Monthly Archives: April 2011

Nineteen Days!!!! Don’t Drop the Baby!!!

We leave for Ethiopia in almost two weeks and meet Davy in a mere 19 days. This is completely unbelievable to me. I keep running the scenario in my head over and over. Will I be a weepy mess? Will I be calm? Will I be a weepy mess whilst trying to be calm? I really can’t imagine what it will feel like to hold our sweet baby girl.

I am married to a man who knows me very very well. When I am really bereft he can hold me and comfort me. When I am being crazy he likes to poke me with a stick. It makes me laugh and usually snaps me out of my immediate mania. The other night, I was trying to figure out who was going to hold Davy first and who was going to take the video. There HAS to be a video because we need to replay the moment over and over again. Especially when she is a teenager. I told him (being the mench that I am) that I would volunteer to hold Davy first and he could record it. I am a big person that way.

He said “no, no that won’t work at all, because you will be SUCH a blubbering mess that you will drop her and we won’t pass court because your a klutz”. “I won’t drop her, she is the most precious cargo I have ever held, besides I have stopped dropping kids a long time ago.” For the record, I once really hurt myself whist babysitting my friends kid. He was running and I was chasing him (he wasn’t running from me because I was scary- we were playing a game). I fell down. He didn’t. But there was um, blood every where and he totally freaked out. I kind of mean lots and lots of blood. I held it together, got home, cleaned myself up and then we went back to the park. I would like to say that I handled it like the adult I am, even though I wanted MY mommy. We were all fine even though after that little Declan would utter “Lisa Fell Down,” as he passed our house.

Andy likes to use this as bait to make me feel insecure. Again, we both know we will be good parents, funny, loving and adventurous parents. For those who haven’t met Andy, he is the most mellow unflappable person on the planet. He is the adult/child/animal whisperer. You can see him suck in his breath, and just become MORE mellow. Because of this kids LOVE him. I don’t just mean love, I mean LOVE him. Recently little girls have been flocking to him like little love lorn zombies. It’s kind of weird but he must be giving off some sort of daddy vibe.

I am much MUCH more hyper by nature. I prefer sarcasm and word play with little kids. Mellow isn’t my strong suit- although I am trying. That is why we balance each other out so well. To be honest though, I am totally afraid of freaking little Davy out with my giant, wet, smily face and high-pitched nervous giggle. I know these are totally new parent jitters. Frankly, I haven’t really allowed myself to think about it. Or really think of her as this whole little person on the other side of the planet. She has been around for almost 6 months. She has her life, her friends and her routines. We are going to go in for a few hours, disrupt her quiet little life and then leave. She isn’t really going to have time to know us or us to really know her.

I am trying to manage my expectations of this trip- because the time we get to spend with her isn’t nearly going to be enough. I mean the idea that we have to leave her means it’s not going to be enough. Every moment won’t be enough. It won’t be enough until she is home. So we are going to fly to Ethiopia, spend some time with our beautiful baby girl and know that she is loved, healthy and not alone. We will go to court where she will legally become our child. We will travel he country and try to absorb as much of it as humanly possible. Then we will go home and wait for our forever with her. I am by no means complaining. I can’t tell you how excited I am. My friend reminded me about how a few months ago- i was crying because we didn’t have a referral, then openly weeping about our lack of court date. I am sure I will come home and cry my eyes out until we have our embassy appointment. Andy will either hold me tight or poke me with a stick depending on how crazy I am being. Either way, he knows how to make me feel better. He always does. And for that, I am grateful.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

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Who needs SO much time to plan a giant-life changing- trip to Ethiopia. We did ours in a week AND we were also in Las Vegas at the time. Usually I am such a planner. I should have been a travel agent. I LOVE to travel. Andy and I are so psyched to have the opportunity to spend some extra time in our kids’ birth country. We decided to spend an extra week or so traveling around. We only actually have to be in Ethiopia for about 4 days for adoption related stuff. The rest of the time we are going to have a looksy.
Here is our itinerary:

May 11: Leave Portland travel to Amsterdam. Change plans from Amsterdam to Addis Ababa. We have a refueling stopover in Khartoum.

