Saturday, December 11, 2010

Court Trip for Baby- Post 8 The Return

After we said goodbye to our son at the care center we went to the Leprosy Hospital to spend some more money. We also bought yet more coffee to bring back.

Once back to the Jemimah house we needed to pack up, re-organize all our stuff, and prepare ourselves to leave the city. We had dinner, talked with friends that we had made with folks from other agencies, and slept like vagrants in the internet room because we were just so exhausted. We left for the airport at about 8:30p Ethiopia time (after still having, like, no sleep).

We had some problems with our luggage because all of the extra batteries we had brought for the video camera and camera looked like bullets... oops.

We got some of our money exchanged back and wandered around in some of the shops where everything was crazy overpriced. We met up with the Reece family and the Williams family fresh from some country sight-seeing after their court date the previous Friday. We were all tired and a wee bit dirty. We were able to board our flight from Addis with no issues and arrived with no issues. We slept about 2 hours through the night.

We had a 4 hour lay over in Frankfurt where we bought lots of internet access to post info for everyone.

The flight from Frankfurt to Houston was very difficult. There was crying. There was throwing of pretzels. Were were delayed waiting to get de-iced and to take off. Our seats couldn't lean back at all, there was no window to lean against. We were greasy and stinky because by that time it had been awhile since the shower at 6am before court.

When we arrived to Houston everything went somewhat smoothly but we had to run through all of it. The transit train broke down. We ran up to the gate to see our plane pull away because we were 5 min late. Luckily, they were very accomodating getting us on the 5:30 flight. Ted needed beer. We did that.

The 5:30p flight was just fine because we were able to wash up in the beautiful Houston airport of clean water and hand driers. Happily, all our luggage made it.

We picked up our car and went home and SLEPT. We got up, hopped back in the car to drive to the IA border to pick up our adorable boy. Haven't slept right since, but he has done well.

Looking forward to news about our court decree next week or the week after :-) Hopefully. The first embassy date in January was cancelled due to Ethiopian Christmas. That takes all the people whose papers would have been ready for that date and shoves them back. I think my papers will be ready by the Jan 25th date, but I probably won't be on it because of all of the people in front of us waiting.

That is okay. I love my son and I want to bring him home, but he is so healthy and still so young compared to the other children that I am content at this time to wait my turn. We'll see how I feel at the end of January when the Christmas buzz has worn off and the home is ready for his arrival and we are just waiting the permission to GO. We will see :-)

Court Trip for Baby- Post 7 Court Day

Hey look! Ted wrote most of this!!! I was too sick...

Today was our Ethiopian court date. We had mixed feelings about this day as just prior to our departure from Kansas City Erin had received notice that one final piece of paperwork was not done yet and our adoption may not be finalized during our travel. It was not anything that we could have fixed, it was a part of the re-licensure of the care centers that the Ethiopian government was auditing. For the first part of our travel we were under the assumption that we would be going to court and fulfilling our part, but that the Judge would not be able to tell us that Ben was legally ours until after we had gone back home. Luckily, and under God’s hand, the re-licensure was done prior to our arrival in Ethiopia and all of the legalization of the adoption could be done while we are here.

This morning we were told that our court appointment was between 8-12 and our driver would come to pick us up around 8AM. He arrived a little after 8 o’clock and we found our way to the courthouse probably just before 9AM.

