This whole process has been such a series of ups and downs. The one consistent thing I have been able to count on is the love and support from my family and friends. An amazing amount of people have been following our story. Both my husband and I are very vocal and on various blogs, forums, facebook and twitter (@lisaweisman and @andybeach). We have met folks have chimed in with their stories of being adopted or adopting. It’s really wonderful.
We are relatively new to Portland and have spent the last few years in Durham North Carolina. I really LOVED living in Durham. It was my kind of town- especially after living in New York for almost 20 years and slowly falling out of love with it. Durham is funky, liberal, has great food, is laid back and is really beautiful. About 6 months after moving to NC- I joined a knitting group called the Durham String Thing. I actually found out about them on Raverly (where I get all of my life changing info). My now dear friend Naomi invited me to the group. Well… after a six months of feeling a little out of sorts –being a loud New York Jew living in the genteel south- I found my people.
The Durham String Thing are loud, hilarious, love to swear, are both very politically correct and absolutely NOT politically correct (at the same tiem) and really very talented. The group came together at a period in many of our lives where we had just relocated to Durham or were looking for new people to hang out with. In short- I made an amazing group of friends in a very short time. And these women (and man) ARE fantastic—funny, kind, creative and supportive. I really can’t separate the few years that I lived in Durham from my relationship with the String Thing- in my head the two are totally tied together.
The String Thingers have been really actively following our adoption news and are now going to be the fairy god mothers (and father) of our little one. A few weeks ago- I got a mysterious envelope in the mail from The Durham String Thing. I had opened it up and there was a check in the mail for our adoption! They had held a yard sale in honor of our little one to be! Even writing this I am getting Goosebumps from my head to my toes. I never in a million years expected this. When I opened the card I let out a little yelp and then burst into tears (it kinda freaked Andy out a little)I have moved away over a year ago- and while I long to go back for a visit- I haven’t yet. They are in my mind all the time. The money is extremely helpful. The random act of kindness will keep me going when this process seems so hard. When I am feeling lonely, and when I need to remind myself that there are people out there whom I love dearly and who love me back. It’s really powerfully shit. Thank you Durham String Thing- for being the amazing, awesome, loving, kooky group of people that you are! Now I am going to knit some more…..’cause I can.
I got a giant tattoo! Yup- uh huh- thats my back! Also I might add that I am loving my haircut- but I digress. That’s my Grandfather’s name in Hebrew- he was a tailor. All this adoption stuff has been really making me think about my grandfather and how I am really sad that he isn’t around. Truthfully- I don’t think he would understand the adoption or us adopting from Ethiopia. I do see this kid as such an extension of him though- in a really weird way. My grandfather was a holocaust survivor and he came to this country and made a life for himself here.We are are adopting a kid- who is also going to build a life for themselves. Also there is the whole Ethiopian Jewish connection- which I find kind of fascinating. I have been thinking about this tattoo for a looooonnnggg time. My grandfather died 5 years ago. I always wanted to get his name in Hebrew tattooed on me. I recently came up with the idea of the sewing machine. He was a tailor and actually used this really old Singer sewing machine. I am super crafty (more of a yarny than a quilter or sewer) but I thought it would be a cool idea.
I got the tattoo by the wonderful Silje at Icon Tattoo in Portland. If you look at her bio-she is super crafty and was psyched to do the tattoo. My friends who know me know I am a super wimp when it comes to pain. I mean look at this face from when I got my shots for Ethiopia. I am clearly someone who doesn’t like discomfort. This tattoo took 2 hours. Did it hurt? FUYeah. Was it disgusting as it was healing. Oh my GAWD it was freaking DISGUSTING. Bits of black coming off my back- all scaly and unpretty. I have a total respect for people covered in tattoos. You guys are glutton for punishment. Do I love it! I am absolutely thrilled with the way it came out. I love that my grandpa is on my back forever!
Andy and I have had a busy week with adoption stuff. On Wednesday we had the second round of our Hepatitis shots. We need one more and then we are inoculated against many many nasty bugs on the planet. As Andy says “I can’t wait to eat some raw pork sushi” well not really- but yeah- you know.Who are we kidding- he probably would. Andy took a photo of me getting my shot and I am posting it because its hilarious. I am making such an over dramatic face! I am such a wimp- thank GAWD I don’t have to go through natural childbirth!
Also this week Andy and I got fingerprinted for the UCIS paperwork. Once your dossier has been approved- you have to start working on the immigration part of the adoption. This is truly just more paperwork- but its vaguely complicated. We had to go to Homeland Security (no cellphones allowed) and have our “biometics” taken. Really just fingerprints. My mom (who is out of town) has to go next week. Hopefully they will be able to find her fingerprints- this time! Homeland Security does more of a background check and then we get notification that we can “receive an orphan”. It sounds antiquated- but it basically means that we have jumped through enough hoops to accept the referral.
Finally- we got an email this week that our dossier is in Ethiopia! All that paperwork we put together is now in the hands of Holt staff who will match us to our future child! Hurrah Hurrah!