Indiana Jones

You know you are getting old when it’s 7:45 on a Friday night. The wife is sitting on the computer checking out her favorite blogs and other ridiculous websites. The husband is watching Indiana Jones: The Raiders of the Lost Ark. The wife is remembering the class she took in the Iowa college of cinema that talked about movies and sound (specifically referring to Indiana’s score–often referred to as “da, da, da, da, da da da da”–as well as the villian’s score –dark, rustic, you get the picture). Both husband and wife sit on different couches drinking a glass of wine. That is old, especially when they are both thinking about going to bed in T minus 1 hour. Alas that is us in all of our elderly glory.

Funny comment by Trysten the other day. It reminded me of why I don’t feel old enough to parent some days. Let me set the scene: Trysten was upstairs after waking up in the morning. We went downstairs when we heard Dailah babbling. I put her on the changing table. Trysten watches. The following is an almost-verbatim glimpse into our lives.

Trysten: Mommy, girls don’t have penises do they? What did you say it was called again?

Mommy: Girls have vaginas, Trysten.

Trysten: Oh that’s right. (Turns to Dailah) Nice vagina, Dailah.

WHAT?!?!?!?! What do I do in this case? It was so innocent and pure but all I wanted to do was laugh at the fact that my almost 5-year old is using terms like penis and vagina in a sentence; and saying them the way they should be. It’s not riddled with sexual innuendo (as it would be if their dad was trying to have the same discussion) but just very basic. Incredible.

I don’t know what I’ll ever do when it comes to the “sex talk”. I’m not entirely convinced I’ll be very good at that even though I know it’s necessary. If my intuition is anything like I think it is, I’m going to guess it will look mostly like me pretending to bite my nails and Zach doing all the talking. He’s a talker, that’s just what he does. Go for it, sweetness.

Anyhow, according to the score in Indiana Jones, it is about time to see some pretty crazy Indiana Jones ass kicking. Can’t beat that on a Friday night. If you think you can, I’d love to hear from you. Until then, da da da da, da da da da da.

1 Month Down

We’ve been waiting for travel for one month. Yesterday marked exactly one month ago that we learned of our brown eyed baby in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Looking back it went quite quickly. Some days are harder than others.

Last night Zach and I got to go shopping as Santa Claus. It is our first Christmas where we went together to get the kids their stuff. It was a lot of fun. I think all the kids will be happy with their loot. I was getting a little crazy, Zach had to remind me that Tariku was not actually with us yet and, as much as I imagined him tearing through the wrapping to open up his new winter coat, he was not going to be doing it. He would still be in a blazing hot climate with very little knowledge of us.

Last night was also the first night Zach and I got to talk in length about our fears, hopes, etc. Usually there’s a child and/or family member around and we don’t feel like we can be as open as we might be otherwise. It was good to get my hubby to talk about his expectations. I think we are both very realistic in what we are expecting and I myself am preparing for the worst (constant tantrums, neverending grief, etc) and hoping for the best. The hardest part thus far is trying to tell Trysten every time he talks about Tariku that it will still be some time before we can bring him home.

By far the most difficult thing for Zach and I to wrap our heads around is our life. We’ve suffered loss, sure. But the loss of a family, culture, home; these are things we know nothing about nor can we pretend that we could possibly understand what that must feel like. Zach is afraid he will come back from Ethiopia and feel the slightest bit worthless with this life in the land of the privaleged. I am trying to see the positive in that we can be the propellants who make our family and friends aware of the plight happening to our brothers and sisters in Africa and around the world. We will see how even more passionate we can become about this subject after we have “been in the trenches” (or at least as much as you can for a week, in a nice guest house) with our family in Ethiopia.

For now, we can wait. I am guessing the very earliest they will be calling us about travel will be this time in January to tell us of a Feb travel. The good part about the wait is it is giving us time to really learn about the conditions of the peoples of Ethiopia. The HIV pandemic in Africa and the monstrosity in Darfur. There is no shortage of places in the world in desperate need of prayer and I’ve learned the more I learn the more I want to learn and the more I NEED to help. I would encourage one and all to do the same! The worst part about the wait is that my child is half a world away and my cheeks are in desperate need of kisses from three children.

Cookie Dough Kind of Day

I’m eating cookie dough straight from the tube, it’s a “Big Batch” so I’m feeling confident I won’t dominate the entire thing tonight.

I wrote our Ethiopian Coordinator to ask if she thought it’d be 12-16 weeks until travel from the time we accepted the referral (almost 1 whole month ago) or from when our homestudy was finally turned in (like, 1 day ago) and she said it wouldn’t be until our dossier was translated and sent to ET. I’m fairly certain this was her way of breaking it to us that we might want to sit tight. So…I’m eating cookie dough. Straight from the tube.