It definitely was not the type of court house we are accustomed to in the States. It was a small entry on the side of one of the larger buildings in the area. After climbing about 8 flights of stairs (it felt like 20 by the time we were done) we were lead to a large room full of adopting parents and their lawyers. Our lawyer was waiting in the room for us and had reserved the last two seats in the room. We waited approximately 15 minutes for the door to the Judge’s quarters to open and for them to start calling out family names. Most of the families that were waiting appeared to be French with a couple of Americans mixed in as well. Since we were the last ones to arrive we thought we would be getting called closer to the noon time slot, but after the assistant called out a couple of family names and no one responded they called out “Sibleys.” Since we were the first ones to go into the room we weren’t quite sure where to sit. There were 2 large desks along with 2 adjacent rows of chairs. We were positioned along the side wall at a 90 degree angle to the Judge. We were welcomed to the court and she asked a couple of general questions pertaining to our adoption. Things like, “When did you arrive?,” “Do you have any other children?,” and “Have you prepared yourself for adopting an international child?” She seemed pleased with our answers and the fact that we could show her a picture of our already mixed-cultural family. Then came the moment we were waiting for; she explained to us that once we accept our son the adoption is final and we cannot go back on our word. We were so excited and focused on what she was saying that we completely missed when she asked us, “Is this the child that you wish to adopt?” Both Erin and myself thought she was still in the process of explaining the finalization of the adoption that we completely missed that was a question directed at us. After a minute of quietness the Judge looked up at us and asked the question one more time – this time we both caught on and enthusiastically declared, “Yes!” With that the Judge signed the papers and we became official parents of Benjamin.

Afterwards Erin started to develop a bit of a headache and needed to lay down at the guesthouse. We plan on one more visit this afternoon with Ben and a trip to the Leper Hospital for one last shopping experience. After that, we will say goodbye to Ethiopia and Ben until Erin returns for round 2 – whenever that may be.

Okay back to Erin now. Here are a few more photos of the care center from our 2nd visit.

The front door to the care center and the gate out to the street from the inside

Here is my sweet boy's bed where he will rest until I return

We had a wonderful 2nd visit with many pictures. I miss him dearly but I know he is in good hands. I only cried a little when I had to lay him down in his crib and he started crying.

Mama will be back soon.

court Trip for baby- Post #6 Meeting baby day

We were not scheduled to meet our son until this afternoon by Holt, so we had to come up with a creative way to use our time in the morning to keep our minds off the important afternoon!

After breakfast we were treated to a coffee ceremony with the other couples from other agencies. It was beautiful. How these people wear such pretty white garments without ruining them I will never understand.

Check out this attractive man with his little coffee cup :-)

Workineh (the guest house owner) took us on a culture tour this morning. We visited St. George’s Cathedral and a museum of the history of the orthodox church in Ethiopia. Ethiopia has such a rich history, especially regarding the Christian church! Ethiopia is listed within the Bible 42 times- most specifically in I Kings regarding the relationship of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon that began the dynasty and lineage from which Christ came. The church is modeled after the tabernacle that includes the Holy Place and also the Holy of Holies that contains a replica of the ark of the covenant and ten commandments (we were not allowed to see that). We were surprised that they let us enter the Holy place that included where the King and Queen sat for worship. Off to the side of the Holy Place were the tombs of the most recent King and Queen that died during the Italian invasion in the 40-60’s. The church was built on top of the Emporer’s grave that came before them. The cathedral is a holy place where people come to be closer to God and to pray. There were many crippled and otherwise diseased people that were there worshipping. We were asked to remove our shoes before entering the church.

Here is the above ground, encased, granite tomb of the King killed during the Italian invasion. Kinda freaky that he is in there.... but I digress. The church is built over the grave of the Emporer.

Following the church visit, we went to do some quick shopping so that we didn’t need to get everything tomorrow. We picked up some things for the house and the boy’s room so that we will have a more even mix of Colombian and Ethiopian things.

We came back to the guest house, ate a pizza, and sat upstairs waiting for our driver to arrive (freaking out). Our Holt driver arrived a bit after 1p and took us to the new Holt office building to meet with our lawyer and program person to discuss court proceedings tomorrow. Following that, we hopped in the van and drove to the care center. We took off our shoes and were told to take a seat, and about a minute later one of the nannies brought out our little boy.

Please note the packed bag with baby toys for the day. Freaking out.

Please note the photos of the care center where my baby boy is. Photos taken while freaking out.

These are the stairs where many parents meet their children for the first time.

