Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Ah-Ha Moment

This week has been full of firsts. It really is an amazing week learning about Davy. We keep waiting for someone say “it’s time to give her back” and it is hard to imagine that she will be with us forever.

Overall we are doing great. She has a bad cold, so she is pretty mellow and sleepy. Poor thing. She is a happy and easy going baby. The nannies swear she only cries once a week (so far its on Wednesdays).  She is a happy and adorable little goofball,  a perfect match for our family.

This week this new momma has changed many many diapers, fed her baby girl, given her a bath and have managed not to dress her like a little hooker.

It’s funny to think of myself as a mother, but on the other hand it has felt like the most natural thing I have ever done.  Yesterday was the day that it all felt real. I was picking Davy up, holding her above my head. It’s an easy trick that makes her giggle. She was above me, I was talking to her when a giant booger dripped out of her nose and into mouth. It might have been motherhood at its grossest. I loved it. We both laughed and then snuggled some more.

Last 48

 

Since my “water broke” on Thursday we have been in quite the tizzy. Since we had nothing set up or planned you can imagine we have been quite busy. We have also been total stress cases. Wanna know how much last minute tickets cost to Ethiopia? $6000.00 (for two tickets). Yeah. I am saying this because I know there are people who are waiting to go, and this is just a warning. Last month when we were there (I have been missing a good cup of coffee), tickets were literally half that- and that is what we had budgeted for this trip. Andy and I typically don’t fight. We bicker, but very rarely fight. We had a big one on Friday. Epically big fight on Friday. Do you know why? We are stressed out as all get out. We are fine now. Really fine, but we both had to react in our own ways. For those who don’t know Andy he is the most stoic man alive. Nothing ruffles his feathers, except the idea of having to spend six grand to go pick his daughter up and make that decision NOW. Do you know what stresses me out? Not being able to plan and organize. People don’t often talk about money issues on the blogs. I get it- its very personal. I just needed to get that off my chest. We are lucky. We have plenty of family who were able to help us get our act together. Grandparents who just want their little ones home as much as we do.

 

Also when we moved here we really didn’t know anyone. That was just 2 summers ago. I feel beyond lucky and loved to have so many people in our lives to count on during this time. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. I am crying a little just thinking about it. Friday night after Andy and I said some ugly words to each other, I went to Lori’s house. She fed me, made me a few drinks and let me yell, cry, laugh, worry and vent all sitting there calmly. Then we made a small and practical list off all the crap that we need. Really not so bad. Just don’t forget the children’s motrin. Laura and Amy answered all of my calls and texts about what kind of bottles we need, how many diapers to bring (we are bringing 90- in case she has giardia), what to expect for the birth parent meeting etc. They answered them right away regardless of the time of the day. They both have brought home little ones in the last month and are usually awake).

 

Yesterday, I went to costco with Lori to buy diapers, formula and wipes. Then I went to Bella Stella (fancy kids resale shop) and picked up some plastic covers for her diapers to use on the airplane. Also- Davy has no pants. She has 26 one-sys, 17 sleepers, a million and one sweaters but literally 6 pairs of pants. Mom picked some up and I got a few (with ruffles on the butts) from Fred Myers. I also got baby food and rice cereal.

 

I came home and our dear friends Ari and Anne had come over to help Andy assembly the crib and changing table. Andy and Ari worked on it in their quiet way while Anne and I worked on some Bedroom decor. Andy had made these totally adorable pictures. He used fabric and then cut out pictures on top of it. Anne and I made 1 and totally screwed up about a million of them. I did sew a little panel out of really sweet Ikea fabric. We are totally “putting a bird on it”.

 

At some point in between Fred Meyer and Bella Stella I started thinking about the last few years. I was thinking about sending our adoption agency some sort of gift. I love our social worker, but have never met the Holt staff in Eugene Oregon. These woman who have to deal with tears and happiness every day. These people who can be your best friend or your worst enemy in a seconds notice. They give you good news, they give you bad news. I was thinking about sending them flowers or chocolate or something. I wanted to tell them- to convey to them how grateful I am that they were so instrumental in helping our family become whole. If we had gone with another adoption agency, we couldn’t get to be parents to Davy. Life is that random. Flowers just won’t cut it, but finally, sitting in the car, the weight of all of these last 21 months of adoption just fell away. I cried and cried. I was alone- but totally not alone at that instant. I had our friends who have rallied around us for years. I have my mom who cries when I cry and will teach me to become a great mom, but example. I have Andy’s parents. Andy’s dad just called me today to tell me he loves me and loves that I am married to his son. I have my dad and stepmother, who stepped up when we really needed them. My father with his history of holocaust will teach Davy how to honor and respect her past and about her new Jewish heritage. We have Davy’s great grandparents, David, Sophie, Leah, Lina, Sam, Claude, Nita and Cliff Sr.- who she will never get to meet. Her surviving great Grandmother Anna Lee, whoshe will meet this fall- at Thanksgiving- and boy do we have a lot to be thankful for.  All the aunts and uncles and cousins. I said last night that it really has “taken a village” to bring this girl home, as trite as that sounds. We need our village. I am so grateful and happy that we have this village of people to be here with us on this journey. I am ready now. Ready to bring her home. Yeah, lets go.

