Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Strange Dreams

Well, earlier this week the anxiety dreams started. I'm usually not a big dreamer but when I get nervous I get worry dreams. Being the nerd that I am, I always had the same dream the night before the first day of school. Can't find the classroom...late for class.....

Now the adoption dreams are starting

Dream #1 We adopted a very lovely 14 yr old girl who was way taller than me.

Dream #2 I go to get on my flight to Ethiopia and the plane is this teeny tiny beat up little single-engine type thing. It fit like 8 people total and it had a hard time getting up in the air. But despite all this it was a pretty exciting ride because guess who was riding in the plane also....................None other than Oprah Winfrey! She was in the plane and her friend Gail was running late so we ended up throwing a ladder off the side of the plane so Gail could climb up. She finally made it on board but the poor little plane couldn't get farther than the Bay Bridge. Then I woke up - thank goodness. You think I'm a little bit afraid of the plane ride????? That much I can interpret from the dream. Now if someone could tell me what Oprah represents I'd love to hear that.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Don't take it personally

I thought I'd take this time to let everyone know about why I won't tell you anything about our new son's first family. Some people have asked already and I'm sure I'll get more questions once we bring him home. It's natural for people to ask questions like "why was he up for adoption" or "what happened to his parents?". Unfortunately I'm not going to answer those questions and in an effort to not seem rude I'll try and explain it here. Basically, from the beginning of our adoption process, our agency has emphasized the need to respect our new son's privacy. The story of how he came to be adopted is his personal story and it's not for us to let people know about it. Adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to keep this info private until the baby knows his own story and is able to share what parts he wants. Now, in our case our son is 4yrs old already and surely knows of the events that led to him being adopted. Once we get to know him better and can communicate better with him, he can let us know how he wishes to deal with this subject. Once that time comes, if he wants to talk to people about his family in Ethiopia than that's fine with us, but we're going to leave that up to him. I will say that he was surrounded by people who loved him dearly until coming to the Care Center this fall.

Come on February 18th!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Day's Getting Better!

I found out today that our court date is set for February 18th. The case is heard in the ET courts and we will be issued a birth certificate around 2-3weeks after that. Once the birth certificate has been issued I will travel 3weeks later. So we're still hoping for early April, maybe the very end of March. I'm still trying to take in all the news from earlier today. I was still hoping that birth family meetings would be back by the time I traveled, but our rep said that would not happen any time soon, if ever again. It's all a lot to take in, but at least everything is moving along with our case. It's going to be a long few weeks. January and February are always the longest months of the year to me - and now it's going to seem really slow.

Sad day for Ethiopian Adoptions

Well , today I woke up to an email from our agency. It was an email sent to all chsfs clients stating that all meetings with birth families are immediately being suspended. Apparently the US embassy in Addis has issues with contact between birth and adoptive families. I'm not exactly sure their reasoning and I sure hope to get some more info about this soon. Some of the higher ups from our agency are traveling to ET to help resolve this issue. Meeting birth families is a pretty common practice in ET and my agency is not the only one that does this. This is devastating news and I really hope they are able to come to an understanding and reinstate meetings by the time we travel. I feel really bad for all the families traveling now and in the next few weeks that will have to miss out on this important part of the adoption process. What a bad way to start the day.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Speaking of Potties

Well, it's not really potties, but a related topic-toilet paper- and lots of it. Earlier today I was downstairs in the basement, let's say I was doing laundry, because I certainly wasn't on the computer, no of course not....anyway I realized it was too quiet in the house. Any of you moms of little ones knows that feeling. So I go upstairs and the boys are in the living room and Samantha is upstairs in our bedroom. And I realize why it was so quiet. When I asked the kids who did this Samantha said "me" and of course Gerry agreed. About an hour later Gerry slipped up and said that he had been wrapping Sam's face with toilet paper because she had the mumps ( I'd like to thank Emily and Little Bear for that idea). He's not a criminal mastermind thank goodness.

And I did not yell at my kids for making such a big mess. You know why? Because I'm a perfect mother with the patience of a saint? No. Because they had used the nasty cheap toilet paper that Gerald bought a few months back that I refuse to use. Next time you go shopping G, remember- get the tp with the cute puppy dog on the front! Whatever, I know he's not reading this.