He has some wonderful baby chub but isn’t as heavy as I thought he would be. He didn’t cry and was very calm. His nanny was able to get some wonderful smiles out of him that we hadn’t seen yet! We were given a nice long visit. We met with the pediatrician, but Ted didn’t really have anything to discuss that would be able to change. We are very fortunate that he has been so healthy in his time here. We sort of forgot how much (or lack thereof) that 6 month olds do. He is really teething right now and wants everything in his mouth to munch on. He can roll from his back to his stomach and is starting to belly scoot backwards a little bit. He can also spin around on his belly if he wants to. Overall, in this environment he is a very mellow child. We will see if that is his true personality in the future when he becomes more comfortable with us.

Here is all that we can legally share with you for now. We have learned a lot about patience in this process, you will just have to be patient a few weeks longer :-)

After calling home to fill everyone in on him and backing up all of our photos and videos on the computer, we are finally settled in, watching Arab music videos, and planning for court tomorrow morning. We hope that all goes well, that we pass court, and that we can enjoy our final day in our sons birth country before we return home for the Christmas season.

Good night!

Reflections on Grace I don't Deserve

It’s just after 7am on Sunday morning the 5th. I’ve been awake since around 4am. I think it’s a combination of having my days and nights mixed up, and my sleeping pills wearing off, and the realization that after over a year of prayer, I will meet my son today.

I made myself lay there until 5am and then decided that the best way to start such a fantastic day, is to watch another Ethiopian sunrise. The Islam call to prayer is still being heard in the community, a cat is meowing loudly, a mule is making loud mule sounds (not sure what to call that…) and the birds are chirping. It’s just a beautiful time to reflect on all that God has done in the past year and what he continues to do.

Let’s take a step back. This morning I woke up not really thinking about adoption. I woke up thinking about poverty and disease. It is overwhelming. No matter your reason for being here in this part of Africa, you just can’t ignore the reality. I love my God. I believe in his sovereignty. I will always have difficulty explaining to myself or to someone else why this is allowed to happen to people. I understand Biblically and intellectually the result of sin and the power of evil to corrupt the perfect existence God had planned for us.. and how that can manifest itself in war and starvation and other atrocities… but before I take that further I come to the realization that none of those things happen to me. It is so easy for me to talk about them. I have never starved. I have never been cripple in a 3rd world country. I have never watched someone die for no reason other than their circumstance. How “easy” it is for me to explain these things.

I do not understand why I am able to eat a breakfast with my wonderful husband, and hop into a van to drive to the other side of a city and have a healthy child plopped into my lap. I do not understand why my sons were spared from a life in an institution or the street. I will not be so arrogant as to believe that it was because I prayed harder than the starving woman holding a starving child yesterday that put her hands up to the window of our van. It is grace, and it is grace that I do not understand.

As I said, I love my God. I believe in his grace and his plan and his sovereignty. I pray that I would be able to say the same if the comforts of my life and the love I have for my family were ripped away from me.

In a few hours, I will meet my son. In a day, I will stand before a judge to verify that I want to be his mother. I am overwhelmed with grace both for myself and for baby Nigatu. It is hard to believe that this day has finally come.

Court Trip for baby- Post #5 Culture Day

After taking in a beautiful Ethiopian sunrise this morning, we got ready and headed down to breakfast. We had not received an itinerary so we had no idea when to be ready and what to be ready for. Breakfast was very similar to what we enjoyed in Colombia. Amazing coffee, juice, and varieties of eggs and toast. After that we had the owner contact Holt to find out what we were supposed to be doing. We found out that we won’t be going for orientation or to visit Ben until tomorrow afternoon because we had arrived earlier than anticipated. So we had a whole day and no idea what to do.

We were able to tag along with some of the other families who were seeing the city for their last day.

There was some culture shock when we actually drove out into the city. I expected it to be bad, but I thought it would be better than what I saw in Haiti. It really wasn’t. If you were to drive me through both Addis and Port au Prince I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. Lots of diesel fuel smell and dust and “other”.

