Too Much

It’s gotten to be too much. I cried in the shower today. I cried in the car. There were many opportunities to cry and unfortunately I took advantage of almost all of them.

We got our fingerprints done last Friday. I emailed our SW to see how long it would take to get USCIS approval and she said it’s presently taking 4-8 weeks since one of the ladies is on maternity leave. I emailed our ET coordinator and asked if we needed approval before we could get a travel date. The answer? Yes. Not only do we need approval, but the ET embassy needs it as well. I had said I’d call our Governor if it would help speed the process (someone had done this and it worked for them). Our ET coordinator said she thought it was a long shot and they only typically did it if there was a medical issue to consider.

Is the fact that a 3-year-old boy has been in an orphanage for almost 4 months not an issue? Is it an issue that he has a mother and father, completely clear of any criminal past, wanting to love and care for him more than anything? How is that not an issue that a Governor can get behind?

I wish I was a dude. My husband is a dude and I asked him how it doesn’t affect him, he said he just can’t think about it. He can’t think about our son being one of 10ish toddlers to be fed on a schedule, potty on a schedule, bed on a schedule. He can’t think about the gray walls and line of toddler beds. I wish I was a dude. I can’t think of anything but those things. I am his mom. His nannies love him, I’m sure. But they have to protect their heart, these kids leave. Who can blame them? I wish I could protect my heart, but I can’t. I want to look him in the eyes and tell him I love him because of him, not because I’m paid to and not the way I do every other toddler in the building. That’s what he needs.

I know all of these things are in place to protect the child but 4 months in an orphanage…I can’t believe that’s helping the child.

Sometimes I think God chose the wrong person. Today I just kept asking Him, “why”? Of course I feel so blessed but I can’t help but beg Him to make it all EASIER. Why can’t it be easier? I want this child, he theoretically wants me. Perhaps we somewhat need each other, so why can’t it just be as easy as me hopping on a plane and getting him? Good God I don’t know if I have it in me some days.

If we don’t make it through court, if they can’t give us a travel date, if I hear of too many other friends going to get their toddlers and have to picture Tariku watching his friends leave, wondering why he wasn’t chosen. I don’t know what I’ll do. It makes me sick to my stomach, it makes me inconsolable at times.

I don’t know where this is going. I just know I’m going to start finding myself guarding my heart a bit more as this process goes. Until we’re on the plane to Ethiopia, I can’t do it anymore. I can’t think in my head “x weeks, x weeks and you can hold him, x weeks and you can kiss him, x weeks and you can rock him and tell him you love him.” I can’t do it. I keep freaking picturing us meeting and being together and I need to stop. It could still be too far away. I’m not sure my heart can do it anymore.

Oy, I’m out before I start crying again and Zach switches my birth control pills with Prozac (not that that would be a bad thing). 🙂

We Made It!

By “we” I mean “I”. Dailah did great last night. I wasn’t even mad that she woke up at 5:55, I had went to bed early just in case.

So I think we’re going to live. I think today is going to be a good day.

Have I talked about the support we’ve gotten through this adoption? A few recent ones…my cousin called to ask how everything was going. She had seen that my parents and my bro and sis in law were going to be out of town when we possibly traveled to Ethiopia. She said she and my aunt could probably work something out to watch the kids. They are so wonderful. Even if it wouldn’t work out the fact that they were willing to do it. Oh, the love!

A friend, I’m not going to mention her name, but it starts with a J and ends with a Y and I talk about her a lot. She just offered to have us come over for naps or playtime whenever we need seeings our house is no longer ours with all of the construction.

I never had any doubts people are good. I sure do love being right. 🙂

Had Me Such A Hard Night/Day

My mom used to always say that when she got home from work, as a joke most of the time, “I had me sucha hard day!” Well, that speaks volumes to my day/night.

Yesterday Dailah had started coming down with a cough, etc. She went to bed alright but, what turns out to be truly ironic decided to NOT sleep as soon as we went down. From midnight on she would not go to sleep, her eyes were closed but nothing. It was awful!! I’ve always known I was no good without at least 8 hours of sleep but today just proved it. So finally at about 7, after rocking her for 45 minutes she fell asleep. I put her in her crib. My friend called to see if I could teach her PUMP class at 11:15. Dailah woke up at 7:03.

