Well the good news is that Zoe and John's application was approved without any glitches. The bad news is that the MOWA letter was not ready and might not be ready for 1-2 weeks. It was definitely an emotional day for everyone and hard to not hear the words "the girls are yours" but it was at least a relief that the application is okay. Hopefully the next trip will not be delayed due to the letter and I'll get to meet my new nieces in a few weeks :) Zoe says that the trip has been amazing, other than the emotional ups and downs but I'll let her describe it for everyone when she gets back. They will be back on Christmas Eve and probably needing some Hot Toddies to recover!
Well, my sister just called from Ethiopia with the first updates from their trip. Zoe, John and Emma have had 2 visits with the girls so far. On visit number one, they were naked on a matt (the girls, not Zoe, John and Emma) doing some sunbathing with the other babies. Both girls are very smiley, quite adorable and easy going. Zoe had thought from pictures that Rachel had a birthmark on her forehead but found that Isabel has the same birthmark and they are completely identical! Isabel is an avid eater with her one tooth but Rachel did not find the egg-whites too appealing. Based on Emma's reaction to the smell of the eggs, Rachel might have the right idea. Tomorrow is the official court date, so keep your fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly. Hopefully I'll hear from Zoe tomorrow and can post some good news...
The wait list, as we all know, seems to be interminable. Then there's the wait for a court date. Even worse! Then the court date seems so far away, but I can say that the last two weeks before traveling have whizzed by so fast it's frightening! We're mostly packed and super excited. It really seems surreal that after all this waiting we are actually going to get on a plane, arrive in Ethiopia to meet great people we've only read about in blogs and meet these sweet little dumplings that we've stared at in photos and videos! Unreal and so cool! We're hoping to be able to keep in touch with my sister while we're there and she has offered to update our blog - yay!
As for the rest of our lives...Refingerprinting was finally accomplished. It's not good to stab a fingertip badly when you need to do that! The ridges needed to grow back. Now we're just hoping they were good enough to pass muster, and get rushed to Addis. I have to say so far the NBC has been very co-operative and helpful so far. The projects are finished on the house except we're painting the Beans room right after Christmas. John and I have painted the rest of the house. New carpet is in, the girls bathroom now has a bathtub and more storage, we have a front yard fence to coral babies and dogs in, and a pool fence to keep babies and dogs out. My plan is that this now starts the normalcy again in our lives after all the drama of the year. Thanksgiving night marked the one year anniversary of the house fire at our old house. I am so thankful to have survived that year. So much loss, but much was also gained. An understanding of who your true friends are, knowledge that John and I have an awfully good marriage if we can get through most of life top stressors multiple times in a year and still like, respect and laugh with each other. The Bean mentioned the anniversary several times on Thanksgiving so I think it's really weighed on her too. We now need normal lives. The simplicity of school, making lunches and dinners, naps, errands, lie on the floor with babies and having the time to catch up with friends again. Aahh. The plane ride sounds like a dream right now. So many hours where I have to sit, read, watch movies, someone else serves me meals and cleans up afterwards, and a call button. AAAhhh.
Please think good thoughts for us especially the night of the 21st, since we'll be in court then which'll be the 22nd there. We're excited to meet up with Heather and Rolyn there - they'll be at court with us. I can't wait to be able to share about our little butterbugs! In the meantime, Merry Christmas!
Great news! It's felt like an eternity and I'm in full agreement with the other moms who have blogged about it that the court date wait is a LOT harder than the referral wait, but now it's over. DECEMBER 22ND. Yay! We can't wait to see all of you that are going to travel with us, and are crossing our fingers that everyone else that's waiting gets one tomorrow. Now we have to figure out which days to travel given Christmas is a few days later. Let's hope that mornings MOWA court goes well so that afternoon we become parents to these two sweet girls making it an early, super Christmas present!