We drove out of the city and all the way up a mountain to visit the old Emporer’s palace from the 1800’s and also the first Orthodox church that was built. All the way up and down the mountain were women and children gathering sticks and carrying them down. Lots of donkeys as well. We toured the area and took plenty of pictures. On the way down, we stopped at the market. This was a little uncomfortable because people begging would come up and touch your hand and ask for food. As much as I wish I could feed everyone, there is always a danger of being swarmed and things becoming unsafe quickly. It’s so hard to watch.

This is the Emporers palace and a museum dedicated to it. Ethiopia has a rich culture rooted in history. The Orthodox church takes great pride in being mentioned 42 times in the Bible. They take great pride in that their kings have been part of the Solomonic dynasty started between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba from Ethiopia.

People come to the church and the palace to worship, pray, and mourn.

Random Sweetie

This was the bedroom house for the Emporer and his wife

More random sweeties (before the guard chased them away)

One of my favorite toilets

Yet more random sweeties

We purchased an Ethiopian outfit for Ben and a wall hanging. We also stopped at a coffee store and picked up some goodies. It smelled amazing :-) Our driver took us to a very nice restaurant right next to the Ethiopian National Museum that houses “Lucy” the first human skeleton found that is considered to be the oldest. We have had Ethiopian food before, but had no idea what things were actually called. I ordered “Assa Wot”. No idea what it was. Ted had Doro Wat. We think that had something to do with chicken. Everything served with injera.

I wasn’t feeling too good by the time all that was done, just due to my body thinking it was like 2am and only sleeping a few hours the night before on our bed of stone :-)

We came back and crashed pretty hard for a few hours. Most of our Holt friends were flying back tonight so we said goodbye to them and went with a couple from another agency to a traditional restaurant that had live music and dancing. We decided to order the National Buffet which is just a big table of a whole bunch of stuff. We also tried Honey Wine. We got some great video of the dancing but it doesn’t do it justice.

We are going to try to sleep tonight. We are so excited to finally meet our son tomorrow!!!

Court Trip for Baby- Post #4

We arrived at about 9:30pm Addis time. It was dark, and the amount of light given off reminded me of Haiti minus the rubble. It has a unique smell. Not a horrible smell.. kind of a mix of musty water and fire smell… which in hindsight could be the diesel fuel. It reminded me a lot of Haiti also.

After getting off our plane and finding a much needed restroom, we stood in line to exchange our money into Birr. Because we already had our visas, we were able to get through immigration with no problems at all.

Ted took charge with the luggage and ordered me to stay in one spot while he brought it to me. It was a bit of mass chaos in the luggage area. We were very excited to have all of our bags make it! Many of our friends have not been so lucky.

We walked out into a mass of brown faces, many of them in Islamic attire. It was LOUD and busy. We spotted our Holt driver right away and walked out safely to his van. From there we bounced away from the airport, remembering what it felt like to drive into Bogota that first night before we met Lucas.

The guest house is beautiful, but many of you already know that :-)

They showed us to the internet (which is now down) and we learned that the license for the Mussie orphages has been renewed and we will hopefully pass court!!! We were thrilled. I was so excited I accidently punched my husband to get his attention. We also ironically received an update on our son from 2 months ago with no new news.. but we’ll be meeting him in the next day so that’s just fine :-)

It’s now 6:45am here, I have been up since 4:30am because my clock is off. Ted has no clock anymore. I’m going out now to take pictures of the beautiful African sunrise. Praise the Lord. God is Good. All the Time.

Our guest house is beautiful. The poverty that surrounds it is heartbreaking.

Court Trip for Baby- Post #3 Frankfurt to Addis

Our flight to Houston was just too easy.. and our layover in Houston was easy as well. .. and then there was the 10 hour flight to Frankfurt. We prepared well, got a good book going, and took our nausea drugs. Not having a clock to refer to and changing time zones all the time makes it hard to know how long you have been on a flight. Somewhere around hour 5 or 6 of no moving.. sweatiness.. drug induced coma.. I kinda lost it. Ted looked amazing. Turns out 5 years of odd sleeping has conditioned his body to travel to the other side of the world rather well. I almost broke down and cried because I wanted out of that seat so bad and there was another 5 hours to go. I must have dozed for a few hours, because when I woke up permanently the beautiful sun was shining in, a tall blonde Dutch man was giving me some AMAZING coffee.. and it was a new day.. sort of. I just didn’t know exactly what day or where I was.

