"He Repeats Any Words He Hears"

We just got an update on our Tariku. I must admit it was a superb feeling even hearing that about him. That he speaks well in his language and is learning Amharic (the national Ethiopian language) daily, as shown in the title, he repeats any words he hears. We also got a chest x-ray (which looked perfect) and I count that as a picture. It looks precious even in his chest x-rays! It kind of reminded me of an ultrasound of our babes, accept this time there was a personality report with it!

So it’s been a good week. Yesterday we got our Hep B shot, we’ll have to get 2 others for the series. We will be scheduling our other vaccinations today so that when they say, “You can go pick up your son.” We can say, “On our way”! I also talked to a few travel agents yesterday about our possible travel time (February-March). Both companies said this was the best time of year to travel as it’s the cheapest and easiest to get flights. It sounds like we’ll leave from Moline, IL, stop in Chicago, IL, head to Washington, D.C., 8 hours to Rome where we don’t get off the plane but they refuel and clean for 45 minutes then we head on to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for another 8 hours (I might have that wrong but it’s close). Anyhow, it doesn’t sound too bad considering I’ve been to Australia where it was about 21 hours. Either way, going there we will be embarking to pick up our son and on the way back we will have him and be on our way to settling in as a family of 5. It will be a great trip indeed!

We also had the guys who are going to renovate the upstairs come twice this week. We should be getting the layout today. It sounds like they will have it done in 8 weeks so long as we keep getting timely acceptance from the good folks at the Y. It was SOOO nice hearing them talk about it all. He said once we give them the okay to go they would start demo and within 2 weeks would see drywall being hung and the new layout would be obvious. What did I say to that? “Go ahead!” The only problem is that we will have to move out of the upstairs altogether. Right now that houses our master BR, BA and living room. Doesn’t sound like much but we’ve crammed A LOT of furniture in that part. It shall be interesting to see us all downstairs!

That also means I couldn’t decorate for Christmas like I usually do. Truth be told I’m typically a minimalist as far as decorating goes…that is, until it comes to Christmas. Then minimal is no longer in my vocabulary and “Santas every time I turn around” is how I would explain my decor. Thus, I was forced to decorate the kitchen and that’s about it. It still looks great if you ask me.

Better be off to train my favorite client! Happy Friday!

First Ickies of the Winter

Both kids are downstairs sleeping. About every 2-5 minutes I hear one or both coughing. Not the ahem, ahem cough but the deep, came from the bottom of the lungs, waded through mush and popped through the throat, kind of cough. I cringe every time I hear it and resist the overwhelming urge to go pick them both up and make it a family bed night. They are my babies and even though I cringe when I hear it, I am so very thankful I hear it.

My friend, Jody, said of her twins waiting for her in Sierra Leone that she runs around always feeling a bit like she doesn’t have all her children with her (she and her husband have 4 boys as well). It’s like when my kids go visit my parents and sister for a week in the summer. It’s fun to hang out with Zach, and we enjoy our time together but I always miss them. I never sleep quite the same, I am…unsettled. When we reunite it feels right again. I sleep well, I am no longer living on edge and I am actually relaxed. But for the last week and 3 days I have felt unsettled again. This weekend we decorated cookies and Zach made one with Tariku’s name on it. The realization that all of my kids aren’t with me and I may not relax until we are all together under one roof hit me hard when I saw the sugar coated goodness. I recognize how badly I want to know, firsthand, whether Tariku sleeps like his big brother and little sister tonight.

1 1/2 weeks down, 10 1/2-14 1/2 to go!

Happiest of Thanksgivings

Just wanted to wish my faithful a Happy Thanksgiving! There is no need to tell everyone just how much I have to be thankful for. Tariku came surprisingly quick but we are so very thankful for him. I am thankful for my husband, my kids, my dog. But even the basics are worth mentioning, of course. Though I complain about this house, I am grateful for it as well since it has afforded me things I wouldn’t be able to have, without it. I can’t list everything in this one blog, there is just not enough room.

So I truly hope you all can find at least a few things to be thankful for!

It begins…

I’ve just spent the last 3 hours shopping for African hair products. I don’t even know what I’m doing. I have no business pretending to know what is going on. But after reading and rereading some comments on the forum I think I’m becoming ever so slightly more informed. I am shopping for hair products for a boy whose hair I’ve never even touched. I’m shopping for products because this is the only way I know how to take care of my son who’s halfway across the world.

On a slightly better note, I’ve done some online Christmas shopping as well so at least the last 3 hours will have been somewhat productive.

As a baby book mention, Dailah is getting her molars to come in, which is crazy weird seeings her teeth in between haven’t come in yet but it’s cool. I’m surprised she hasn’t been complaining as they are some honkin teeth!