May 12: Arrive in Addis Ababa and go to our Hotel the Jeremiah Guest House

May 13: Recuperate and tour Addis. I really want to go see Lucy and do some shopping, ’cause I am a shopper. It’s who I am.

May 14: This is the date that most families from Holt have to arrive by. So we get to meet all the other fabulous families we will be traveling with.

May 15: The day we have been waiting for…….we get to meet DAVY davy davy DDDDAAAAVVVYYYYYY davy davydavydavy davy. We get to gobble her chin, hug her, hold her, squeeze her (not too tight). LOVE on her!!!!! DAVy DAVY DDDDDAAAAVVVVVVVYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. I have run the scenario over in my head a million times. Thinking about it gives me goosebumps all the way down to me knees. DAVY Girl. We are coming!!! Davy is still living in the south of Ethiopia in a town called Durame

May 16: Sniff sniff sniff. We are going back Addis. We are going to meet with Holt’s Lawyer to discuss the court process. Mostly they do this in a big group but I think they want to make sure we are super prepared incase we get called out.

May 17: COURT DAY. Andy says this is the first court appearance in his life that he has been happy about (har har). If all goes well. Davy will become legally our daughter as per Ethiopian law.

Alata Portuguese Bridge

May 18: Leave for our trip around Ethiopia. First we are going to The Portuguese Bridge

May 19: We are going to visit Debre Libanos monastery. We are also going to see the Blue Nile Gorge. Spend the night in Bahir Dar

May 20- Visit Lake Tana. Go to visit some Ethiopian Jews at a synagogue near Gondor and visit a Jewish Cemetery. I am very excited about this trip as I have been totally fascinated with Ethiopian Jews since I was a kid. Also Davy will be an Ethiopian Jew (well sorta in a less direct but more direct route).

Church, Gondar, Ethiopia, ceiling
May 21: Touring around Gondar. Not to be confused (as I was) with Gondor from Lord of the Rings. We will also visit King Fasilides Palace. Also we stay in a hotel with a swimming pool. Which I am pretty sure at this point- will make me irrationally happy.

May 22: Drive back to Addis Ababa. At this point hopefully we will get to see my friend Lori for dinner- who will also be in town for her court date!

May 23: Buh Bye Ethiopia! Hopefully time will fly and we will be back super soon to take our beautiful, beloved daughter home.

Three Packages!

I love mail. It almost makes me sad that we no longer write letters because I love mail. After being gone for a whole week we came home to three packages. Three Packages! SQUEEEEEE!!!

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The first package contained our airline tickets to Ethiopia! Hurrah!

The second package I got contained gifts from my dear friend Naomi. The most perfect baby sweater on the planet!
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Look at the detail:
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Naomi is a knitting genius and librarian. She has been working on embedding words and symbols into knitting patterns. Here is the link to her blog where she discusses how she does it. . She is one smart cookie. She knitted me a cowl where she used Davy’s name as the pattern. Amazingly enough it looks like hearts and houses. It’s really really beautiful.
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Then I opened the box from my friend Juline! Holy Canoli a quilt! Since I am such a crafting nerd- all handmade gifts give me the chills. Juline is a meticulous crafter and the work that she did on this quilt really shows. I LOVE it. The piece of fabric she used on the back has an image of the world map. She embroidered a heart of Ethiopia, North Carolina (where we met) and Oregon. Here are a million photos of the quilt.
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I am so touched by these amazing gifts, the generosity of my friends and the love that they are showering on us and wee Davy.

Baby’s First Restraining Order

So we spent all last week in Las Vegas at the National Association of Broadcasters convention. Andy was there for work and I was his booth bunny. Andy has been going to this thing for the last 10 years, so I have always been curious. Well now I know. The conference is full of really amazingly cool technology for which I have very little interest.

What was great was seeing Andy in his element. My husband is a video encoding rock star. Yup he is. Also because he lives his life pretty publicly (via twitter, facebook, foursquare, instagram, flickr etc.) I had several strangers recognize me and offer congrats on the adoption. YAY. It was pretty cool. Andy was also interviewed by TwitTv twice and I got to watch my husband be all professional and on TV. Again, it was very impressive. Andy’s company is located in Canada and I have never met it colleagues, it was fun hanging out with super polite Canadians. They tried to convince me that the Canadian clock used the metric system. Jinxy Canadians.
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That is a photo of Andy on TwitTV. The other man in the photo is a friend of Andy’s NOT the person mentioned in the story below. Andy looks handsome on TV.