Did I mention we had some house projects to do before the babies come home? Carpet samples are what Bean came home to last night from school, and construction out on the patio is what she left behind when she went to school this morning. The concrete patio/parking pad is being pulled up to lay grass for the playset for the girls. We're hoping we'll be done with all the projects by the end of November. In the meantime I'll take pics of the progress, or destruction depending on the stage we're in and your point of view!
He's really too cute! Since I'm a photographer my sister asked me to photograph him each month in the first year. With us both having hectic schedules and especially with our move that hasn't quite worked out, but here are a few of the little man that I just took! He's about 3.5 weeks younger that the twins so they're going to have a lot of fun growing up together I hope.
Each day I mean to blog to document this time in our lives. You know what they say about good intentions. Anyway, as usual things are crazy busy here with trying to get house projects completed - it's amazing how long it takes just to get the bids, still unpacking and figuring out where the furniture goes, helping the Bean decide on new bedding that needs to be on her bed until she leaves for college (!), still 'do' life, and remember to make dinner each evening! We finally got our bedroom painted this weekend so the carpet could go in yesterday. Yay! I told Bean that I had so many projects to do it was akin to digging through a mudslide with a popsicle stick. The good news is there is tomorrow!
A couple of weeks ago we organized a Southern California Gladney playday. We all had a lot of fun, had a great time talking and getting to know each other while the kids played on the playground, or in the Bean's case managed to climb and get stuck up a tree! There was a mix of international and domestic families and it was really interesting hearing the similarities, differences and each others stories. We are hoping it's the start of getting a Family Association out here.
Monday the Bean was off school so after her orthodontic appointment we had lunch with my sister and my nephew, little wombat as I call him. Bean is so good with little kids she's going to be a great big sister. She held her cousin and got a good hug from the little guy as he was yawning his head off. The Bean and I had such a fun day together doing nothing in particular. She has such a great sense of humor, and can be very self-depracating, can hold great conversations, has a ton of questions, and has a dear, kind heart. Love that little one!
We've had a couple of updates on the girls who thankfully continue to be healthy, sweet little easy-going babies. One seems to be a left thumb sucker, the other is already rolling onto her side and can sit a few seconds. Yikes! I was counting on a month or so of immobility after we got home which I might not have! Have to add gates to my list. We cracked up that one of them had a 'big man on campus' shirt on. The Bean thought it was a hoot! I've decided that I'm going to try positive thinking and that we'll hear about a court date by the 15th. I'll keep you updated on that one!
This month is a year since John and I decided to adopt and contacted Gladney. We'd always agreed we wanted more children and our original thought was to have one more biologically and also adopt. As we got into the adoption process though it all changed for us. One week I just started feeling that it felt more 'right' to me to adopt two, but I didn't know how John would react to not having another biological child. When I brought it up the next weekend it turns out he'd been thinking about the same thing and felt the same way and we've never looked back. Since we made that decision it felt so right and exactly what was supposed to happen. I loved being pregnant and feel so fortunate to have experienced that, but this 'adoption pregnancy' has been a wonderful, special and incredible journey, just different. This has been a lot more emotional and no less an experience, and I think we've only just scratched the surface. Traveling for court, meeting the girls, experiencing Ethiopia, leaving them, picking them up and especially (hopefully) meeting their birthmother will be a tremendous few weeks. I am so excited about traveling to Ethiopia, and so excited to have the Bean travel with us.
We've been really lucky to have an update and some more photos and videos from traveling families/moms. The girls are getting so big, look so healthy and well looked after. This week we saw a photo of one of the girls smiling for the first time, and the other sucking her left thumb. They are so sweet. Their eyes are still SO big and they have the most perfect little mouths! Their thighs have little rolls and the backs of their little hands have dimples! The videos are precious. It's so different to realize that it is via electronic media that we are getting to see them move for the first time! They seem so startling real in the video and I have to admit I watch them over and over and they still make me tear up. It has also been a treat to see the lovely caregivers and how proudly and sweetly they look at the girls. I have found that waiting for a court date is harder for me than the wait list. I have these two sweet little people that I now have seen that I really want to go and pick up. I remember when we first made the wait list it was so exciting but getting a referral felt so far away it was as though it would never happen. That is what waiting for a court date feels like now! That 'will it ever happen' feeling. Many thanks to everyone that has taken the time to photograph and video our little ones. What you've sent us is cherished.