We went to get our groceries tonight, Zach took the kids in one cart and I went shopping in the other. Turns out it is kind of fun when the kids aren’t pulling at every aisle, wanting down to walk, etc. Anyhow, got to linger in a few aisles and I have no idea why I did it, but I went to the kids clothing. There was a size chart, according to that Tariku is a size 3T. So what did I do? Yup, looked at every one and pictured his beautiful brown eyes peeking out. There was the Diego hat and mittens that his smile lit up. There was a soccer outfit that was fitting for the boy who can’t get enough of the game. It’s all here. Everything is waiting for him and he has no idea.

I’ve been reading my friend’s blog (check “Ehrman” on the side) because she’s in ET right now picking up a girl who is Tariku’s age and is from his same village. I drink up every word she says about the care center and the little boys she sees.

I need to change the way these blogs are taking shape. You’d never know my life is basically perfect and I can’t get enough of it all. It’s just a truly interesting crossroads in my life right now. Looking forward to seeing how it all plays out. 🙂

Random Acts of Violence

My daughter is abusive. If you see me walking around with bruises and/or tiny handprint marks, don’t blame Zach, blame my 16-month-old. Right now, she is playing swords with my almost 5-year-old and laughing. Not a cute, I’m a baby laugh, but like an evil laugh. One akin to what the Wicked Witch of the West would do. Don’t know how to get her to stop. We’ll be playing and snuggling, she’ll get a cute little grin on her face then wind up and smack me. Open fist smack. Makes noise and everything. I’m concerned, she seems to delight in it a bit too much. We’ve done everything we can think of and yet, she continues.

She and Trysten are really starting to enjoy playing together (side from the times that she slaps him and he cries, then she cries then I cry). It really is the cutest thing and it makes me very excited to have yet another one thrown in the mix within the next few months. It will be chaos but it will be joy, it thrills me.

We survived another couple days without Zachary again. The kids showed signs of missing their dad early in the week but were able to come through for me and were all kinds of fun (save for the aforementioned slapping).

I got the crud that the kids and Zman had. DARN-IT-ALL. I tried telling him my body won’t get sick during the holidays because I’m too happy. Alas, my miserably bad immune system failed me again. Owell, don’t tell my pharmacist of a sister but I’m finishing Zach’s meds off for him see if we can save on the $10 co-pay. Very “green” if you ask me.

Still no movement on the house. Z and I learned that, in order to save the marriage, we must make “house” a 4 letter word and never speak of it again. When someone asks about it, we “shh” them quicker than you can say “No talking in the library” and pretend that we live in our old house. I often find myself going into a fetal position and wishing we were in a different house, but alas I uncurl and find the chant “there’s no place like home” only takes me to here…home. Yippee kai yi yay motha …. you get the idea.

Here’s to at least one day of no violence, no sore throats and a strong wind blowing the top of this house down (all of us being okay, obviously), oh yeah, and an email that says we can go pick up Tariku.

Tough

So this process is tough. There is no way around that, I knew going into it that’d be the case, and I definitely know now. I think the hardest part for me is when our expectations aren’t meant. It’s like that with life in general, but with adoption perhaps it increases. Our process has been a bit different than “normal”. “Normally” you get all your paperwork in, the dossier complete. It goes over to Ethiopia, gets translated and sits and waits, somewhere between 4-6 mths for you to get your referral. Once you get your referral, it is sent all in one package to the courts and waits for it to go through court and let you know you’re free to travel.

Well we got our referral even before all of our paperwork was in. We were just waiting for the homestudy basically, for it to be sent over. Well the homestudy was sent to us on Monday of this week (as noted before, that was about 6 weeks later than we planned). We talked to our Ethiopian coordinator to see what happens next and she wrote back today saying she didn’t receive the homestudy yet. This is frustrating on a number of levels but it all boils down to our expectations weren’t met. Now our expectations have collided with the fact that Tariku is waiting for us. The care center that CHSFS runs is beyond wonderful, but it doesn’t take the place of two loving parents, two loving siblings and one extremely loving chocolate lab. The more Tariku bonds with the nannies at the care center, the more difficult it will be for his bonding process with us.

When we accepted the referral we were told somewhere between 12-16 weeks for travel. They also told a couple other families that same time frame who received referrals that week. The problem is those other families had their dossiers complete, translated and waiting for their good news. We don’t. I have a feeling we will see those families who received their referrals after us travel before us all because the “ducks weren’t in a row”. It’s a harsh reality, especially since we’ve paid a pretty penny for those ducks to be in a row.

It’s hitting me hard today. We’re snuggled up in our nice warm house, watching the sleet come down outside and I wish I was making 3 cups of hot cocoa and 2 coffees. I realize we have our lives to spend with Tariku as our son and when I put it in perspective I know God’s timing is perfect. But alas I am human, and perhaps more so today, I am a mom. Mom’s don’t function well when one of their children is being wronged and I guess that’s what I’m feeling for Tariku today. Mama Bear is fighting for you, Tariku. I am a fightin.