What a Day, What a Week

DC Fireworks

We found out this morning that we were cleared to travel and pick Davy up. I screamed and swore and jumped up and down. I laughed, I giggled, I called Andy, I called my mom. I panicked. I hyperventilated. I worried. I got stressed. I haven’t stopped shacking. I loudly announced to my temp job that my water broke. Our girl is coming home. Our daughter is coming Home. Davy Dinkenesh Beach is coming home. I never thought this day would come. I still can’t believe it.
Our agency said this was the fastest travel clearance they have ever gotten. We leave Tuesday! We are not ready. We will never be truly ready. Andy and I are jump with your feet in first kind of people. That is how we fly. It’s the perfect way for this little being to come into our lives. Holy Crap. She is coming home.

An Ode to a Very Long Friendship

P1180167

Today I had a brief email conversation with a friend who is moving from Oregon. She was talking about how much she was going to miss us (her friends through adoption). Since we have moved a lot, A LOT I offered to give her advice if she felt like she needed it. It did make me think about my friends and how we are all scattered all over the country. Thanks to twitter, facebook, texting, email, skype etc. The world is a much smaller place.

Yesterday I texted our embassy news to a group of my closest friends, Davy-pie has a lot of aunties who also are very invested in her coming home. My oldest (not chronically but in years we have known each other) called me last night.

Stacey and I have known each other literally all of our lives. I have no memory of not knowing Stacey. Both of our mother’s share a best friend, who is our mutual Auntie Barbie. Auntie Barbie and my mom (Bubye Barbie) have also known each other their whole lives. Auntie Barbie has a son but no daughters and truly treated us as her own. In some ways Auntie Barbie was easier then both of our mothers (maybe because she wasn’t our mother). She swears a lot (so do I and so does Stace), she is sarcastic as all get out and she always knew what to say when we were upset or bereft. When I was a teenager, Auntie Barbie was the adult I turned to when I found out my parents were getting a divorce. I just remember her coming into my room and crying and crying as she held me. Auntie Barbie is fucking awesome. Now that Davy is in the picture Auntie Barbie has been upgraded to Auntie Barbie Auntie Barbie or Auntie Barbie (x2). Auntie Barbie (x2) has already picked out a husband for Davy. His name is aptly Dovid and he is the offspring of a Jewish woman and her African American husband (a docta nonetheless!!!) What could be more perfect for our Davy! Oy vey, don’t make me kvell. It’s beshert!

So to make a long story short- Stacey is Davy’s Auntie Barbie (no pressure). Someone who has known me my entire life, been there through all of the most embarrassing phases. She consoled me when, in 1984 Bruce Springsteen didn’t marry ME but settled on that bitch Julianna Phillips (I was 13). She knows the theme to my bat mitzvah and hasn’t posted it on Facebook (yet) really it’s SO embarrassing. She was there for me when all of my grandparents passed away. She was in my wedding. We can talk on the phone and it’s like a day hasn’t passed. I would like to think that I have been there for her. I got to witness her awful haircut in the 6th grade, her very brief and mild rebellious period and her love of Bryan Adams. Really Stace? Brian Adams. She did marry a Canadian though.

Stacey and I talked last night about the adoption. She reminded me that God only gives what you can take. She and I don’t talk about God much and Stacey knows about my mostly ambivalent relationship with him/her but I loved that about Stacey. She made me feel calm, loved and whole. It’s a statement only a lifelong friend can make to her cranky other lifelong friend. It’s the perfect thing at the perfect time. She said it in passing and then we went on to talk about other things, her work, my work, her dog, my dogs, our husbands, my love of Tila Tequila etc. Like old friends should.

I am sensitive about saying that Davy is “lucky”. The universe is so random. But I can say that I feel lucky. I have this beautiful daughter coming home; I have a wonderful group of women in my life that can prop me up when I fall down. Teach me how to love and be a friend, by example. I know Davy will be lucky enough to have these same kinds of friendships. She will have her funny and wonderful Auntie Barbie (x2) and Auntie Stacey (x1) and a host of other people pulling for her. Who will be able to say “I knew you when…. And then make fun of her.