We get to send Tariku a 1 gallon bag full of stuff. There’s a lot of pressure on me to send the coolest stuff ever to be received by a child at the care center (obviously the pressure is all mine seeings I can’t let go of my uuber competitive nature). But seriously, he will be “meeting” us in this bag. OH THE PRESSURE! Right now I’m thinking we’ll send a blanket that Terre embroidered with his name on it that we’ve been sleeping with so it smells like us. A picture book with pictures of the family describing who we are with pages left to fill once we get to Ethiopia and meet him. Trysten is going to put a few of his toys in, knowing they will probably not come back home. I want to do something really neat, like put a tape recorder of Zach playing the guitar and singing a few songs to him. I might even work up the courage to sing a bedtime lullaby or something like that, we’ll see! So anyway, I’m trying to get that together right now but I’ve noticed I have very few pictures of me alone or Zach alone and we have no family pictures to speak of. Things to do I suppose!

Sacrifice

So tomorrow it will be a week since we learned of sweet Tariku. Time has went by surprisingly quickly, which I will be ever so thankful for if it continues to do so until he comes home! It seems every day I think of him or the situation surrounding him in a different way. Today can be summed up with the title of this post.

We went to church today. It was a baptism day so we heard a lot about what baptism means and what it meant in the original context. Our pastor was talking about Christ being baptized and how it wasn’t necessary for him seeings he was sinless and all. He theorized on why Christ might have done it anyway but then he said, “We are not saved because He was born, we are not saved because He was baptized, we are saved because He died.” Wow! I certainly cannot relate to Christ’s unfailing sacrifice, but…

My thoughts returned to Tariku and his amazing Ethiopian family. We know Tariku’s background but will be keeping it quiet until Tariku is old enough to hear it and decide who he wants to tell and who he doesn’t. It is his story, afterall, and we don’t want him to hear it from anyone but us. I’ve been very up front about the complications of adoption. By and large I feel the emotional complications a lot more than perhaps “practical” (i.e. money, etc) because I’m an emotional person. So throughout this adoption I’ve grieved for the child I didn’t know and his family I didn’t know. Most of all, I grieved for his mother, whoever she may have been. As a mom, I realize we sacrifice (hopefully) something every day for our child. Today I sacrificed my last bite of salted nut roll for Trysten. Doesnt sound like a lot but those who might be telling themselves that obviously don’t know how much I freaking LOVE salted nut rolls…anyhow…I’ve often thought about the sacrifice Tariku’s family had to endure to give him life for 2+ years.

Today, I couldn’t help but think I don’t have it in me. I look at my kids and I would most certainly choose death if it was that or anything bad happening to them. I am not alone in that feeling. But to actively choose to make an adoption plan for my child so that they will have a life that is something I may not be able to give them; I’m just not sure I have it in me. Perhaps I am more selfish than I like to admit. I want to see them grow up, I want to be the one wiping their tears and the one they call mom. I sometimes think of dying (not in a morbid way, just…well whatever, it sounds weird not matter what I say). And I’ve found I’m certainly not afraid of dying seeings I know the gloriousness that awaits me, but I am horrifyingly sad that I won’t be THERE for my kids in the sense that they will be able to reach out and touch me. The fact that *hopefully* Zach would find someone who is as close to perfect as I am. 🙂 But thinking of them calling anyone but me mom, is an altogether sad thing for me.

So back to Tariku, can you imagine the love he was raised in? Can you even fathom the sacrifice? If you’ve seen his beautiful face you know what I’m talking about. It’s written all over those beautiful lips and those perfect eyes. It tells the story of the sacrifce. It tells the story of the sadness he has felt but the love throughout the gesture. Tariku will forever know of the love that brought him to us. He will know of his abaye and amaye (father and mother) and he will know it was love that we can all count on. Love, truly, never fails. I long for children everywhere to know that there are people out there who would die for them. Who would make an adoption plan if it meant they wouldn’t ever have to know the struggles they went through. I hope kids everywhere know they are worth at least that. I hope people everywhere know just how far love can take us. Mine, I’m happy to say, is taking me to Ethiopia and back.

Possibly 4 Months…Really?

I didn’t sleep very well last night. I thought about Tariku. I pictured him laughing, it was beautiful. I pictured him sleeping, it was angelic. I pictured him playing soccer, it was joy. I pictured him looking at me as his mom, it was love.

It’s amazing, really. How sometimes my heart actually aches. My younger son is halfway across the world and he’s doing all of these things that I mentioned. He’s doing all of them without me. He has experienced something in life NO ONE should ever have to and yet…he lives. Contrary to what our human nature tells us; that if something is bad enough we’ll just disapper, he lives! He lives and he seemingly thrives. He is a fighter (which I’m sure will give me gray hairs throughout our lives together) and I couldn’t be more excited to meet this person!

