Adoption timeline


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Happy Chaos

So... it is late Tuesday afternoon. Dennis has been out of town since Saturday morning. In that time we have had two baseball games, the Prom, a birthday party, and a play date. The dishwasher has broken, the laundry is piling up, and the dog peed on the carpet. I will now admit, I have a new respect for my husband. See, all along I thought I was the glue that kept our family together. I mean, the guy loses his keys on a daily basis... he is a lot of work to keep up with. But alas, I must now admit we are far stronger as a team! I owe him more credit than I have offered in the past. I also have an untappable respect for single moms. I really don't know how they do it! I am exhausted and counting the minutes until he gets home tonight.

Now... that isn't to say it has been all bad. The kids and I (and both dogs) all slept in my room for the past three nights, and it has been so much fun. Samantha had a look of pure glee each night as she realized we were all in there together. She slept in bed with me and the boys in sleeping bags on the floor. Humorously enough, Betty (dog) joined us in bed and Harold slept on the floor. I guess it was a boy/girl thing! The look on her face when she woke up and saw me right next to her melted my heart. Just this slow grin that took over her sweet face - nothing better. Sam is turning out to have quite a little personality. I think she will be my "wild" child. She has a sense of humor for sure. She has formed an alliance with Ugly Harold, our 1 year old boxer mix who is constantly getting into trouble. Yesterday I caught her opening the front door and yelling "Aaroooold" and watching him run out the door (we have a fenced in BACK YARD - NOT front yard) and clapping as he ran off! Then, later I caught her in the pantry scooping dog food and putting it in Harold's bowl. She had such a mischievous little grin that I couldn't help but laugh. The dog will be as fat as can be before we know it.

She seems to have an absolute love of life. What a gift. At Reilly's baseball game she indicated she wanted to wear her back pack diaper bag. It was pretty heavy, but I put it on her and she labored trying to walk with it on (and fell and looked just like a turtle, which was cracking me up). She was so stubborn and was not going to give up. I love that about her. She knows what she wants and she will accomplish it. I also love that her brothers completely delight in her. I have been really proud of them. They fight with each other constantly, but they are very sweet to her.

well... the boys will be done with school soon. Dennis will be home tonight. Phew...

Friday, April 16, 2010

I am still amazed...

On a daily basis I find myself in awe of Samantha, my boys, and the ease of the blending of our family. Samantha is the happiest, easiest chunk of cuteness imaginable! The pace at which our family lives is daunting to many, but she just jumped right in and is leading the pack! No matter where we go, people stop to meet her. It might be because she waves to everyone she sees - won't say a word to them, nor will she let them hold her (which secretly makes me really happy), but she waves and if she really likes them will blow them a kiss! She is so much fun to dress, so she is always in an adorable outfit (the kid's closet is ridiculous! She is blessed with many "aunties" who love to bring her cute clothes!) The boys are great with her and love showing her off at school. Colby is still having the occasional adjustment issue, so we are trying to make some one on one opportunities for him so he feels like he is getting some quality time with one or both of us. Reilly seems to be adjusting easily, which doesn't surprise us.

I am struggling a bit with being back at work. This is new for me, as I stayed home with each of my boys for 4.5 months, but was very ready to go back to work, and quite honestly, felt like a better mother for doing so. I am lucky to have a great schedule, so I really can work the hours the big boys are in school and be home with them the rest of the time, but even that is hard. She is really fun!! She is spending time with Grandma, so that is awesome. We are lucky to have that! I am trying to work half days, but sometimes those get stretched... I really love my job, so it does pull me in several directions, but I wish I could spend even more time with her.

I am growing increasingly used to living in a house that is cluttered and messy. I don't like it, but I am growing used to it. It just seems like there is stuff on every surface of the house! Now, I had a really rough week at work and came home yesterday to a clean house! My husband had worked his butt of and put everything in its place and cleaned! Talk about a good guy!!!!!!!!!! I honestly don't know how to describe how happy I was!

Well... I am very glad it is a Friday and my boys will barge into my office in about 20 minutes ready to jump in the car and go home (well, swing by Grandma's first to get Sam). It is beautiful outside so I am ready to get out of this suit and put on some flip flops. (not just flip flops, because that would be creepy).

Ahhhhh. Feeling insanely lucky at the moment. :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

We Have Been Home 1 Month!!!!

It is hard to believe, but we have been home an entire month. In some ways, it seems like Samantha has forever been ours, and I suppose she has, in our hearts. She is a dream come true. Honestly, I can't express the ease with which she has transitioned into our family. I keep waiting for that moment when I think "Uh Oh, the honeymoon is over" but she is just a laid back, happy kid. Our household is chaos, but fun, loud chaos. I didn't really think I ran a tight ship before Samantha came home - I always felt like I was nagging the boys to pick up clothes or toys, etc. But now, our house is often a wreck. Interestingly, it doesn't stress me out as much as I would expect. (well, maybe it does...) I am finding that I am more relaxed as a parent with Samantha than I was with the boys. I admit now that I was a control freak with them. Now, Samantha sets the pace - we take slow walks through the neighborhood and look at rocks and grass and whatever else we come across. She also has to stop and wave at everyone she sees. I find this funny, as they inevitably talk to her, and she can't respond. She just stares at them quite seriously and waves. Depending on who it is, I sometimes explain she doesn't know English. Occasionally I just let folks wonder if she is mute. :)