We also got to see many of Andy’s old co-workers from his past. I was SO happy to see the folks from his North Carolina job. I was so fond of them and that was a particularly happy time in our lives.

Now here comes the story. Now, I am a sensitive girl. I know i need to toughen up, but I am also funny (at least I think I am) and have a pretty darn good sense of humor. The story I am going to tell might be the BEST and MOST hilarious reaction to our adoption EVER. Now I am a much better talker then writer, so if this doesn’t translate- or offends- please forgive me.

We bumped it a former colleague of Andy’s who I haven’t seen in many years. Things you need to know about this man (who we will refer to as Michael Scott) to put this story in perspective:
-He once got in trouble for dirty dancing with a 400-pound woman while her husband watched
-He worked for special ops for the US Air force
-He wrote a children’s book call THE BLOODY HAND, yup for kids. THE BLOODY HAND!!!
-He once asked a woman from India to name her favorite God
-He threw himself a giant 50th birthday party complete with full gospel choir, go-go girls (dress up as Boston Red Socks) and sang Tiny Bubbles

So this should give you an image of a man for whom social norms mean nothing. I have to say that (because I never worked with him) I love him. He is a lot of fun and you have to take everything he says with a grain of salt.

We totally bumped into each other. I gave him a giant hug, it was so fun seeing him. We did a quick catch up. He is still in sales, living in the same town, kids are doing great etc, etc.
He said, “whats new with you guys?”
I pull out my phone with a photo of Davy and said “We are adopting our daughter from Ethiopia, here she is”
His response (wait for it). “Wow that’s great, I totally dig black chicks.”

The end.

A Little Embellishment…

My friend JoAnn gave me a pack of white baby Ts  for Davy. I had a tiny bit of this super cute fabric from Ikea. So I did a little embellishment. I bet she is going to get a lot of  THAT growing up in this house. This is my first one. I am not used to doing applique on t-shirt material so it got a little puckery. I bet she won’t care- but I need to practice more. Fortunately its a six pack. Also because we live in Portland I needed to put a bird on it.

Andy and I are off to Vegas for a week (this girl needs to pack). I am going to work with him at his company’s booth for the National Association of Broadcasters (nerd) conference. Also as a bonus we get to see my Dad and Stepmom (who live in Vegas), Step Sister, Step Brother-in-law and their kids (technically speaking my step niece and nephew but who is counting)-who are visiting from Michigan. Should be fun, but I am fairly certain Andy is going to work me to death.

We are also planning our trip to Ethiopia! Squeeeeee.

May 17!!!

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We have a court date- on May 17 we will go before an Ethiopian judge and she will decided that (as per Ethiopian law) Davy can legally be our daughter.

For those who aren’t living and breathing this process. We get to meet Davy, she legally becomes our kid, but we have to go home and wait for her to get embassy clearance for us to take her home, this usually takes between 6-12 weeks. This process is finally moving. We are one step closer to becoming a family of three.

A Random Bunch of Photos from New York

Quilt Show at the Park Avenue Armory

Union Square in the Sun

Lion Brand Studio

Old Subway Stop

Best Deli Sandwiches in Brooklyn

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Constantly Terrible Coffee

The Beautiful Gowanas Canal

Knish for my Knish

Clothing store in Soho that is decorated with Featherweights

Streets Cafe Benefit

Random celebrity sighting. Herald the winner from Top Chef Season 1 (not sure if it counts)

Flying Home

Postcard From A Million Years Ago

Andy and I met in October 1997. We met online. He was living on a bucolic island outside of Savannah Georgia. I was living in Brooklyn. We talked for months and months. He visited me in Brooklyn and finally in January 1998 I visited him for the first time on Tybee Island. This weekend my friend Erica showed me a postcard I had sent her celebrating the first 24 hours with my future husband. I love this piece of personal history. Who knew that this fella would become my husband? The father of our child? That we would live all over the country and the world? From this postcard you can see that in January 1998 I was in love. Still am.