Our new pets that came with the house! the smiling fur person! The Bean and her fur person
A week before the Emmy's that are televised, the technical Emmys are handed out also in grand style in Century City. We are so excited to give our congratulations to our good friend Christian Sebaldt for winning his first Emmy for cinematography on CSI, and also to his wife Mary, who holds down the fort while he works the crazy long hours and takes care of sweet Luke. We are so happy for them!
The Bean started school a week ago. Can I mention way earlier than I was ready for! What happened to after Labor Day? Last week after each school day she looked at me and said "Mummy, I'm brain fried," and boy, did she look it! This second week is looking more manageable, but I do miss having my Bean around during the day. She is a crack up and a lot of fun to be around! But there again, I am getting more stuff done...
And now, about the wait. So first it was the wait for the referral right? Honestly, as I've mentioned before, it went by quite quickly until WE HIT RAINY SEASON. Yup, rainy season wasn't in my thoughts or my plans, and now time has slowed to a screeching halt. Seriously, it has taken me by surprise how hard this time has been. Once we saw the pics of the two sweet little girls, their huge brown loving eyes, the cutest little mouths, and their little peanut bodies all I want to do is scoop them up, hold them, rock them and be their mummy. I do think that waiting for the court date is hard, but now it's waiting for the courts to re-open to be able to wait for the court date. It seems like a never-ending horizon of time. Yes, I know eventually we'll get there, but after seeing the photos it is lloonngg. I do want to say thank you to all those that got in touch after our referral for all your kind words and support. It is so nice to know you're all out there :)
My blog-post disclaimer: I'm hoping when I re-read this in a week it'll be coherant and make sense with not too many spelling problems. Last Thursday the Dr decided I couldn't wait 'til my surgery date to have my gallbladder out and we did the surgery last Friday. I had this idea that since it was laproscopic we'd whip it out, I'd be a tad sore, but we'd go on. Not! I was definitely more sore than I had thought and can only thank my incredible, patient, kind husband for getting me through the weekend. Oh, and the vicodin. Usually I won't take the stuff, but this weekend it was a necessity, but the haze is yukky. John took such good care of me, patiently helped me walk, put up with my squawking when he helped me lie down. I am such a lucky woman :) Anyway, much better today and I'm hoping he can come home to a home-cooked meal tonight.
I can't believe how fast this last week flew by. On Monday morning I woke up my mind was totally focused on calling the doctor at 9am (looked like I might have to have my gallbladder removed) what I would have to pack for The Bean to stay at her friends house, all that I'd have to reschedule etc etc. When the phone rang at 8am I looked at caller ID, saw 817, and couldn't figure out where 817 was. DUH. I know! What waiting family doesn't know what 817 is? How many blog entries have I read about looking for the 817 ID? Thank goodness i picked up. Honestly I thought about not because I thought it could be a telemarketer! Then when Sara said it was her it still didn't raise a flag. We were very certain we'd be waiting until at least the end of November. Part of this was mental preservation to make the wait easier, but also the reality of the average months of the list, especially with siblings. Then I thought she was calling to followup about something we were chatting about the week before. It's amazing how much can go through your mind in a split second! Then when she said she had our referral I was shocked. The most shocked I have ever been in my entire life. I mean ever. The only thing I could say was 'No' 'Oh my Gosh' 'No you're Kidding' 'No, really?' Over and over again. The Bean was in the room and getting a completely worried look on her face because it sounded like something was very wrong, so I told her it was our referral and she got so excited that she almost started hyperventilating! Perfect! I can't remember if I told Sara I had to call her back or if she told me to call her back after I found John and took care of Emma but there we go! When I finally got word to John, got him home and we called her back I was still so shocked that I was having a hard time remembering how to work the computer properly and it seemed to take forever to figure out how to download the attachment. I was in a total dither which is pretty unlike me!!!! Then wow, twins! The weird thing is for the past 4-6 weeks or so The Bean has been referring to them as twins and we've been laughing at her. The other cool thing is they were born on John's Fathers birthday. He died a couple of years ago, and John's sister Laurie said this was his way of saying everything was going to be ok and it was a good thing. Life is good:) Now we had better start fixing up the nursery and unpacking the rest of the boxes in the house!
