Saturday, August 30, 2008

We Are On our Way!

0 Days and No More Counting cause......

     We're off and rolling at Hialeah!!! *

Thank you family and friends for the support and love you've given us during this entire process!  And an even bigger thank you for putting up with me during the craziness of getting ready to go! And it was some crazy!!  Please keep the good thoughts coming our way as we make the long trips there and back (for those who've asked it's 25 actual flying hours on 3 different flights each way..... yea, good times.) 

We'll try and post from Addis once we have our beautiful, amazing daughter in our arms!! 


(*in honor of my dad and one of those family traditions)
    


Friday, August 29, 2008

One More!

I've got a few last minute things to do, some final bagchecks to make but basically WE'RE DONE!  So, I hereby officially declare closed the great suitcase pack of 8-08 and call upon the youth of the world to reconvene in ....... (sorry, Olympic detoxing still going on!)

Remember what it was like when you were a kid waiting for Christmas morning to come?!  Yep, that's it!  That's what it feels like right now.  One big happy crescendo of anticipation.  And, I really really want it to be tomorrow morning already! (see, told you Christmas!)  These last few days have been a roller coaster ride of emotions (see previous post) but right now - despite some serious sleep deprivation involved in finishing the great suitcase pack of 8-08 and taking care of everything for N - all I can feel is the excited joy of it!

To the families who've trusted us to carry packages to their sweet children - I have them all tucked safely in our carry ons.  To everyone who's asked us to take photos of their beautiful children and to spend time holding them and telling them how much their parents love them - what a true joy for us to do so!!  Thank you for sharing your children with us.
Michele, Tara and Anne, thank you all for your kind words and wonderful travel advice!  Without it I don't think I could have pulled off any of the great suitcase pack!  I mean it!

We are almost on our way to Tessa!!  One...More....Day!!  I'm so excited I don't think I can sleep  tonight!! Hey, do I hear reindeer?


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Changes

As we're getting closer (really close!) to leaving - besides being stressed out and distracted by the hundred and one details of packing, cleaning the house, making arrangements for N, getting things ready for Tessa - I'm more and more conscious of how big this all is.

For all of us.

For our Tessa who'll soon be leaving the only home she's ever known and the caregivers who've been her mothers for so long.  She'll be leaving behind a brother she never had a chance to meet and a mother she hasn't seen since she was 4 days old.  Leaving family to find family.  For N who knows he's getting a little sister but doesn't, I think, really know.  He's moving from being an adored only child - the sole apple of his parent's eyes - to a big brother who will have to learn to share his parent's time and attention.  For us as parents welcoming another child.  Changing from our little familiar family of 3 to a newer version, a more full and wonderful version of 4. 

Big overwhelming changes all around.  But even though I'm this tangled web of emotions these days - full of joy, apprehension, impatience to hold my daughter, sorrow for her birth family - I think I'm ready for the sheer and glorious bigness of it all.  Ready for all the changes - big, small, and in-between.

3 days and counting.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Packing And More

I think I'm almost done....Almost!  I spent the day packing up the last of our humanitarian aid. Diapers, formula, bottles, diaper rash creme and other things that we know are needed.  And clothes. Lots of clothes thanks to the heartfelt generosity of many of the moms at N's preschool and the nice ladies at our Gymboree who for weeks helped me sort through rack after rack looking for the big markdowns so I could buy as much as possible to take.  And toys.  Yes a lot of those too.  Because kids are kids. And kids and toys go together.  So we're traveling with 7 very heavy suitcases and I wish it was more. A lot more. But in the end there is only so much we can carry, check-in, deal with.  And still, I wish it was more even while I know it would still never be enough.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What's In A Name?

Maybe the question should be Can your family and friends say it?
  
We had wanted a first name that we loved and was easy to pronounce.  We thought we had it. We really did. But after listening to family (yes, that means you my darling sisters) and friends mispronounced Marielle (It's Mary-L not Mary-ul) time and again  -even after being corrected - we are officially throwing in the towel!

