Nothing new happening on the adoption front for me. Lots of people getting their dossiers in and referrals are coming (keep an eye on the new blogs I've placed on the side).
Amari Roza is now 7 months old. Getting very excited to see her! Working on all my lists...packing lists, paperwork list, to do before I go list, getting the pets ready list, cleaning the house list, meals to cook and freeze list...yes, I have a list of lists! I will work on them one by one. Hopefully starting the house cleaning list this weekend because it includes childproofing. I figure Amari will be close to becoming mobile when I get home so I better at least start with the lower shelves. Like the 1000 piece puzzles on the lowest shelf of my entertainment center. Also the porcelain dolls in the china cabinet...no way to secure them so I'll probably box most of them up. Favorites will stay but get moved into the top shelves of the sturdy book shelf. So sad to put some of that stuff away but it will soon be replaced by lots of fun toys. Also, it will be nice to get those things back out when Amari is older...better to hide them away than to let little hands destroy them.
So that is all for now. Hopefully I'll post again soon.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Nothing new happening on the adoption front for me. Lots of people getting their dossiers in and referrals are coming (keep an eye on the new blogs I've placed on the side).
Posted by Jill at 1:58 AM
Monday, October 22, 2007
Update on the adoption front: not much happening on my end yet. Still waiting on my travel guide...Lindsay (my SW) contacted the St. Louis office and they are sending it again. Which means that somewhere out there is a travel guide I never got. This should have all the nitty-gritty details of paperwork yet to be done, travel agent suggestions, etc. No court date yet but court dates are coming in; several families have gotten court dates of October 29 and are looking to travel around Thanksgiving. Hopefully, I'm not too far behind in the line-up. Lindsay checked with Sharon (CHI's Ethiopian program director) and I will definitely be able to visit the orphanage that Amari was in and I can request to meet her birthmom, but it will be up to the birthmom whether to meet or not. Which I am okay with.
As for updates about Amari before travel...probably not going to happen but that's okay. It looks like with diaper and clothing sizes, she is right on the small end of 3-6 month clothes and #2 diapers; so, unless she really packs on the pounds in the next couple months, I will be okay. I washed all the baby clothes I already have tonight to see what all I had (there are way too many tags/clips/cardboard on those clothes!). This kid is totally set from 6 months to 12 months (mostly because I didn't want to but a lot of little things that wouldn't fit). So now I know I need few 3-6 month things and 12 months and above clothes. It really helped seeing what all I had and what I still needed.
Dad and I were able to kind of decide on some things we want to do in Addis while we are there. He is totally looking forward to exploring a new country/culture (except the food--we are both a little scared of that!) so he will keep me from staying in the hotel playing all day! Which is good, it may be a very long time before I get a chance to see Ethiopia again (probably when Amari is a teenager) so I should see as much as I can. We also talked about packing and stuff (his luggage didn't make it to Kenya last time he went and he reminded me he doesn't need a lot of room because he "has done Africa with just a backpack"). Not me, I'm taking everything! He'll thank me for the Oreos!
Here is a picture of my Jack-O-Lantern I carved Friday night. Got together with both my brothers and their wives for pizza and pumpkin carving (no, we didn't carve pizzas--you know what I mean). It was a lot of fun.
Here is a great picture of Mickey hanging out with one of Ollie-dog's toys. Think I could get a lifetime supply of dog biscuits with this picture?
And here is Sam in his usual state of repose...
Sorry, no doggie picture today. Next Saturday is Trunk-or-Treat (which I'll explain next week for those of you that have never heard of this) and I'll post pix of Ollie in his costume.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Okay, got tagged by Stacie...
Jobs I've had:
-YMCA daycare worker, camp counselor, gymnastics/soccer/t-ball coach
-physical therapy aide
-German interpretor at Frontier Culture Museum (no, interpretor does not mean language in this case--it is an "acting history" job. LOVED it...too bad it didn't pay enough to support me)
Places I've lived:
-West Virginia (until I was 8)
Places I'd rather be:
-Ethiopia picking up Amari
-Walt Disney World (corny, but I love that place!)
Favorite T.V. Shows:
-America's Next Top Model
Books I love: (If it has pages with printing on it, I will read it! So I'll pick my childhood favorites
that I still re-read)
-Secret Garden (FH Burnette)
-Jane of Lantern Hill (LM Montgomery)
-Homecoming (Cynthia Voigt)
Posted by Jill at 12:12 AM
Monday, October 15, 2007
So nothing new to report...hopefully this week???? Just looking forward to hearing about court dates. Also looking forward to receiving my "travel guide" from CHI so I can get down to the nitty-gritty of prep.
Let's talk about the weather. Last weekend it was in the mid nineties...yesterday when I got off work at 7am, it was 35 degrees!! What!! I love fall but that is a 60 degree difference. It was too hot to mow the grass last week and now it is too cold. And I really need to mow one more time before winter. Any volunteers? Hahaha!