We are so excited. John made it home and we called Sara. We are going to be parents to 3 month old twin girls. Yay!!! We are really so amazed and thankful, but also humbled. As happy as we are I am also thinking of their birthmother and this hard, courageous decision she made. Tonight she will be in our prayers as well as these sweet babies.
Oh, my goodness. Sara called at 8am, and said she had our referral. Total shock, surprise, excitement. Totally unprepared! Went to call John and realized he'd left his Blackberry in the kitchen and I had to get a message to him on set in the middle of Simi Valley somewhere. His office found him. He's on his way home. The Bean and I have run around trying to find the still and video cameras in the midst of moving boxes. Oh my gosh, I'm so excited to find out who our babies are. Hoping he'll be home SOON.
Happy Birthday Sweet Pea:) The card that told her she was getting the long-asked-for hamster for her birthday! The Bean, her BFF, and Molly her hamster
Yesterday was The Bean's 12th birthday - yay! I can't believe she's twelve:) My babys a tween. Yikes!!!! It was a day to remember for me because after she found out we were giving her a hamster, I spent the whole morning with her telling me I was the best Mummy ever, and how kind I was. Ahhhh. Soak it in because with this age I might not be tomorrow. Three pet store stops by 9am and we had found the perfect hamster - Molly. Likes to be held, doesn't bite, totally cute to boot. You know, the basics. The Bean had an awesome day, and then our family came over to swim, BBQ and do cupcakes for dinner. Happy Birthday Bean!
We're also thinking about 'No Blog - P Family.' We're keeping our fingers crossed for you that you get the call SOON! It's almost an 11 month pregnancy and we hope you have good news next week!!!
John works really long hours on his show so we don't always get to see him as much as we'd like but this is one of the strange perks! He had an elephant on set and asked if we'd like to visit - duh! The trainer was so nice and before we knew it he'd offered us a treat. Totally awesome, so much fun. And we'd hoped we'd be lucky enough to pet her! BTW, she had beautiful long eyelashes. Yes, I'm talking about the elephant!!!!
Sunday was John's 50th birthday! Happy Birthday! We celebrated with yummy sushi at our favorite restaurant and then cupcakes for all at the sushi bar!!!! Bean (very inquisitive with LOTS of questions) started out with "So, are you a member AARP yet?" Oh, it's a good job he has a sense of humor. Then she moved onto "How does it feel to have lived your first half century?" Anyone got a birthday coming up? She might be available to help you celebrate too!!!
