Oliver

So my nephew turned 6 today. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love my nephews. Love, love them. They were born and sealed the deal that I could love little kids that were not born of my womb. I share no genetic similarities with them and yet, I would step in front of a bus for them any day. They are just two of the most precious people in the whole world.

So of course I loved celebrating his birth today.

During “Happy Birthday”…love the look on his face.

My other nephew, Eli.

And then some of the other people I love, you might recognize them.

My sister-in-law, Kait brought a pinata (Tariku kept calling it a siesta, so at least he was close). It was a REALLY fun time.

Afterward it made a great hat for Trysten and my father-in-law, Frank!

Love you, Oli!!!!!

The Weekend

I’m on a roll with blogs, let’s just keep lettin’ it rain, right?

Family camp at camp this weekend. Lots of fun, lots of swimming it was a fantastic time.

Trysten passed the swim test (swim 25 yards without stopping) for the first time so he got some QT in the deep end.

Tariku chose instead to quit LITERALLY half a hand away from the edge, totally psyched himself out (which is not at all frustrating for his mom, ahem).

Dailah spent a lot of time on her float circle too and enjoyed her special treat of the straight up sugar they call “Fun Dip”.

Oh, and Tariku showed us a new talent he picked up. He can suck his nostrils in for a really long time. Try it, it’s nearly impossible.

Chain Gang

Remember how I shared about Tariku’s triggers? I’m trying to figure out how to best prepare him (and the other 2) for what’s coming in 3 1/2 weeks. So Saturday I decided to make some paper chains so Tariku could have a visual on just how much longer he has to wait until we leave and just how long we’re going to be gone. So we made 2 chains.

One for the amount of days he has to wait until we leave.

And one for the amount of time we’re actually gone.

It’s been great watching the kids get excited about taking a chain off in the mornings. Selfishly, it’s been great watching the chain get ever so shorter in my eyes as well! Something like 24 days…Woot!

SITC2

Some of my girlfriends and I went to Sex in the City 2 on Friday, opening night. Here’s the thing, the movie was fun. Of course there were some eye rolling parts, of course it didn’t live up to the TV show or the first movie, of course, of course. BUT, the people I was with, the atmosphere of the room was just fun. So it’s hard to separate the two.

Zach has asked me before how a cinema major (that’s me, did you know I majored in cinema?) can enjoy the kinds of movies I do. It’s pretty simple, I just need an escape. I don’t want to think, I don’t want to analyze the camera angles and what would’ve worked better. I don’t want to think about how the cinematography worked with the sounds of the film. In fact, I don’t want to call them “films” anymore, I just like “movies”. And there’s a difference.

Sex in the City 2, that’s a movie. Which is what this mama of (almost) 5 needs at this time in my life.

But these ladies, these are my other peeps. They’re the peeps that are on the ground, in the trenches of the hotflawedmama madness. They’ve seen it all with me and they continue to dive into the ups and downs of being my friend. They are some of the people that make this life of mine blessed beyond measure. You have no idea what you’re missing if these people aren’t in your life.

But I get them in mine, and I am so very happy about that.

And come on, could they be any sexier? I even got Janet (second from left) to throw off her Crocs for the night and put on a decent pair of shoes. 😉

On "My Peeps"-One in Particular

Rebekah received her referral last week. Rebekah is one of my people (though probably there are a lot of people who can make that same claim) and I can say that because I traveled with her when we picked up Tariku and she picked up Matthew Zerihun.

So when she told me she was ready for a champagne toast (code in the adoption world for “I got a referral, come drink yourself silly with me!”) I was downright depressed that I lived 3 hours from her and couldn’t do so in person.

But…she’s a genius. She asked people who were too far away to send in their virtual toast.

Thus…

*Quick note, I chose beer instead of champagne because when we were in Ethiopia we had a few beers together. Zach went with someone to pick up some beer from a local shop. We didn’t really realize that it wouldn’t be refrigerated but of course it wasn’t. So we all drank our warm beer and (kind of) enjoyed it.