When we arrived in Frankfurt we noticed that there were a lot of good looking people. We purchased a newspaper for Ted’s Grandmother who is very German. We found our gate that was sort of in the basement of the airport and rather unwelcoming. I changed shirts and checked in with Randy so all would know how far we had gone.

Then we hopped on a bus that was about ¾ Ethiopian folks and they taxi’d us way out into the middle of nowhere and we walked up some very cold steps to the plane.

As a side note, if you didn’t tell us we were flying into Frankfurt, I would have assumed we were flying into Minneapolis. It was about 15 degrees with blowing snow. NOT COOL. So we held our breath and got up into this giant airplane bound for Africa. Something about this flight felt so much better… it was probably the drugs. This flight was 6 hours long but really only felt like 2.5 because I think we both slept on and off.

I would like to give a big Thank you to my step-sister Laurie for showing me how to drug myself up. I would also like to thank our big red fuzzy blanket (that I pulled completely over my head in the plane) and a super dorky black eye mask that kept all the light out for me :-)

And then we arrived in Addis, the where our son was just a few miles away!

No photos were taken during this time, because trust us, you didn't want to see that and you can't take pictures at the Addis airport unless you want your camera confiscated, which I did NOT.

Court Trip for Baby- Post #2 Houston

Okay the rest of the entries will be in present tense because now we're going off of what I typed :-)

It’s about 4:30p on Thursday the 2nd and we are sitting here getting ready to board our 10 hour flight to Frankfurt. We only had a 2 hour flight to Houston from KC and that went fine. I took good drugs so I was able to relax and Ted slept for a bit. We will be getting in at about 4:00am (our time) to Germany. We are hoping that we will be able to sleep a bit during this flight.

Last night we hardly slept due to Ted’s working late and adjusting to the news that we would not be passing court on Monday as we thought we would. I slept about 3 hours waiting for Ted to get home, and then it was off and on after that. We have been out of bed and packing since 7:30am and we were out the door about 9:00am. Our good friend Cheryl from Deerbrook took us all the way to the airport and we had plenty of time to relax before our flight.

This whole dual laptop and wifi thing is working out well for us today. We have been able to check into Facebook and let people know that everything is fine.

Our flight to Frankfurt will be slightly delayed due to weather there, but it does not seem that we will have any major problems with our 3 hour connection time to Addis. At least we hope.

We are enjoying each other’s company, and we are already annoying each other. Not used to all of this together time!

We’re being called to board now!

Already starting to look like we live on a plane

Court Trip for Baby- Post #1

I don't have any amazing photos of this portion of our travels.. I got a bit scatterbrained on Tuesday, Nov 30th when I packed Lucas up and drove to Bethany, MO to a McDonalds for lunch with Grandma and the hand off. Lucas was very excited to see Grandma and Papa, so this hand off was just fine with him. He loves to visit and play at her house, she honors his schedule, and it's always more fun to ride in anybody's car that is not his mama's. Cause that's just boring.

We had lunch with Grandma, handed over his stuff, had some kisses, and then I was back in the car listening to Christmas music and driving back toward Kansas City to pack!

Ted was on call for work- the type of on call that means he only has to go in if a colleague has an emergency. Hence why he couldn't leave Kansas City for the hand off.

I came home, we paid all our bills for December, we strategized to ensure that all would get done by Thursday morning, and then we went out on a date! A date that did not involve a babysitter!!

We went to On the Border (courtesy of Bday gift cards) and to see Megamind in 3D.

Check out them nerds! We were also still trying to figure out the new camera..

