodian walked out you might get a quick glimpse of the mysterious room behind that door and a whiff of, well, what? Wax? Cleaning supplies? Dust? But it was never enough time to really get a handle on the place which made it all the more mysterious.

When I was a teacher I used to take my whole class into the custodian's office because it was also home to the kiln. The windows were small and high so the light was dim, but after your eyes adjusted you could see that you were standing in the heart of the school - the place where the big furnace and hot water heater were and probably the fuse box. You could just tell that this room was important to the well being of the whole place. It was always warm and if you stopped for a minute you would notice the soft sounds - taps and groans from the pipes, whirring noises, maybe a hiss or two. And then you would notice the stuff, mostly relics from the past that the custodian never bothered to get rid of: dented oak library chairs, old school desks with chipped Formica tops, maybe a few file cabinets and boxes of old textbooks. There were tools there and rags and machines that didn't make sense.

I've been thinking about this lately because now I have a custodian's office right here in my house. It's a room between rooms in the basement and it also has the furnace and hot water heater. It's warm and full of stuff - relics from our pasts: research papers, a french horn and a clarinet, wedding photos waiting to be put into an album, old letters and journals, a box of stuff from summers working at camp. Because it's also home to our washer and dryer, I've been spending a lot of time down there. And you know, it's kind of nice to spend time working right there where a lot of important stuff is. I guess the custodians have always known this. They've just been keeping it a secret.

Adoption Update

This week we started working with Susan Parr travel to get our trip planned out. We sent in our ideas for an itinerary for the first week of traveling, but we haven't heard back. Susan Parr travel works with a tour agency in Ethiopia and basically we're waiting for them to price everything out and to let us know what's possible.

Hmm. What else? Well, I asked our agency for updated photos and health information and they are working on it, but we don't have anything new yet. I'm also trying to find out more about donations and what we should bring to give to the Thomas Center and directly to the older children there. I've gotten some good suggestions from the Yahoo group, but I'd also like to hear what our agency has to say.

And, of course, I'm working hard here at home trying to get everything organized and ready for our newest family member!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Immunizations (Updated with Cost!)

Here's the list of the suggested immunizations for people traveling to Ethiopia. I don't think they are required, but recommended.

Cost: $50.00 for the office visit each and for each person:

polio booster $38
meningococcal $107
typhoid $55
Hep A $34
Hep B $38
tetanus $50
yellow fever $86

That's a lot of shots and expensive! Our insurance company only covers "regular" immunizations. We have our appointment at the department of health first thing on Monday morning. Not looking forward to it either.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Just this: I had to fill up my Subaru legacy wagon today and gas was $4.23 per gallon which amounted to $62.00 to fill the tank! Yikes!!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Well,we're making some progress. We acquired another stroller / car seat combo. Ours was completely worn out and broken. And I bought some darling clothes. My first girl clothes and they are so darn cute I just keep pulling them out of the bag and smiling at them!

And I think our travel plans are coming along. We've pretty much decided to try and visit two historic towns before meeting our baby girl in Addis: Axum and Lalibela. I have to admit that I feel sort of anxious about the traveling part. Hopefully I'll be able to talk to someone at the travel agency tomorrow who can answer some questions and help us work it all out.

Two weeks and one day until our court date!!

Magic and Monkeys

The other day Beck and I woke up a little early and were chatting in the bed waiting for Yogi to get up. And then out of the blue, Beck asked me this:

If babies come from people, where did the first people come from?

Exactly. Big question for 6:50 am! I did my best to explain a few of the theories. But apparently I didn't do a very good job because when I asked him what he thought he just looked at me for a minute and then said:

Not magic....and not monkeys!

June 1st

Current temperature: 54 degrees. We just got back from the zoo and I was cold inside my down coat. This sucks.