Called the doc, appointment at 1:15, great. Went to the Y. Dailah started to get a fever so I took her to PUMP class and lifted her instead of my weight rack, can we say “that’s a mom?” She ended up falling asleep when I was doing lunges for a couple minutes. We get to the doctor, turns out she has an ear infection and the same asthmatic-type-thing as her favorite big brother. Since she’s too young for a daily Singulair she’s now on a steroid to open up her lungs.

So we go to my in-laws to take naps (we’ve been going there since our house is a construction zone) well the door is locked and my key doesn’t work. I go downstairs because last time my key worked there, nope. I was hotter than a hornet at this time. Load the kids back in the car and head home. We made it and Dailah (and myself) slept through the construction. Regardless of the 2 hour nap I waited anxiously until Zach got home so I could get away for a bit to Jeff’s Market (our local grocer). I’m not even going to tell you what I was wearing but here’s a hint…I wore it to PUMP.

Anyhow, I get to the store and mosey through all of the aisles (the big 6 of them) seeing what I could do. Take a deep breath in, bring in good thoughts; deep breath out, say bye to bad thoughts. Oh, Oreos! Hello good thoughts. Oh cookie dough, you are my home and I love you, I will have you. Oh, wine! I can breath easier just looking at you. Thanks for that! I think with the three of you by my side I shall be buffered should tonight turn as ugly as last night.

I go to the checkout line (by the by, I did have some milk with me, I wasn’t totally bad). The checkout “young woman” has her high school sweatshirt on. Make up done, ponytail done messy, it’s all the rage. She looks at me and asks for my birthdate. I tell her and she says, “You’re young!” Granted, it was a slip but she couldn’t have sounded more surprised if she said, “You’re Brad Pitt!”

I look at that pretty face and think, “Honey, this is you in 10 years. You see these socks with sandals? That’s coming. See this hair with the crease from a day-long ponytail? That’s you too. This crap on my shoulder, yah, that’s spit up, that’s coming too sweet cheeks.” Don’t let this smile fool you, bad thoughts enter this brain.

I got in my car and cracked open the cookie dough. No spoon, just ate, it akin to how some choose a healthier item like a banana. Have no fear, I soon forgot about my teenage nemesis and delighted in the goodness that is Nestle Tollhouse cookie dough.

Here’s to either: a better night for Dailah OR Nestle seeing this blog and giving me a free lifetime supply of cookie dough.

On Suffering

The topic of suffering has been on my mind a lot lately. So if you’re looking for one of my “lighter” blogs, please see last 2 or 3 (or 20) entries, this might get heavy. But bare with me if you will…

Jody (no, she is not my ONLY friend, but I do enjoy our discussions) and I were talking last week about this very subject. It was my turn to come up with a topic for our adoption group at Church this Sunday and I was interested in the stories of suffering that were common amongst those of us who were/had/were thinking about adopting. I was asking Jody if she thought it was a good idea to ask the question, “Why do we think God specifically put it on OUR hearts to adopt?” And even more specifically, “Why do you think God had us endure suffering in order to open our eyes to this blessing?”

I loved many of Jody’s points. One was basically, when we are pregnant and people ask, what are you having, what do you want to have. The proud parents most often say, “We don’t care as long as it’s healthy!” Jody and I have both been through the “not healthy” parts of being mommys/pregnant. So she said, “I often wonder what it takes for someone to go right from wanting a healthy baby to running straight towards the middle of suffering.” Isn’t that an awesome question? I asked myself that same question…what made me give up on the idea of a “perfect” pregnancy or “perfect” family/child, what have you and go straight to the heart of suffering (by “suffering” I don’t mean going through adoption, by the way, read on)?

Obviously I had the miscarriage and near death (or near life, if you’re a Fight Club fan such as myself) experience, Dailah’s time in the NICU, all of that. But I admit as I’ve been thinking about getting my hands dirty in suffering I realized something quite remarkable really. The first time I saw a picture of Tariku I remember saying, “Look at his eyes!”. I think what I was really saying was that I recognized something in those eyes. Perhaps what I recognized was suffering. Tariku has experienced more than any 3-yr-old I know. More than I want to think about one of my sons experiencing. But I think the first time I saw him that’s what I saw. It’s not about first choices. I am not his first choice mommy. I may not even be his second (that is to say, if he got to choose) and I’m actually okay with that.