The second big day. TODAY! I've been trying to be nonchalant up 'til now about months on the waitlist, but today is 6 MONTHS!!! I'm setting my sights on 10 months for mental sanity (given that we're adopting a sibling group we know the wait can be longer) for our referral. I really hope it's not longer than that:)
It's late here and the house is nice and quiet. This is actually my favorite time to work strangely enough. There's something I love about the stillness of the night. Of course when I'm up with babies don't quote this back to me! We are all moved into our new home, boxes piled everywhere including the backyard, but it's lovely. We'd been looking for the right house and neighborhood for two years then I walked in here. My first visit I thought it was nice, but then the house 'stuck' with me. You might think me odd but it's like the house chose us. It just felt right, and didn't leave us. It took about 3 months for them to accept our offer and we had to be patient while the house went into escrow with another family, fell out, and negotiations proceeded with other potential buyers. It all worked out, and here we are. We are home. It's just one of those houses where the day you move in, without being unpacked, you're home. I have a sense of peace here that I haven't had in a long time and I'm so grateful for that. Finally after months of upheaval we are starting to get back to normal and prepare for our babies to come home. I walk around my kitchen knowing that in a few months it will be full of all 3 bunchkins baking and having fun. I love that. I love that when our movers were unloading the truck I could say "take it to the babies room!" I still have all The Beans baby stuff and I can't wait to be able to unpack it and use it again. After I had her I had never intended for that to be it so I saved her stuff for her sibling. I've even dragged it across the country with us when we moved to the left coast. I guess I'm sentimental but that means a lot to me the idea of handing things down, be it clothes, toys, traditions, family stories. When my marriage to her father fell apart I still held onto them, not ready to give them up, probably because I wasn't ready to think about giving up the thought of more children. You see I love being a mummy. I mean really love it! Being The Bean's mom is one of my favorite things I've ever been. Now here we are. Soon I'll be able to unpack the playdough cut outs and books and toys and clothes... We do have a standing joke in our house though that since we have plenty of girlie girl stuff we are sure to get two boys!!! During our vacation I was able to get some reading done that I had been wanting to get too. I read The Connected Child, and Toddler Adoption. Great books. They did however really make me think about the huge adjustments our toddler would have to go through after coming home. One book asked me to imagine having my 4 year old whisked off to another country and how scared she would be, and that I could really hope that whoever was taking care of her had compassion for her as she adjusted. Wow. Heartbreaking. I realized I have a lot more to learn and ask about when it comes to this so I can hope to be as prepared as I can. The subject hit home pretty hard, and while I was trying to figure out why I realized it was because it brought up some of these things for me too. It's not been relevant to mention here before but I'm from England. My parents brought me and my younger sister here when I was 13. A difficult age to move especially to a new country. I loved living there and had just fallen into my groove at school. The summer we got here I remember everything smelling so strange, vegetation and architecture looking so different. The stores were startling with choices, even graphic styles on packaging were so odd. Social mores were very different, and the language was only half the same. I missed the taste of the cold, clean tap water, and the taste of milk and cream. I still do! I grew up in a family though where it wasn't acceptable to talk about anything that wasn't going along with the program. It was never said out loud but I'd learned that saying that this was hard, or i wanted to go home, or I wasn't happy wasn't ok in our family. I realized I'd never grieved for the losses. It was that hard for me and I was 13 and with my family. It put what a toddler might go through, unable to verbalize their wants and losses into perspective, and I hope will give me extra understanding and compassion on the tough days that they are adjusting and coming to terms with their new life. Mostly I pray I do better. Be open to hearing the emotions in whatever manner they present, have extra patience, listen, have it be ok for there to be the feelings they have, try to support them so they know they're not alone. Pray some more that I do better. I also pray that I keep being a good Mom to The Bean and help her cope with the changes, and giving up some mummy time. I have learned to have faith. That helps.
alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5486570065311893458" /> The three of as at the beach - one of my favorite places to be! The Bean and her dog 'Spu.' She's growing up so fast and is such a dear, kind, very funny, smart, well-behaved (at least the majority of the time!) little person. Ok, I'm biased, but in this instance right! I love watching her grow up, she amazes me, but I'm glad she's still at the age when she'll go from being the big girl to still wanting long cuddles. I love when I go in to wake her up she still looks little and is all warm and cuddly. Usually I crawl into bed with her for a few minutes (joined by Spu) to help her get the day going. We chat about the day or nonsense, and then snuggle after school too for a few minutes. I love these times with her. I became an Aunt!!! Yay! I have great nieces and nephews from John's side of the family, but Ian is my sister's first child and I am so excited. He is this lovely, precious, perfect little man. He has this sweet little face that he makes into the funniest faces and squeeks so sweetly. He has the same head shape as the Bean which was fun! He has that lovely baby smell and if we are around him too much will probably never learn to walk because we all want to carry him around and no-ones giving him up easily! Welcome to our family little man. My sister, Abi, baby Ian, and me
Happy Father's Day to my kind, wise, funny, handsome, wonderful, hardworking, best Dad ever husband! How lucky I am :) We ran away to sea! With the chaos in our lives the past 6 months, the upcoming move and new construction, we had 3 minutes to decide whether to take this cruise to Mexico and said what the heck, lets go. We really needed to get away for a few days. This is John and the Bean parasailing while I stayed with my feet firmly planted on the ground, trying not to panic that they were so high up, and especially not trying to panic as they plummeted back towards earth way too fast with the guys on the beach shouting frantically for John to pull some rope harder. They landed safely thank goodness! A once in a lifetime experience as far as I'm concerned! The Bean LOVES animals. "No, it can't come home with us" Just love this goofy girl!
OK, my first time at uploading and these are in reverse order! Will try to get it right next time! This is after I demo'd the bathroom myself, taking of 1" of concrete and wire behind the tile, taking down a soffit and hauling out half a ton of debris by myself. Very cathartic!
The bathroom just as I had started
After the second round of hazmat demo: the rest of the walls are gone and all ceiling too!
After the first round of hazmat demo.
The fire. The rest of the house was severely impacted by smoke. Yuck.
Yes, it's true! Our house was finished on time and is beautiful! Even better than before the fire since the kitchen and bathrooms are all redone, and everything else is new and repainted. But before the fire we were already house hunting for something a little bigger for when the babies get home, and a more open floor plan so I can cook and still keep an eye out for any chaos. As we were finishing up construction we found a house that we love and with a little tweaking will be fabulous for us all for many years. Our contractors are going to do some work for us in our new house and then we"ll be good to go! Just another project to keep us distracted while on the waitlist -- Sara said to keep busy! We were lucky to get our house in escrow in four days so we're moving again.
To track the last few months here are finally some photos. Although there has been much to be thankful for during this process of rebuilding I must be honest an admit it's been very hard physically, emotionally and spiritually. A fire is devastating. There is no notice and suddenly you are displaced with few belongings, your daily schedule which brings comfort I have found is completely gone. People you don't know are supposed to be cleaning/taking care of your personal possessions and things you hold dear. Quite a few thing have come back chipped or damaged. Some can't be cleaned. Rebuilding, dealing with itemizing every item for the insurance company, jumping through hoops to get money to replace items, and still taking care of everyday things like groceries is exhausting. Living in a hotel or rental with bedding and kitchen tools that aren't yours is a daily reminder of home and your missing comforts. My husband still had his office to go too, our daughter her school, but our home where, as a stay at home Mom, I spent my days was gone. There have been really tough days. I reached exhaustion. Sorry to sound like I'm venting but it is as it is. This is where I am so appreciative of those of you that take the time to share your lives in your blogs. Although I haven't left comments, or got around to listing you on our blogs we follow, after those hard days they have been a great escape, a light at the end of the tunnel and a reminder of what there is to look forward too. Thank you! I big thanks too to friends Sandra and Vicky who are amazing, busy women and have taken the time over the last few months to listen too me when I needed picking up despite all that they have going on in their lives (Vicky whips through moving boxes like no-one I've ever seen!) and my sister and her husband who were here within hours of the fire and showed up when I was desperately in need of help with boxes.