Trysten and I talked about Tariku tonight for the better part of 2 hours, all with Trysten asking questions. I have taken things with him fairly slowly since there are still a few months before Tariku comes home. But Tman was just asking all these questions about what he’d be like, what he’s like. I wished I could answer all of them for him. But I talked about how it might be a little difficult to understand what he’s saying at first and he might need a little more attention than most of the 3-yr-olds he knows. I told Trysten he’d have to share his toys and his room and it might not be fun all the time, though we hope it will be more than not. He said, “Mommy, if I have a toy and Tariku wants it, I’ll just give it to him and get a different one.” I told him he didn’t have to do that all the time, but it would be nice sometimes. He says, “No mommy, I want to give it to Tariku, he’s my brother.”

I asked him how he was feeling about it all. Was he happy or sad? Excited or scared? He thought about it for a minute and said, “I think I’m about halfish (I need to stop making up words around him) don’t know and halfish happy. I thought that was ridiculously profound for a 4-yr-old and arguably of a human no matter the age. Because I would guess if I had to put my emotions into words it’d be somewhat similar. The don’t know half is just that, we have no idea what to expect. But I’ve always subscribed to the choose happiness category instead of the let fear run your life category. It’s healthier, and that alone will get me through life with my sanity in check.

But just when I think Trysten couldn’t get more amazing, he does. We were saying our nightly prayers and he prays, “Tell Tariku that I love him and bring him home safely when he comes.” He asked me if I thought Tariku knows that we love him. I told him I hope he can feel that he is loved. Trysten said, “I think he does know that we love him mom. I think Jesus whispers in our ears when we’re sleeping. I think the other night (his phrase meaning last night) he whispered in mine that Tariku loves me the most and that is how I know Tariku knows who I am. So if Jesus is whispering in my ear, I bet he is with Tariku too and so he knows mommy, don’t worry.” That is word for word what he said, I went and wrote it down right away. He also said it as he played with my hair. This all led to me bawling my eyes out when I left his room.

So I must praise God tonight, not just for Tariku or Trysten or Dailah but for the wisdom of the youngest of us. I now know exactly why God tells us to have faith like a child.

Our Referral!!!!

You read that right, our referral has arrived. It actually arrived Monday but we wanted to really think and pray on it before officially accepting it (which we did today). I was waiting to tell you, dear blog readers and have been excited to do so. Especially since this is my 100th blog post and I must thank our newest son, Mr. Tariku Asamu Abiyu for the best 100th post in recorded history.

To the details…Tariku is around 2 yrs and 8 mths. We are not allowed to post pictures on any internet sites until we go to court, but I will post his picture on here immediately once they let us know we can! Even without the picture, he is perfect. As the social worker was telling us about him, I was of course crying and soaking it all in. He is perfect in every sense of the word.

To set the stage, as noticed from my last post, the SW didn’t have our homestudy done. So I had left her a message “nicely” stating how disappointed we were that it wasn’t done yet. Well during nap time on Monday, I heard my phone ring and saw that it was her. I was honestly considering not answering because I just wasn’t in the mood to hear any excuses. But, against my “better judgement” I did. Conversation went as follows (or something close)

Cindy: Hey Tesi, It’s Cindy, are you sleeping?

Tesi: Of course not! (thinking she would not let me adopt should she find out I like napping in the afternoons)

Cindy: Oh okay, well I wanted to call and talk to you about something, is Zach there? (Note: after that, I knew what the call was about because on our adoption forum, everyone has said they say key things to let you know it’s the referall call)

Tesi: Um, he’s in his office that’s just up the hill, well I guess you know where it’s at since you’ve been here, but I’ll run really fast, well as fast as I can anymore, you know what I mean. This phone can’t dial 3 way can I call you back on this number when we have speakerphone?

Cindy: (laughing) yes, that’d be fine. talk to you soon.

I sprinted out the door (man it felt good) tried running with Zach’s slippers on and noticed it would take 3 seconds longer if I tried to make it there with them so I threw them off. Ran up the hill and pounded on Zach’s door to his office. He was meeting with his program director at the time but I didn’t care. I yelled, through glass and open air, “Cindy is on the phone, we need to call her back, it’s THE call honey”!

Zach: Come in (said rather sarcastically now that I think about it, how rude)

Tesi: panting

Zach: How do you know she isn’t just wanting to talk to us about the homestudy?

Tesi: feeling bummed because I never did qualify it as being THE call, “Well no, I think it’s really happening.”

Zach: give me your phone.

We call Cindy on my cell but the speaker phone doesn’t work so we have to hang up and call her on Zach’s work phone (thanks Scott County Family Y).

Well it ended out great, obviously. We heard about our baby and I haven’t stopped looking at his picture and reading every word since. We already got an update on his measurements and it looks like he’s around 3′ tall and 30 lbs which is nice sized even for American standards, let alone Ethiopian. (Those that know the Klipschs now understand why God gave him to us.)

In all honesty, God is good. And the picture shows Tariku’s spirit. I look at him and his personality shows me that, contrary to everything he has experienced in life so far, he truly believes life is good. Dearest Tariku, I couldn’t agree more.