I see London, I see France

Last night Samantha was walking up the stairs and her pants were falling down so of course, I said "I see London, I see France, I see Sammy's underpants". Well apparently that was the funniest thing I've ever said. This was at bedtime and by the time they were in their beds, I had to listen to " I see lundee I see fance I see mommy's pants" for like 20 minutes. Of course followed by hysterical laughing. Oh yeah and I had to listen to Gerry say, "hey Sissy can you fart?" Followed by Samantha blowing a mean raspberry on her arm that she just perfected. Potty humor is very popular in our house right now.

No news on the adoption. Hopefully later on this week, we'll know our court date.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Summing up our adoption

OK - All the kids are in bed and Gerald helped me get some pictures on our webpage (of course we don't have a picture with all of us together). I thought I'd start by giving an overview of our adoption so far. G and I had been talking about adopting for a few years - just something far in the future. Then when our youngest turned 2yrs old I really started getting the itch to have another kid. (Thats seems to be the way it works with us -we have a 6yr old, 4yr old and 2yr old) I can't go 2yrs without wanting another one! We started doing a lot of research online and eventually decided we wanted to adopt internationally as we wanted an older child and did not want to deal with the legal uncertanties that go along with the US foster system. Our #1 criteria for choosing a country was that we DID NOT HAVE TO TRAVEL TO COUNTRY TO ADOPT - Obviously from the name of this blog we have had a complete change of heart in that department. We eventually chose Liberia because you don't have to travel and the cost was relatively low. I was never completely comfortable with adopting from Liberia because all of the agencies that deal with them tend to be small very Christian agencies that will only adopt to Christian families. We are Christian but don't like that exclusivity and also were again not completely comfortable with them all being small "ma and pop" type organizations. We in the meantime had to choose an in-state agency to do our home study and discovered our agency, Children's Home Society and Family Services. They have been around for years and are relatively large with a lot of supports available to families and have a good reputation for high ethics. Well it ends up they place children from Ethiopia and thus began our journey to Ethiopia.
Although you do not have to travel to ET to adopt a child, our agency requires that if you adopt a child over the age of 1yr that you do travel. Now for a while we changed our minds and considered adopting an infant because many people suggested we not go out of birth order and our agency generally requires that all children be at least one year apart. We completed our homestudy and decided to request a boy age birth - 18months and expected around a 6 months wait to be matched with a baby.

Shortly after our homestudy was approved our agency sent us a newsletter with the pictures of several boys who were waiting for a home. Most people want infants so the older children don't always find homes right away. This was in December that we go the newsletter and we ended up falling in love with a beautiful smiley 4yr old boy. G and I talked about it decided we wanted to inquire about this little boy. We called the agency the next day and were told we were the first people to inquire about this boy but we had to get permission from our social worker in order to adopt out of birth order and so close together in age with our 4yr old son at home. While we were waiting to hear from our sw we got a call from the agency say "we're very sorry but there was a mistake - several people inquired about this boy after seeing him in the newletter and you were not actually the first in line"!!!!!! How horrible is that!!!!!! This was a Friday and we were obviously upset but decided it wasn't meant to be. We decided to still speak with our sw to see if we had permission to adopt an older child in the future.........then out of nowhere on the following Tuesday we get a phone call from the agency saying that yes we do have permission to adopt an older child and were we still interested in this little boy? I said, "thanks that's good to know but we were told that someone else already had his file". I was then told that wasn't the case, I had always been the first to request him and I should never have gotten that second phone call. It just took them a few days to discuss the situation with our sw and get the appproval!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was a little confused at first and a lot in shock but the rest is history. We accepted his referraland completed out dossier to be sent to Ethiopia. We just found out that our dossier is in the court system in ET and we should have a court date soon. Our case will probably be heard in court in mid-February. 6-8 weeks after that I will be travelling to ET to bring home our son.

Along the way, working with this wonderful agency, we have learned the enormous benefits of traveling to the birth country, both for the short-term transitioning needs of the child but also the long term benefits of having met any extended family and learning about his country and culture. We are also lucky enough to live near a large Ethiopian-American community who is very supportive of the adoptive community. We hope to keep our new son very much involved with Ethiopian culture and plan on revisiting Ethiopia. In ET adoptions are very open in that you meet any family and keep in touch through the agency-what a blessing that is to the I will go to ET for a week (probably in April) and G will stay home with the 3 kids (keep him in your prayers-he'll need it!)

If you're still with me, I apologize for this being so long but I wanted to sum up our story since I'm just starting this blog. I hope to use it to keep everyone updated especially when I'm in Ethiopia. Any future blogs won't be this long. Once our case is finalized in the Ethiopian courts and he is legally ours, I will post a picture. Keep us in your prayers!!!