As life is getting easier I'm excited to say that next week I'm going to become an aunt for the first time not through marriage! My sister, Abi, is being induced this time next week! Yay! I can't wait to meet the bump, and think it's so cool that she and Dave picked the same name for him as my daughter would have had if she had been a boy. And without realizing it!!! How cool. The Bean is almost done with school - we are READY for summer! TIME FOR SOME FUN, LAUGHTER, AND RELAXATION.
Where did this week go? From the house rebuilding standpoint it was a good week though. Some weeks although we know and have watched work being done it doesn't seem like much has changed to morph the house from construction site to home. This week there was such a difference from Monday to Friday it was amazing. The skim coating/sanding on the drywall was finished by the beginning of the week so the finish carpenters, Dave and Mike, were in all week putting in window framing, door frames, molding, base boards etc. They also hung the stripped doors and it makes the house feel and look so much more put back together. They are almost done. Such a nice feeling after spending so long walking round the house either so smoke dirty or so bare bones. The other great change was our new kitchen cabinets not only arrived but were installed!!! They are beautifully made by a father/son team and I wish I could do work like they do. The kitchen had been painted and the cabinets look really nice in contrast to it. It's such a relief because when you have a fire you have no time to spend months thinking how you want to redo the kitchen, collect magazine pictures etc. Because there are no walls or floor coverings it is all designed rather quickly in your head so you hope it all comes out like you're imagining, and like you hoped it would! I'm also so relieved that we are about 7 weeks into construction and we LOVE our contractors. Good news not just for this house, but also in case we need them for our next one! The biggest stress of the week was dealing with the Servpro franchise we hired to pack all our belongings to clean and restore them and compile an unsalvagable list for our insurance company. For over a month now we've tried to get an accurate and consistent list of the losses from them but it keeps changing, items getting left off etc., and it's been really hard to get the owners to return phone calls. So frustrating and worrying. This week my patience ran out when one of the owners e-mailed me telling me our list wasn't a priority because of the additional flood clients they had taken on in the last week, and we should have compassion for their new clients instead of bugging them for our list. In the meantime we are paying out of pocket for all new kitchen appliances and other items since the list isn't to our insurance company. Deep breaths..... I have to admit this weekend I'm pretty burned out and would love a weekend away so I could have a few days of someone cooking and cleaning up for me!!! Next week the interior of the house is to be painted. Definitely looking forward to that -- hope the new colours work together. Thank goodness it's only paint as opposed to tile, granite or floors if it doesn't! Before I forget, there are 2 important lessons we learned from the fire. Three if you count learning that a house fire should most certainly be a once in a lifetime thing! The first is that most people do not update the value of their home owners insurance often enough. Make sure a good builder tells you how much to rebuild your house from the ground up with the finishes/appliances that you have. We didn't do that and were lucky we didn't burn to the ground. Let me take a moment to give a shout out to Safeco Insurance Company who have been amazing through this so far and really nice people to deal with. The second thing I learned was that though smoke detectors and plug in carbon monoxide/gas detectors are life savers, if no-one is home to hear them you still have the fire. I won't live in a house again that doesn't have the detectors hooked up to monitoring company like ADT. If you have a fire then they will call for the fire department. Our detectors went off, neighbors heard them , but the fire kept burning. Live and learn! Poor Johns been so sick with the flu this week. He's never missed a day of work before Friday. Thursday he came home early and I think he's slept ever since. I'm hoping he wakes tomorrow feeling better so by Monday he'll be able to make it through his crazy days for the week. Our little one (ok, she's 11 so not so little, but the phrase sticks still, perhaps will have to change after the adoption! Grandma still calls her the baby!) and I got to go out for sushi together Friday night. She's a total sushi maven (with her own roll she designed and is named after her,) and loves sitting at the sushi bar! It was a fun Mummy/Bean evening -- she great company and does make me laugh. Monday I decided we needed a break from the house so I surprised the Bean and John with a visit to Pottery Barn kids. Oh my goodness they do have cute stuff! It's tough not knowing if we're going to have girls or boys, but I'd seen the cutest Peter Rabbit melanine dish set, small napkins etc that would work for either!! The Bean thought everything was cute and should be bought then and there. She was showing John a light green bedding set in case it was a boy and I was cracking up because he was explaining that if it was a boy it all had to be blue. Trains, boats -- you get it! I can't blame him -- two daughters, a wife, female cat, dog, AND rabbit. He needs some blue, but it was so funny listening to the conversation between them. Perhaps we'll have one girl and one boy to satisfy both for blue/pink purchases! Though we have so much to do in the next few months it does seem to feel so far off that we'll get the referral. Though we know an infant right now is approximately 8 months, we know the wait for young siblings (0-12 mo and 0-42 mo either gender, or twins 0-12 mo's, waitlisted 1/26/10) can be much longer. We wonder whether we will have heard by this time next year....There are several sibling families ahead of us on the list so we're keeping our fingers crossed for them that their waits will be close to the infant wait. I'm hoping to replace my computer soon and will be able to download then upload photos. So many things to replace! I'll get around to it!