It's bad enough that people never get our last name right.  OK, Canadians do but apparently they've also had a well known politician with this last name so there you go.  But your average American? Not gonna happen. Believe me, my husband's been working with this for over 40 years. It can get pretty ugly.  So the last thing we wanted was to pick a first name that was going to require our daughter to correct people all the time.  

We thought 'Marielle'.  Simple.  Elegant.  We loved it.  It's pronounced liked it's spelled.  What could be better?  Well....  after listening to interesting tongue twistings and numerous mispronunciations we can tell you what's better ......  Tessa!  

Yep, after first testing the pronunciation waters this time, we've decided to go ahead and make a change. While we still love the name Marielle we do not love the thought of our daughter having to set people right the rest of her life (she'll get enough of that with her last name.)  And it wasn't a hard choice  - we also love the name Tessa.  And you know, after the decision was made it somehow felt more like our daughter's name in ways that Marielle hadn't.  Maybe because Tessa had the benefit of not being mispronounced - not even once - by any of our 'say our daughter's name back to us'  guinea pigs (uhhh I mean family and friends.)

What's in a name?  Everything... but you might want to make sure they can say it first!


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Marathon

Tonight was an amazing end to the Olympic Men's Marathon!
Samuel Wansiru became the first Kenyan to win an Olympic gold medal in this event shattering the Olympic record in the process.  I'm thrilled!  I have a big soft spot for Kenya because as a 16 year old high schooler I spent 3 1/2 months living with a family there.  It was a life altering, moving from a kid to an adult experience. I owe Kenya a lot in that regards.  And I was thrilled to watch two Ethiopians battle for the bronze medal going 3 - 4!  So the Horn of Africa ruled the marathon tonight! How awesome is that!


1 More Week

Just one more until we are holding our daughter in our arms!!!! Can you even believe it?!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

E-mail and Snail Mail

Guess what we got in the mail today?  Yep!  Our airline tickets!!!!  2 weeks and we are off to get Marielle!!!  Not a minute to soon cause guess what else we got today?  Another update!!!  And here is some of what Joanna had to say about our girl....

"Here we go!  Kidist seems to be making a shift out of infancy!  Her face and movements are maturing and words are replacing some of the crying!  Kidist has developed a passed down trait in many Ethiopians, not to mention a form of communication, the raised eyebrow!  It is used to 'agree with', like us saying 'okay' and is particularly cute on a little baby!   Kidist has some little dimples that are becoming more prominent and likes her minestrone soup!  She was holding onto her crib today and I was taking turns kissing one hand at a time and each time she would pull that hand back; staring at me but never backing up!  She is too much for words!

So the excitement - and packing, getting the house ready, making arrangments for N stress -  builds as we get ready for our trip.  I can't wait to hold our girl  - to get a little of her infancy before she moves into full blown toddlerhood! So close!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Opening the Door

We finally feel secure enough on our journey to our daughter , far enough along on our Ethiopian adoption adventure to open the door and let others in.   So, we're officially going public!! Welcome!  To our very patient and wonderful family and friends - just think, no more logging in!  And we promise we will do our best to post from Addis!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Happy Birthday!! **updated**


Happy Birthday Tessa!
Tessa is 1 today -  a whole year old!  To celebrate N and I (Joe was out of town) bought a piece of cake, lit a candle and sang happy birthday.  Ashley, another kind person with a camera, had already taken a small birthday gift to our girl for us. 
It's not the same - not even close-  but it will have to do for now.  3 short weeks and we will be on our way to her.  Soon sweet girl soon!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Airline Tickets, Baby Carriers and Dental Appointments

Yep that pretty well sums up the day. Oh and you can add in swimming lessons, immigration forms, house cleaning and auto repairs.  But the most exciting news is..... WE BOOKED OUR AIRLINE TICKETS!!    Long legs and long flights - not a great combination - so we went with the leg room and are flying Emirate Air even though it means an overnight stay in Dubai. (yeah I know tough one there!)  It's really starting to feel like we are on our way to get our daughter! Finally, finally, finally!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tessa Kidist *updated*

WE MADE IT!!!