What I realized is the downpour of suffering that made me run into Tariku and forced him into me will hopefully one day be a downpour of blessings. I can already say he has been a blessing to me and our family even though we know so little of him. God has indeed turned my sorrow into grace and worked miracles in my heart. I hope one day Tariku will realize our suffering was no small matter. I hope he realizes, as I do lately, that it took those horrific, awful sufferings to bring us together. In a broken world that we live in, it took suffering to get us here. We need to continue to grieve that, surely, but perhaps seeing it has a two-sided mirror is not an altogether awful thing?

Only now do I realize I need to stop asking/demanding for blessings from God. I need to start truly asking for His will be done. It’s an awesome day when I realize He really does know what He’s doing. Had He listened to my begging just 3 short years ago I would’ve never known of Tariku and in turn never known grace as I do now.

Fingerprints, Check!

So today we headed to Des Moines to get our fingerprinting done for the I-600A (finally). They are done, it feels good. So we were leaving a bit later than we had planned so we thought it best, since the appointment card was VERY specific about being there on time, that I drive. It’s not that I speed, per se, but I do tend to the heavy footed side, especially compared to my more conservative husband. Let’s just say it was wise of me to suggest my taking charge of the drive, we made it on time. Those fingerprinting machines are absolutely amazing! I’m still wondering why we had to travel clear to Des Moines and couldn’t just do it in the QC and have them mail it there. I digress, it was a good trip. We got to have a nice dinner (mmmm, Prime Rib) with my family and we’re heading home now. Don’t want to miss Book Club tomorrow!

I just wanted an excuse to post a few more cute pics since I finally put them on the computer. Alas, my fingerprinting blog!

Pictures: Zach and Dailah after successful completion of snowman
Dailah driving
Trysten and Dailah and their most recent favorite pasttime..riding our dog, Aristotle
Trysten jumping into he and Dailah’s stuffed animals. Dailah is actually hiding in the corner there too. This is what happens when I clean, by the way
Trysten and Daddy proud of their deer antler they found after a nice hike around camp

Pump, Pump, Pump it up!

Many of you have asked about what I keep referring to when I talk about BodyPUMP. Well, firstly, it’s a Les Mills program ( Secondly, it’s flipping amazing. Here are some pictures of our recent new release party. The other two ladies are also PUMP instructors. Enjoy!

I Heart Paula Dean

Have I blogged about Paula Dean yet? If not, that southern phenom deserves at least one blog mention. She has worked miracles in our kitchen using my hands and her brain. Her creation called, “Herb Stuffed Chicken” caused a party in my mouth not seen since New Years Eve 1999 (and his name was…oh just kidding, my mom reads this thing) Anyhow, seriously it was so great. I made it last night and just feasted on the leftovers, savoring every bite. Praise God for chefs around the world who make deliciousness a somewhat easily attainable task for the non-chefs such as yours truly.

Chandra (can’t do that cool thing where I make her name light up and it takes you right to her blog, look on my blog list under “Watching them grow”) tagged me. I tried starting last night but that’s a hard list to come up with! I’ll try again but I wanted to thank her for keeping my mind off Tariku for a bit.

One more thing before I do the “8 Things”. Last night at about 6:30 we (Families adopting from Ethiopia through our agency) got word that the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia has “requested” that we discontinue any contact with our childrens’ birth family. As many of you know, this is one of the reasons Zach and I were excited about Ethiopia…there was a possibility (and it was always just that, there was never any promises our birth family would come to meet us) of meeting Tariku’s birth family, or rather any surviving that CHSFS could find. There are also people who have already adopted and were going through CHS’s post-adoption process that were remaining in contact with the birth families. CHSFS isn’t elaborating why, but I truly trust that they are doing what’s best for the children RIGHT NOW and for the families they are representing.