Interesting facts about dates. I did a baby registry with Wal-Mart and BabiesRUs, as well as signing up for diaper/formula coupons, etc. On all these, I put my "due date" as October 1st. My referral came on October 5th. Hmmmm...pretty good estimation! I ran back through my blog to see what I was doing the day Amari was born (keeping in mind that this may not be her actual birthday--just what we think it is!). I didn't post that day (I had only been posting about a week--had only mailed my application in 2 weeks before this) but I did spend that weekend, including the "birthdate," cleaning out Ollie-dog's room and shopping for nursery decor! It is weird to think that I was preparing over here while she was starting life over there!!
Check out Mumblerrr website...this couple is adopting thru CHI also and the husband's business, Sugardaddys, is going to be featured on Bobby Flay's Throwdown on Food Network. Pretty cool! Hey guys...if we get to travel together, will you bring me a brownie?
Deedra clarified that she got pix of her son because the first one wasn't the greatest quality. I'm really happy that they received one that they could really "feel" the spirit of their son in. A little disappointed because I was hoping this meant there would be updates forthcoming. Oh well, the whole adoption process is about trusting and being ready for anything. I'll take any info I can get but if none comes, I'll just have all the more fun expecting the unexpected. I just stare at Amari's picture, wishing I could hold her hand (she has it curled up like she wants to hold on) or run my fingers through her curls. Soon...soon...
Be sure to check out CHI's website every now and again...scroll down the right side to all the different blogs. They are labelled by home state and by country of adoption and divided into waiting and completed. Best of all, CHI moves blogs to the Traveling section while families travel for their gotcha days. It is a lot of fun to keep up with. Right now there are a couple families in Colombia and one in Kazakhstan. Check them out.
Told you this post was random thoughts...also rambling.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Not much new to report on the adoption front. Lindsay (my SW) told me that I will not be receiving any updates before I travel. That is a major bummer (that is supposed to be one of the advantages of the kids being moved into our agency's transition home) and I hope she is wrong. The Magers got their referral just a week before me and they have gotten more pix so I'm hoping for a little bit of something. I am very happy with the one picture I have gotten but I would like to know a little more developmental info. Still no word on court dates...augh!!
So what to do in the meantime? I'm slowly working on baby stuff. My nursery is pretty much ready as far as the big stuff goes. There are still lots of little things to work on...I haven't bought any bottles yet, clothes are still in a quandry (luckily everything I have bought so far will fit but I need a few smaller things I think!), I need more toys, etc. etc. etc. I did buy a carseat this past weekend. Since Amari will be 9-10 months before she comes home, I decided to skip the carrier seat since she wouldn't be in it long. Plus, since it is just me and only one car, I don't need to worry about switching back and forth between vehicles. This carseat is a convertible one--it is rear-facing/reclining up to 22 pounds, then front facing 22-40 pounds and then changes into a booster up to 100 pounds. So it should last.
Last night, I did some laundry. I decided I would wash everything once in Dreft and then probably just go back to Tide. I'm pretty sure Amari has not been having her clothes washed in Dreft and will probably handle the stronger detergent (I'll experiment first). It is hard enough for me to have a full load of laundry now, maybe with adding baby clothes in, I won't be wasting so much water and electricity. So I washed all the bed clothes (thanks Juli for the waterproof mattress pad), a couple receiving blankets, all the bibs and burp clothes I have, and the socks. Thank goodness for the woolite wash bag (I think Lesa told me about these)...the zipper broke on the first wash but it still held all the socks together without any runaways. I'll just have to fix the bag with velcro. So here are the socks (the top row of eight are going to be way too big for awhile!).Here is the crib with all it's bedding in place. It is the Dream Hug Love collection from Kimberly Grant. Very cute.I also did a munchkin bath. I bought this great set of Munchkin dinnerware right about the time I started on the adoption path. It may have been one of my first purchases, back when I initially was asking for a girl under 2. I finally busted it out of the plastic and washed it and put it in the cabinet I cleaned out for Amari's kitchen stuff. There are 10 bowls with lids, 10 cups with sippy tops, 10 spoons. I also threw in 2 of those divided formula cases where you pre-measure your amounts (will work great for cereal too!).I think that is all for now. I'll let you know if I hear anything else.
Monday, October 8, 2007
So the whirlwind weekend is over! What a fun (exhausting) few days. My cousin Juli came (along with hubby Robert and son Brendan). Brendan is 3-years-old and holy cow! can that boy play. Nonstop, all day, full-out--but very well-behaved. Just busy, busy, busy. Whew! So the weekend was full of family and eating and shopping and reading.
Here is a great picture of what a 3-year-old thinks of a popcorn air-popper. Hmm...wonder what he would think of Jiffee Pop?
Here is my mom holding the first grandchild (my niece Madi) but not the oldest! Sorry Madi, your cousin is older than you...but you are bigger!
It was great to share the celebration of my referral with family...it was also nice to have the weekend full so I didn't just sit around and worry. Why worry, you ask? Now that I have a name and a face--it is a constant barrage of "what-ifs" running through my head. I guess this is probably a permanent state of being from now on!
