Saturday, May 28, 2011

Photos of the Nursery:)

It's all ready for the final touch - having our sweet daughters home and in there!

Monday, May 23, 2011


Two months ago The Bean, our 12 year old, started having migraines. Since my sister and mom have them I suppose it shouldn't have surprised me, but still it did. They suck. They hit instantaneously as migraines with all the yucky symptoms: nausea, light sensitivity, sore neck, and of course the bad pain. But worst of all twice a week. Poor thing. We were fortunate to find an awesome Pediatric Neurologist who has migraines herself and has children so she really gets migraines in kids and is so good at talking to Bean. Since they hit so fast and hard I was concerned so we went in six weeks ago for brain scans to make sure it was "only" migraines we were dealing with. Let me tell you how nerve racking that is. The night before I was so cognizant that we were at one of lifes forks in the road. Either we were going to get to go on with life pretty much as we knew it, but with the new normal of trying to decrease the migraines frequencies and get rid of them faster when she got them, or gulp, dealing with something that would turn our lives upside down and her life wouldn't come close to ever being the same again. Very frightening. Very stressful. Made the stress of waiting for that MOWA letter look like a walk in the park. Thank goodness it was wonderfully, fabulously all clear:) So now I feel so fortunate that 'all' we are dealing with is migraines! Funny how life can be put in perspective so fast.

The neurologist put her on a supplement called MIGRELIEF. Omg, love that stuff:) I'm not a supplement person, we eat pretty darn well and have never felt extra stuff was in the least bit necessary, but this stuff ROCKS! It's taken her from 2 migraines a week, to 1 every 17 days. Woo Hoo!!!! You take it twice a day, it takes 4-6 weeks to see a difference, and apparently raises the B2 levels (which if I remember which is which correctly tends to be low in people with migraines) and magnesium levels (which helps reduce the frequency of them or something like that!) I've found it to be cheapest on Amazon - I'm now done with my plug! These migraines are horrible enough just from the pain standpoint but they have also been very problematic in terms of lifestyle too. Each time she had one I had to race to school to bring her home and we'd be there for hours until it eased which meant she was missing a lot of school and I was having very unpredictable days. Teachers were not happy either. Ugh. In addition to the Migrelief we've started throwing everything at them we can. Acupuncture has been shown to be really effective with headaches so 3 weeks ago we started that. She's a trouper about it and is relieved she can barely feel it. It's giving the chance to read "Emma" together twice a week so that's an upside to the visits! Today is Day 17 - according to our previous schedule it should be migraine day today, so we are all holding our breath to see if we can buy a few more days thanks to the acupuncture. Fingers crossed here! The neurologist also suggested trying bio-feedback. I have no experience at all with this, nor any knowledge about it, but if she recommends it we're trying it! That has been a little harder to find than the acupuncture which was more an issue of finding someone reputable that was covered by our insurance. Looks like Childrens Hospital will be doing it through their Chronic Pain Management program. Hoping to get that going next week. So that leaves the prescription meds to try to get rid of the pain much quicker than the Excedrin can, so perhaps it can be treated at school and she can go back to class. We're about to try Imitrex because the Maxalt didn't touch it. Aargh. More fingers crossed that we'll have better luck with the new stuff, but hoping we don't get to try it out soon if we can postpone the upcoming migraine!!!! Crazy!

I'm really wanting this to all work so life's a little more manageable. School field trips, sleepovers, and all those other things have become really problematic since we know have to prep for migraines if she goes. No field trips unless I'm chaperoning right now, and with sleepovers she has to carry a large bag of migraine stuff in her purse: water to take the pills, towel to cover her face etc wherever she goes if they go out for dinner, to ice-cream etc. Not so fun when you're 12.

But thank goodness we are only dealing with migraines.

And perhaps today she won't have one.......

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A huge thank you to our wonderful caseworker, Sara.

First and most importantly I want you to know that it was my intention to write this this past weekend. In other words my sentiments and thanks about this have NOTHING to do with me just being all happy because we got our letter and court decree this week. I just ran plum out of time this weekend and it was Monday before I knew it and after The Call all plans went out the window.

Last Friday I was checking in with Sara and she sounded really tired. I asked her about it and she said she was, and it was raining, and that it was hard not having any news for us day after day for so long. That got me thinking. A lot. I think I've been so wrapped up in my own difficulties of the past few months that I haven't stepped back to think that it's been pretty tough on our caseworkers too to tell us day after day that there is no news when a large part of their satisfaction and enjoyment from their jobs is probably about building families. Also that since they are our only connection and imparters of information from Ethiopia and Gladneys program our frustration and sadness probably feels like it's personal to them and we are frustrated at them instead of the situation. That made me sad because Sara has been so incredible through this whole process to us. I was going to write her a card but then decided to write it 'publicly' on our blog so you all would know what impact she's had on us.