Here’s the thing about the adoption world, specifically the adoption world in this technological age. We all (seem) to know each other. We are interwebbed through the interwebs. It’s a pretty remarkable thing.

When Zach and I started out on this adoption some of the first people I told (even before some family and most friends) were my adoption “soul sisters”. The people who I knew would be able to give me support and encouragement as well as a healthy dose of reality “It’s not that big of a freakin deal, Tesi, suck it up.” They are good like that.

Rebekah, she’s one of them. After we got our travel email I tried calling my family, no one was answering! So I emailed Rebekah because I needed someone to celebrate with. Celebrate we did.

After that, I had to text Amanda and Tiffany (also fellow travelers of first adoption and good friends) because I wanted to share joy.

Then I had a good chat with Chandra because she’s hilarious and loves chocolate and I knew she would be excited for us.

So people make fun of me (cough, Zach, cough) because I’m always “on the blogs”. But there’s kind of this thing we do for each other. We laugh, cry and toast together. Most of “my peeps” I’ve never even met but often I feel like I could go to Cathy‘s house and debate over a cup of coffee about which always-talking Ethiopian boy actually talks more.

But this world is sometimes the only place I feel sane and sometimes even the only place where “crazy” is the norm, and for that I am eternally grateful.

So this toast goes out to Rebekah, and Patrick. To my buddy Quinn and of course sweet MZ. But most especially to the most precious Dagmawit. Of course that beautiful little girl doesn’t know what just happened to her. Her world was turned upside down and inside out but I have no doubts in just a few short months it will be (somewhat) righted again because she’s landed in the most remarkable family. Raise your glass (or just head over to Rebekah’s blog) and toast the new addition!

It’s Really Happening

I’m not sure if you knew that or not but Zach and I certainly had our doubts. We had our doubts that we would bring home the boys for another few months.

But today we found out otherwise. We will indeed be traveling to pick them up. When?

June 23rd!!!!!!!!! Less than a month!

When I called to tell Zach that we got our travel date we both thought the same thing, “Really?” With Tariku we ran into so many hurdles, everything that could go wrong or slow, did. But this time it’s as if we’re hitting all the green lights, very crazy.

Which is what these boys deserve. They deserve green lights to a family. They deserve no more hurdles to finding love in our arms.

And yet…

Their parents are a bit in shock.

We actually get a whole month (almost) to plan, which is pretty amazing in international adoption. Last time we got just over 2 weeks’ notice.

So it’s happening and we’re beside ourselves. When I got the email I was busy feeding the kids (our CSA delivered fresh strawberries, lettuce and radish last night so we were dining on that, the perfect thing for this excitable belly). Tariku fell to the floor, started kicking the air and yelling, “Mommy and daddy are going to get our brothers! They’ll be home soon!”

And that’s when I cried.

Because I realized bringing them home means so much more than just bringing on babies to love for us. It means Tariku gets siblings who look like him, siblings who have the same terrific and horrifying memories. Brothers who may not be biological but who are certainly similar in histories. I am so excited for him, for us.

I can tell you their names, I was told.

Tomas and Binyam.

Still no pictures until June 22nd. I’m already creating a slideshow for you. 🙂

But we booked our tickets. Flying NW/KLM June 23rd and coming back July 2nd. My nephew is due July 2nd so my sister-in-law has to either deliver early or keep him cozy for awhile.

As for us, we’re pinching ourselves and giving praises to the Author of this story. We are praising God for these blessings, these terrific blessings. We are in awe of His grace and humbled by His mercy.

We hope the boys wake up this morning with a feeling they can’t shake, a feeling that they are loved most intensely by a family half a world away.

This family, my family, who will be complete in less than a month.

3 habeshas and 4 mostly-germans, sounds like the strangest, most amazing pairing I’ve ever heard of!

Thanks for letting me share, thanks for being “my people”. Watch for my next post about “people”.

Tomas and Binyam, we’re coming!!!!!!