I know, I know...you are saying "get on with the details." So here are a few more...my daughter is a little over 6 months old (birthdays in Ethiopia are not an exact science!) and pretty small for her age. I printed off growth charts and plotted her size. She is way under the graph for length and weight but the weight/length ratio is right at 50% so, while she is little for her age, it is a proportionate petiteness. In other words, she isn't emaciated (and in her picture she looks nice and well rounded--ohhh she is so cute!!). Her health examinations look pretty good and I think she will do fine.
So for a name...I have said all along that her given name would be kept as a middle name and I am very happy to say her name is Roza (which means Rose!). For her first name, I combined 2 of my favorite Ethiopian names (Amara--princess and Amira--beautiful/paradise) to make the name Amari (ah-mahr-ee). So Amari Roza has been named. She will probably be called Mari.
When will she come home? That is yet to be decided. I have to wait on a court date and an embassy appt. Courts are playing catch-up from their 2 month break, so Sharon said to expect to travel in about 3 months. So, while I would LOVE to travel before the end of the year, I'm shooting for January!
Friday, October 5, 2007
So what is almost as hard as waiting on a referral...waiting to share the information!!! As most of you know, Ethiopia does not allow pictures to be posted until the court case is done (which I don't even have a date for). I have also been cautioned not to give out a lot of info until I sign the acceptance agreement for my referral (papers which will not be in my hands until Monday). This is in case I decide to decline the referral, then this little one's info would be passed along to someone else who probably wouldn't want the world to know.
There is absolutely NO chance that I will turn down this referral. Let me just say that this little girl is so much cuter than any other baby in the world (I know...all moms say that about their kids but still....she is gorgeous!). She is adorable and after gazing into those all-telling eyes, I'm hooked. She is healthy although seems rather small (compared to my niece, anyway). She is in the transition home in Addis already, so I'm sure she is getting the best care possible.
Like I said, I can't give out a lot on info so you will just have to keep checking in. No idea on court or travel dates...sounds like probably not until January for travel but I can certainly hope for sooner. Pray for a quick and easy court date...I don't want to miss another day of my daughter's life.
As for the referral phone call...it was kind of weird. I had this vague dream the other night that Sharon (the director of the Ethiopian program) called me with the referral because something had happened to Lindsay (my SW). I had been expecting Lindsay to be the one to call me, so when I heard Sharon on the other end of the phone this morning at 11:15, I was a little freaked out. All I could think was that it was over, that singles were being cut off, that something was messed up with my paperwork...a lot went through my mind. Then she explained that she was calling with exciting news and didn't want me to have to wait until Monday (when Lindsay would be back in the office). So I tearfully, and shakily, wrote down all the info and then started making phone calls. Then I waited forever (really only about 30 minutes) for the email to hit my computer. The rest of the day was in a whirlwind. I had company due in the afternoon and I couldn't even remember what I needed to do before they got here. I tried 4 times to eat lunch but kept forgetting...boy was that pizza at 7pm wonderful (thanks Chad and Lesa). Not to mention that I have been sick the last few days which only added to my feverish haze. I couldn't remember when my last dose of ibuprofen was so by 4 pm, I was sweaty and shaky from a slight fever and low blood sugar. What a day!!
More to tell soon. Probably on Monday I'll give a few more details. Must go to bed...the day is catching up with me and I have been advised to get as much sleep as I can because my hours of sleeping are quickly fading away!
But I'm not telling...yet! If you picked up on the fact that I deleted my "waiting for referral" Lilypie ticker, then you guessed right. I'll give you the scoop later!
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Well Thursday marks another week gone...still waiting on a referral. The future is looking promising. Still no real time frame when my referral will come but the courts did re-open on Monday (yea!!!) and a couple more referrals have come in. One was for a 13-month-old girl (remember, I asked for under 12 months...oh, so close!) and the other was for a 2.5-month-old boy. The little boy was a referral for Paul and Deedra; they turned in their dossier near the beginning of the process so they have been waiting for around 4 months. So it is nice to see that referrals are coming in and that there are indeed wee little ones waiting on mommies!
Getting company this weekend...my BFF cousin Juli and her hubby Robert are coming to visit with their 3-year-old Brendan. It should be a lot of fun and a much needed distraction. I haven't seen them since January (they live in KY) and we always have fun together. Juli and I grew up together (she is 6 months older than me) and when we are together, I'm afraid we still act like 6-years-olds. But it is nice to have someone like that to have fun with.
I'll post pix of my dog soon...he got groomed today and looks fabulous. So cute and fluffy and snow white (that won't last!)! Fortunately, grooming day wears him out and he has been super tired tonight. I have a fever and sore throat and am just not in the mood to do the in-out-in-out-in-out routine we usually do in the evenings. Even the cats have picked up on my illness and have been hanging close keeping me warm.
Worked a little on packing this past weekend for Ethiopia. Yes, I know it is a little premature, but I wanted to see if my backpack I'm using as a carry-on would hold everything I want. I was surprised to see that I think it will! I also worked a little on the diaper bag, organizing it. This is something I'm a little worried about because I liked to be super-organized and since I'm new at this, I have a feeling that it will take a few re-packings in Ethiopia to get everything the way I need it. Luckily my job has prepared me to be pretty adaptable on the fly.
Not much else to tell. I'll keep everyone posted.