On Wednesday, it was operation "pack Ted" because he had to work Wednesday night. He left about 1:30p. It was at this time that I got online to check things out, and got the message from our agency that there was a problem with an updated agency license for the smaller orphanage in Durame that they partner with. Basically saying that orphanage relicensing was routine just like it is here. That the government had already performed the visit and audit etc a few months back. However, Ethiopia had decided to additionally audit all orphanages in the southern region and it was slowing down the actual getting of the new license for that orphanage. No license for that orphanage means a missing piece of paper in our file, which means no "passing" court. We still go to court, we still do our piece of the puzzle, but we are not the final piece. Our agency was not able to guarantee how long this would take and no referrals, court dates, or adoption decrees could be issued for these children until the new license was confirmed.

My heart HURT. This meant I had to get on a plane and leave him there not knowing when our adoption decree would be issued.. and if we want to go to a really crazy place... do we dare consider what if something goes wrong and it is NOT re-issued?! Will I lose my son? Will we become a horror story of international adoption?

I sat on my bed. I prayed. A lot. For at least an hour. I listened. I prayed some more. It's not just about "fixing" the problem. Sometimes I'm not sure I want God to just "fix" all my problems. If he fixed every problem I ever had I wouldn't have learned all the things I have in this life. I certainly wouldn't have adopted my children. I would have fought the fertility battle until I got my biological babies that look like Ted and me and God would have "fixed" the consequences of cancer. Does God give us those miracles? Yes he does.. but sometimes the miracle is not the answer. The point was, I needed peace to move forward in obedience no matter what the outcome was. I was granted the peace.

I packed. I only called my mother. I hadn't planned to go public, but after I saw the adoption yahoo board explode with mother's just like me that were crying all over the United States.. I figured why not. The ladies of my church and my family WILL pray for me. Not just say the will and go about their days. So I put it out there and sent an email to folks from church and family. My poor husband had to get this news before he went on shift, but at least not at 2am after he was excited to leave his last shift. I confess, I drank a lot of wine so I could sleep.

I woke up when he came home at 2am and we had a good talk. Ted didn't feel that all was lost. Sometimes I feel like I go through a lot of emotional roller coasters while he is gone because I get all the news both good and bad and then have to prep it for him. It's nice when I don't have to emotionally support us both.

We were up nice and early, re-verified all our packing, and we were in the car and bound for our friend Cheryl's from church who would watch the Mazda and take us to the airport.

Got to Kansas City airport nice and early and all checked in.

Here is a happy lady at lunch... and a guy that needs to get off his phone.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Colombia vs. Ethiopia- the process explained again :-)

So in a giant world changing nutshell, here is the major difference between Colombia and Ethiopia:

Colombia= travel right away but stay forever through court and immigration
Ethiopia= travel first trip once court is ready to finalize, come home for a bit to wait your turn at immigration

I love both processes, but in different ways. Colombia gave me a 3 month old little boy, but gave me a financial heart attack one day at a time while I was in Colombia living out of an ATM with the balance getting lower and lower and never knowing when I would come home with this baby. Ethiopia gives me timelines so I can plan financially and efficiently, but I miss part of my sons life while that happens. Do I wish I was with him right now? YES. Am I occasionally glad they don't give me the choice to stay there in Africa for what would have been 2-3 months of court process ($10-20,000 dollars!!!???). Kinda.

So the big question I get all the time: WHY CAN'T YOU JUST BRING HIM HOME NEXT WEEK??

The $3,000 answer: It takes a few weeks to obtain the fancy document resulting from next weeks court case that shows that we are the parents. Once that's done, it will take a few weeks to obtain his Ethiopian passport and the new birth certificate of his Sibley-ness. Now here is when it gets annoying, because of the additional investigation to ensure there was no funny business AND the fact that the United States Embassy doesn't have enough workers, we will wait for a few more weeks after that for our space in line to be processed. Hopefully someday they will have this 2 trip process streamlined so that you can come over for court and stay 3-4 weeks and do it in one big trip... which is basically what Colombia has going on. The thing is, Colombia doesn't have the orphan crisis that Ethiopia has to deal with. The numbers are just crazy.