WE MADE IT THROUGH COURT!!!   Marielle Kidist is officially, for always our daughter!!
Thank you family and friends for keeping us in your thoughts - TODAY IS A GREAT DAY!!!!

Turns out three was the magic number ....Today was exactly three months to the day we received our referral! 3 months to the day we first saw our daughter's beautiful face. Perfect.

More info to follow but right now I've got to take my mom to a doctor's appointment!!

Take Two

Here we go again - court wait part two - but I actually slept last night and I'm pretty calm this morning.  Hopefully we'll be getting good news this morning!  I could use good news this morning.  As soon as we hear I'll post.  Keep your fingers crossed!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My Great Kid

I didn't have a good day today - and not passing court was just part of it.  So to cheer myself up I thought I'd tell you about what a great kid N is.  As most of  you know, N turned 5 this spring. We had a big birthday party for him but instead of asking all the kids to bring him gifts, N had them bring new books to donate to Ethiopia Reads.  Now, turning 5 is a big deal - as is getting gifts - but N was  happy to forgo any gift getting for himself.  He composed the following letter (which mommy typed for him) to go in each of the boxes of books we sent:

My name is N.  I am 5 years old.  I have a new sister who is coming from Ethiopia soon.  For my birthday I decided to ask all my friends to bring books that I could give to you for  the boys and girls in Ethiopia instead of presents.  I got a lot of books.  I hope you like them.

N

See, I told you, N is a really great kid!!


Not Yet

We didn't pass court today.  Little Ms. K's birth mother was at court and relinquished but no opinion was sent over.  So we wait until tomorrow.  Please keep praying for us, sending us good vibes, karma or simply crossing your fingers for us.  Tomorrow is another day and we have one more chance to make it through before the court closings.  I'm basically OK with things right now - nervous but OK .  At least I can breath since we did get over one major hurdle today but talk to me tomorrow if we don't get through and Jessica calls to give me an OCTOBER court date.  That will be a different story.  For now it's alright.  

We are also thinking of little Ms. K's mother today - a day that was, in all likelihood,  exceedingly hard for her and hoping she finds peace and knows we will love and cherish K for her and that we are profoundly thankful to her for the sacrifice and gift she gave us. 

WAITING!

The decision has already been made and now we're just waiting to hear from Jessica at Gladney what that decision is.  I didn't sleep last night and I'm so anxious right now I can't think straight!  According to other families who have been through this, we still have a couple hours to wait for the phone call and with so many families in court last night it may take even longer then that.  I'll post when we hear.  PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let it be good news!!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

One More Day

Our court date is tomorrow or rather, it is tonight!  Since Ethiopia is ahead of us our case is going to be decided while we sleep (oh yeah like that's going to be possible!)  I'm already a nervous wreck and the day has just begun.  It's going to be a long day and night of waiting.  Please keep us in your thoughts today and tonight that we and  little Ms. K receive good news in the morning!! And please keep a good thought for all the other families who are waiting to see if they will make it through court tonight as well.  

Friday, August 1, 2008

Weight and Dates

I eat when I'm stressed out (chocolate being my personal drug of choice) so in the last two and a half months with all the delays and uncertainty  I've managed to gain.......wait for it cause I'm still gettin' up the nerve to even type it .......15lbs!! URRRRR!  Someone please wire my jaw shut at this point PLEASE!!  Unfortunately, the e-mail I just got from Gladney isn't going to make this weekend any less of a stressfest.  The courts in ET are closing on the 7th now instead of the 8th!  That means the last day for anything to get through court will be Aug. 6th.  So, the 5th will be make or break for us as far as being able to travel now for little Ms. K vs. November or December. I had rather foolishly thought if there was a slight problem on the 5th we could still maybe get back into court on the 6th & 7th and even as late as the morning of the 8th.  There goes that little security blanket of naivete.  So the 5th it absolutely, no other chance before the close of court, has to be!!!!  Oh and could someone please pass the chocolate!!