Obviously this is a huge setback. It’s been proven that contact with birth family has been an enormous benefit for adopted children as they grow older. CHS has reiterated their beliefs that it is in the best interest OF THE CHILD (who we are most concerned about) that we are able to meet and stay in contact with birth family. However, I know that there are probably reasons unbeknownst to us why this is happening. After seeing many programs/countries fall too easily to unethical practices (i.e. Guatemala, etc) I am ever so thankful Ethiopia is doing everything it can to continue ethical international adoptions. If something has to be “cut off” in order to maintain ethical practices, I am all for that. I realized after thinking about it for awhile and talking it out with Zach, one of the main reasons I wanted to meet birth family was also a bit selfish. I wanted to see what they looked like, would Tariku have his/her eyes, his/her height, etc. I wanted to know details about them, Tariku as a baby, etc. Of course I would go on to share these details with Tariku, but a lot of it would be for me. In the end, I am trusting the organization I chose to keep us informed of any latest news and pray that at some point they will open contact back up so we can get in touch with them once Tariku is home with us.

On to more lighter fare…8 Things

8 Things I’m passionate about:
1. Zach
2. Trysten, Tariku, Dailah
3. My family
4. My friends
5. Body PUMP/ working out
6. Africa
7. God (He really is first, but after I had typed a few, it was too hard to go and fix it)
8. Life

8 Things I want to do before I die:

1. Be married to my husband for record-setting number of years
2. Raise healthy, self-confident, fantastic kids
3. Go to Ethiopia at least 5 times
4. Be on American Gladiators or Amazing Race (with my #1 man)
5. Go on a honeymoon with Zach
6. Start my own business
7. Make a REAL impact in one random persons life
8. Do some extreme sport just to say I did

8 Things I Often say:

1. I Love You
2. Thank You
3. Give me 2 more (I’m a personal trainer for goodness sakes!)
4. Seriously?
5. Mmm. Not so much
6. Stotle, No! (the dog)
7. Zach, Trysten, Tariku, Dailah
8. Hello

TV Shows I recently watched (Like you, Chandra, we don’t have cable):

1. Biggest Loser
2. American Gladiators
3. American Idol
4. Amazing Race
5. Ellen Degeneres
6. October Road
7. The news
8. House

8 Songs I could listen to over and over (these will be dancing songs cuz I feel like dancin’):

1. Dangerously in Love, Destiny’s Child
2. Christmas music, anything
3. Anything my hubby plays/sings on the guitar
4. Bringing Sexy Back, JT
5. To Make you feel my Love, Garth Brooks
6. Love shack
7. I cant’ think of others, it’s too early

8 Things that attract me to my best friends

1. humor
2. loyalty
3. honesty
4. passion
5. minds (the way they think)
6. optimism
7. the way they love me
8. trust

8 Things I’ve learned or been reminded of this past year:

1. I love my husband/ kids sooo much
2. My ability to love ANYONE is not bound by blood
3. Kids don’t care if the house is messy or in disarray, they only care if you haven’t played with them in 15 minutes
4. If anyone hurts someone I love, mama bear comes out and I’m scared of HER
5. Sometimes (sometimes it’s all the time) laughter really is the best medicine
6. if you have a good marriage, everything in life is rosier
7. reading books is a passion of mine that is always there whether i’ve read the last few days/months or not
8. good friends/family can carry you through ANYTHING

8 People I’m tagging:

1. Leslie
2. Jody
3. Tony (if you have time, you are heading to ET in a few days, afterall)
4. Cousin Amy
5. Cassie
6. Kait (but you must do yours in both Spanish and English)
7. Erica (of course!) 🙂
8. Barb

Pity Party

Again…I’m so happy for my friends on the forum with travel dates…BUT

The people who got their referral the same week we got ours are traveling February 7th (the day of our court appearance of course).

Today is a pity party. I’m mourning all the possibilites of what could have and should have been. They are counting down the days until they can describe, in detail, how their kids smell and laugh. I can *only* hope for the word that he is ours (that is a HUGE *only*, I’m really excited for that, but…you know the rest)

Pity party for Tesi day..where’s the darn cookie dough? Is 3PM too early for a glass (or two) of wine? Jody you interested? 🙂

"Music to my Ears"

What is music to my ears you may ask? The contractors and their work. Sure, there may be cursing (there’s not, but there might be soon) but there is also progress and I don’t mind one if I get the other.

Today at 6:45 Dailah gave TT his wake up call, “TT, TT, TT” she was yelling. Finally I hear, “Okay, Dailah, TT’s up, let me go potty first.” Then they commenced to playing.

Point to consider…is “blogging” the “texting” of our generation? (I know people of our generation text, but I don’t, I blog) Just something I was thinking about.

Off to PUMP!