I have been meaning to start this blog since November, but sometimes life intervenes. Just after we'd finished with all the paperwork and were just waiting for the visa to be approved, we had a house fire. it was the night after Thanksgiving and we were back East with family when we got the phone call in the early hours of the morning that our house was on fire. To make a long story short in many ways we have been very lucky. A problem with the floor heater started the fire under the house and it burned in the foundation for about an hour and had just started coming up into the house when the firemen broke in. The firemen went above and beyond to save our belongings and we are so grateful. Although we lost one cat because she hid, a fireman ran out with our other cat with his own mask over her face trying to revive her which he did. There are some wonderful brave men in this world, and thank goodness so many of them showed up at our house that night. The outside structure of the house looked good except for the roof. Two rounds of demolition later the burned foundation has been replaced, we have new wiring, new plumbing, new roof, will have new floors, walls, kitchen, bathrooms etc. etc. It will all be better than ever when it's done! JUST IN TIME TO SELL!!!! Yup, before the fire we were just about done doing those odds and ends to put the house on the market in the Spring to be able to buy a larger house for when we bring home the babies. That's still our plan, now the house will be even better than ever for the next owner! So when Gladney says find something to do while on the waiting list, we have! Building a house, moving back in, selling it, finding a new house, moving again, fixing up whatever we need to, then we hopefully will time it well to get our referral. Perhaps a vacation in there? It has been nice as things settle down a little to look forward to the next year and the upcoming adoption. Our 11 year old is so excited. She has been asking for siblings since she was 5, and wants to know often why it can't just happen now! I am so happy about her enthusiasm. She is a lovely, kind, bright, caring person and will be a wonderful sister and role model. I am so happy for her that she will have the opportunity to be an older sister, and how lucky for the babies to have her in their lives. Sometimes people have commented how lucky these children are to be adopted which is kind, for John and I though we feel profoundly fortunate and blessed to have these children be part of our family and our lives. A family will have had the courage and faith to put their children up for adoption and will entrust us to raise them. Being a parent that is so humbling.
9/19/09 Mailed in I-600A application 9/20 Got Package from Gladney 9/21 Hired KBS Dossiers - great idea! 9/22 Orientation call with Gladney 9/25 1st packet to Gladney 9/26 FBI/Dossier fingerprinting 10/5/09 2nd packet to Gladney 10/7 1st homestudy meeting 10/19 All medical forms signed 10/20 Final documents to Gladney 10/22 2nd homestudy meeting 11/6/09 Homestudy to Gladney & USCIS 11/27 housefire 1/17/10 I-600A approval 1/26/10 Waitlisted
We are so excited and feel very fortunate to be adopting from Ethiopia. We have 2 girls, 19 and 12, and are so excited about having 2 more. My husband is a little outnumbered! I am a stay at home mom, and my wonderful husband works very hard so I can be.