Perhaps if you feel the same way about your caseworkers you could take a minute to give them a call, write an e-mail or a card to say thank you. I wish I'd thought of it sooner:)

Dear Sara,

I cannot thank you enough for everything you've done for us during the last few months. Before we left for court we already appreciated you and what you did for us. You always had all the info we needed, were so on top of everything and we had complete faith in you. Since court during this 5 month delay we have a whole new appreciation for you. You have gone so above and beyond to take care of us the last few months and none of it has been taken for granted or been unappreciated. You had an e-mail waiting for us when we got back, you took the time out of your vacation and family time to call us and see how we were doing. So many weeks you've called to check in on me if we haven't spoken in awhile and when on a couple of those occasions I burst into tears you were so patient and kind and compassionate. I never felt you were rushing me off the phone when you probably had a ton of work to do. You've listened to me vent a few times when you've probably spent the day hearing it from a few other Moms too and have always listened to me. Then there has been your patient explanations as to why my latest great thought for the day won't work to get our letter from ET, and I never once felt like you wrote those e-mails rolling your eyes or wringing my neck. It is easy when things go right in life, but when times get tough people show their true colors and we are so grateful to know you to be such kind, thoughtful, compassionate, patient person.

You are a big part of our adoption journey, and as the girls learn their story of how they came to be in our family you will be an important part in that story. We hope we will have many years of knowing you and that your presence in our lives continues long after the girls are home.

Thank you again for everything,

Zoe, John and The Bean

Monday, May 16, 2011


At last we get to post photos of our identical twin girls!

Rachel Derebe and Isabel Dilnesh, born very loved May 8th, 2010

They smile a lot in person but seem to get pretty suspicious of cameras so they look very serious in the photos. They both have dimples which hopefully in a couple of months we'll have captured on camera and can post those! We'll be painting their big toenails different colors so we can tell them apart so not to worry in the first 10 minutes of having them that we've mixed them up already! Derebe is a little more inquisitive, Dilnesh falls asleep first after eating. They are dear, curious, sweet little people and tonight we are blessed to call them our daughters.

Enjoy meeting them!

The girls about 5 weeks old taken by visiting Gladney mom and sent to us by her after referral! True baby pics!

Dilnesh referral photo taken mid-July

Derebe Referral photo taken mid-July

Late December while in ET


End of April

Taken this week

Really Great News!

Early this morning we got a very happy call from Sara at Gladney! While we slept we got the MOWA letter AND the court decree so THE GIRLS ARE OURS!!!!

We are so thrilled, relieved, happy and grateful.

Our happiness is tempered knowing so many other families are waiting for the same letter and we hope this happens for you all really soon. We continue to think of you and keep you all in our prayers.

We will post more soon when I've wrapped my head around all this.

So many thanks to all of you that have helped prop us up and support us through this marathon. You made such a difference to us while we struggled, and really it would have been close to impossible to get through this without you.

Today I am Mummy to Derebe and Dilnesh!!!! What a great way to spend the day:)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Our Girls 1st Birthday and Mothers Day

It is about 8am in Addis right now. Our babies have probably woken up and I wonder if anyone there remembers it's their 1st Birthday. Happy Birthday sweet girls. When we traveled to court in December and even after hearing about the investigation it never occurred to me that we wouldn't be with them today. Their Easter dresses were then their birthday dresses, we now hope they will at least be able to wear them this summer. These girls are so loved and we so want them home with us so badly.

It will be a bit of a tough day tomorrow given that it's Mothers Day. I don't know if it is ET too, but regardless their birth mother will be on my mind and as think she will throughout so many days of their lives. I am so blessed to be Beans mummy. I tell her frequently that being her mummy is the most favorite thing I've ever been. Only being John's wife equals it. I had no idea I would enjoy motherhood so much. I am really blessed to be one. I am hoping in the near future that I will be luckily enough to add two more officially to my proud list of children when people ask. We count them now, but for it to be official will be big.

We decided yesterday not to celebrate their birthdays in a big way without the girls. I don't think I could get through it to be honest. I could try to describe what the last almost 20 weeks have been like with this wait, but really I don't have the words to explain it, and I don't think I have the heart for that either. I'll just say it's pretty indescribable. There are days I feel I have given up most hope, the other days I dread having hope because of the inevitable disappointment, sadness and funk that follows. Depletion. Helplessness. Void of understanding. We will wait 'til we are with them again to have our own celebration. Tomorrow they will be deep in our hearts, we will be wondering how their first birthday was, we will be with them in a quiet way, but the only way that we can be while still remaining upbeat to celebrate Mothers Day and that blessing with the Bean.

Happy Birthday sweet girls. Now how wanted and loved you are.

And Bean, I LOVE being your Mummy. I am the luckiest.