We are only facing a few minor issues. She arrived home with a double ear infection that was not cured with oral antibiotics. She had to get the shots after she perforated an ear drum. Apparently she has a lot of scar tissue in there - likely due to chronic ear infections. She also has ring worm. But, the kid didn't complain about either. I wouldn't have known about the ear drum if I hadn't noticed the ooze coming out of her hear! She was sitting in my lap perfectly content eating a banana. And that brings me to our next "issue". FOOD. The kid loves to eat... and eat... and eat. We are using some baby sign language, and she has made up her own for eat. She signs it often. It is impressive what she can pack away in a single meal. I try to offer only healthy foods, so that I can give her a satisfying quantity. Then we try to distract her away from the kitchen in between meals. We went to a play date with 7 Ethiopian toddlers. I thought at snack time a melee would ensue. It was somewhat comforting to realize the others had the same problem, though.

The boys have adjusted well. Colby needs some extra attention and cuddles, but seems to be turning the corner. The first week home he was verbally awful to his brother, but now they just seem to fight as they always have! Harold, the puppy, drives Samantha nuts because he often walks by her and gives her a big lick. He is great at under the high chair clean up though! He is just a big, goofy 6 month old puppy who is forever chewing on something he isn't supposed to. If he isn't digesting a lego, he has a toilet brush in his mouth. Betty, our 2 year old mutt, on the other hand is not handling Samantha's arrival very well. In fact, she is going on doggie prozac today. Now, she was already neurotic and couldn't handle being around men. She was nervous all the time except around me and the kids. Lately, she is just so anxious - she tore through the screen to the porch TWICE. (the second time an hour after we had it fixed!) So... drugs it is.

Other than that, life is just plugging along. We all went to the beach for Easter weekend. The boys seem to love the beach in theory, but really don't much like sand. I think if they had friends to play with, they would be happier. Samantha, on the other hand, LOVED it. She was rockin' the bikini and sunglasses. She was covered in sand - head to toe - and was happy as could be. She stopped to visit with all the people sitting near us. She was just too cute.

So... I will post some pictures soon. Today is my first day back at work (I returned part time for a while) so I really need to get busy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


We are leaving in 2 days. 2!!!! I can't possibly begin to describe my excitement at the thought of holding my girl. I have missed her so very much. She gives the best hugs in the whole world and I am dying to get one! I can't wait to introduce my husband and kids to her as well! We are about 90% packed and I think I only have a couple of errands to run. I did panic this morning and beg a dermatologist to see me to tell me the spot on my face was not skin cancer (that would be some cruel twist of fate - spend two years waiting to adopt and find out 2 days before leaving I have skin cancer), but alas, it is an "irritated freckle". I do, unfortunately have a raging sinus infection, but I have an appointment in an hour, so i will likely have an antibiotic soon. Ironically this happened just before I went over in November too.

We are looking forward to bringing care packages and taking pictures for several families. I know how much it meant to us when others would love on Samantha and send us new pictures. We also vow to keep working with our agency and our government to improve the process of inter-country adoption. It must get better!

ok... have a great day!

Monday, February 22, 2010

And the Drama Continues...

The US Embassy did not meet with AWAA today, so we still don't know if we can travel Friday. They are supposed to meet tomorrow. AWAA's email indicated we should "guard our hearts and expect delays". Really, guard my heart? My heart that has been loving my daughter since September? Guard it?

This is our own government. It isn't like it is the Ethiopian Gov't at fault here. UGHHHHHHHHHH

Friday, February 19, 2010

Yet another disappointment...

Just got an email from the agency that there is now only a "small" chance we will be able to travel when we were scheduled - ONE WEEK from today. Seriously? I am so tired of this journey. We passed court a month ago. It is time to bring our girl home. Ohhhhh, I am sick.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

And the Countdown Begins!!!

9 days. 9 days until we board a plane and head to Africa. YIPEE. Ok, so we don't really have confirmed travel, but we booked it and we are going. Naturally I have been excited for months, but this morning I woke up at 5 am and immediately my brain starting thinking about Samantha and logistics and packing, etc. This weekend I finished her room. It is so cute! It is very girlie - which is a welcome addition in our home. Two boys, a husband, and a teenaged male exchange student. This lady is ready for some girl power. I had a very sweet conversation with my 6 year old last night. He was in my lap cuddled under a blanket watching TV. I commented on how our dog Betty gets very jealous whenever I pet Harold and Betty tries to climb in my lap. I told Colby that Samantha will likely take a lot of lap time at first, and that she won't have the words to express her own jealousy. Colby teared up a little and said, "How long will she get your lap?" I told him that he does have the words to tell me he is jealous, and it is perfectly ok to admit - and that if I know he is feeling jealous, I can ask Daddy and Reilly to help a little more with Samantha so that I can make room in my lap for Colby. His quiet little smile was adorable. He is already having some adjustment issues - he has been extra clingy lately. I am a little stressed about leaving him behind for the week, although I know it is the best thing for him. He will have a ball with Grampy, his favorite person!

So... tickets are booked, packing has begun and will be 80% this weekend. Now I am attending to details... I cannot wait to squeeze my girl!