So, God was gracious to me, and let me return home with my empty arms to a gorgeous Christmas season with my 2.5 year old boy and the people I love. No doubt I will be missing my baby BIG TIME. There will be tears and I give myself permission for that... BUT.. they will be the tears of this legal mother. As the legal mother, if he should get very ill or there is a natural disaster, the United States embassy can ship him to me or allow me to get him in an emergency. I haven't had that right until next week. I can also know that he WILL be coming home, maybe not the end of January as I'd like, but he WILL be getting here because he is MINE :-) There are a lot of people that have had court in the 2nd half of November and a good batch the week before me. All of those people are ahead of me in line for embassy appointments. It would be LOVELY for some of those people to get their papers done super fast so that maybe they could get out of my way in the December dates!! I'm sure they would love that too. We will just have to see how fast the Ethiopian courts can get their stuff going.

The first batch of 2 trip families went to court at the end of September and beginning of October and they are there picking up their children right now. They all waited 6-8 weeks to go back. If I can get back that quickly all depends on the people in front of me since only 20 are processed per month (10 every other week).

Please pray for us in this process. I'll try to write again before the airport on Thursday morning :-)

Preparing to Prepare to Travel- and other giddiness

So where did November go? Here is a brief summary:

We had my lovely step-sister Laurel come visit us while she traveled the country after returning home from Iraq. We ate lots, we worked out lots, we chased my child, we shopped a bit, we enjoyed girlie times.

The following weekend, Ted turned 29. Now you know how old he is in case he forgets which happens often. We celebrated with a family outing to Chuck E Cheese and I bought him lots of yummy treats from the grocery store.

Following Ted's birthday, it occurred to us that we were leaving in a matter of weeks for Ethiopia and the trip we had been longing for for so long was finally becoming a reality. In the attempt to not obsess over the countdown, and I had intentionally NOT prepared because I didn't want to get sad. Then, I panicked, because I did not plan.

So then I literally sat down with a road map of all the things that need to happen so we wouldn't get caught with our "international adoption pants down" so to speak. We got the time sensitive things under control such as making sure we had the appropriate types of cash needed in large sum from our bank (because for some people it takes over a week to get). We got out pictures printed for baby boy's album of Mommy and Daddy pictures that he can chew on until he comes home. We took care of our visa's a long time ago so that wasn't an issue.

Then, we had Thanksgiving to plan for and budget for since we had family(s) coming to town. That finished yesterday, so here I am, Sunday before travel, in my final times of getting you all caught up.

I can't believe I finally get to see his little face THIS WEEK. I get to become his legal mother THIS WEEK. After 4 months of looking at his sweet little face, and two months of counting down to Thursday, we are finally in the motions of this whole thing becoming REAL :-)

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Days with Superman

So Superman, rather than the actual holiday of Halloween, has been a very big deal around here.

It all started when we let him watch portions of the newer Return of Superman movie. This resulted in an obsession with the actual DVD case. So we have been trying since to find more age appropriate super hero options for special rewards (or non child friendly situations) since then.

I was able to record the old Christopher Reeve version from 1978 that is mostly clean and doesn't require too much fast forwarding from me! Since then, we have been watching portions of that during special times since.

So, how could we possibly think of being anything else for Halloween this year?!!

Here are a few photos.

We had the Kids Carnival at church last week. Here are a few from sitting on the swings at church before that.

We also went to Boo at the Zoo which was better than anticipated! Since we are Friend of the Zoo, it was free for us :-) It was a beautiful 70 something degree day.

We were just a wee bit tired after all of that.

On Sunday night, we went for Tricks or Treats with our friends the Thurmonds from our church. Lucas did a fantastic job holding on to his pumpkin bucket very tight and saying all of his "thank you"s to the people handing out candy. Uncle Evan also came along to help out. We all used our super hero muscles to propel Lucas effectively :-)

We had a wonderful time, and can't wait for next year when we will have TWO little guys to steal candy from!!