How Bad is it When Your Social Worker Calls After Reading Your Blog?

That is a first, she really did call this morning. I am still in a fragile state. We got amazingly good news today. Great news today. Wonderful news today. Our case has been submitted to US Embassy. These are the final steps to bringing our girl home. I was about to call Holt (to confirm that there was no news) when I looked down and saw the email from them. I then proceeded to sob and sob and sob. I really needed this news.

Here is a kind of outline of the next steps.
First were are submitted to embassy. We are now waiting for Embassy clearance. They look at our case and try to determine if it’s a “clean adoption” e.g. nothing fishy is going on. This process can take 8 days or it can take 6 months. Our case is pretty straightforward and barring any unforeseen issues we will hopefully hear sooner as oppose to later. The average is a couple of weeks. Also about 60% of the time the Embassy will email us directly to let us know we have been cleared. I find this somewhat creepy, but okay.

If all goes well (and it never goes all well in adoption) Davy will be home in July or August. July is tricky because that is when Embassy staff take vacations so they are taking less appointments. Damn you Embassy staff and your vacations!!

Then we wait for dates….Holt likes to push the dates out a week or two because they take us in a group. Part of this is it makes the bureaucracy easier and part of this (most importantly) is so that Holt can arrange for us to meet Davy’s birth parent.

A huge factor in us choosing Holt was for the birth parent meeting. I think it might be the most important part of our adoption. Davy is going to have so many questions when she gets older and we want to be able to tell her as much about her life and birth family as possible. That is important stuff. It’s important enough to delay our forever with her by a week or two. I think she will understand.

So I want to thank everyone for all of their support and wonderful comments yesterday. I am feeling emotional. I can’t tell you how much it helped. We are very lucky people to have so many folks in our lives caring about us and this little girl, who I can’t wait to show off to the universe.

Please Forgive Me.

I have been a total bitch. Yup. I am publically admitting it. I have been extra grumpy to Andy, I have been short with close friends, I have been getting into angry political debates on facebook. I am not really myself these days. I am depressed and feeling a little angry. Depressed because Davy is still in Ethiopia (it’s only been a month for crying out loud), depressed because I am really not doing what I want to be doing with my life. I am depressed because my life feels a little teensy empty the sweetest girl on the earth in our lives every day. I am temping. I don’t want to be here. It is also making me angry and annoyed. I am trying to deflect with humor, but I think it might be a little more biting than usual.

I am so ready for this to be over with. I am sick to death of waiting or those Tuesday updates from our adoption agency. I am tired of not knowing when we get to bring our girl home and start our forever with her.

I am trying to make amends with the people, trying to be extra nice to Andy. On Saturday I made him bacon. I called it the Bacon of Regret, salted with my tears of unhappines, bla bla bla . I am trying to keep myself busy and distracted. I am also just trying to give myself a little break. When you are running a marathon the last few miles are the hardest (so I have heard).

So yeah, If you talk to me, and I really don’t sound like myself- it’s because I am really not. I am taking appointments for happy hour though…

Elvis (well Davy) Has Left the Building

Yesterday we got the official word that Davy has been transferred from her care center in Durame to her final care center in Addis. This means things are progressing with the adoption. Holt has received the court decree, her birth certificate has been issued, and we have filled out the paperwork for her to be submitted to the US Embassy for the final leg of this journey.

I am feeling a little sad though. I know this move is a good thing, but Davy has lived at the care center in Durame since she was a few days old. It was her home she was truly loved and obviously very comfortable there. I hate the idea of having to get used to a new place, and then have to get used to us. Some of our other court friends kids have also been moved, so at least she won’t be alone.

I wonder if they will know to call her by her nickname there. If they will know how to make her laugh in the same way the nannies in the south could make her giggle. Looking back at the photos from our trip you can see that Davy (while amused and tolerated us) really became the most animated when she was in the arms of the nannies. I love that. I don’t think I told them how much I appreciated them loving our girl. I think I tried, but the words came out garbled and a little weepy. We are going to make some prints of these photos and give them back to the nannies when we go for the second trip. It is a small token of our appreciation for all the work that they do.

So here we are waiting waiting waiting again. My patience is much more challenged this time. I came home and frankly got a little depressed. I called it African Sleeping Disease, but really I am just ready to get started with this next part of our lives. My various temp jobs, while excellent time killers- are not holding my concentration. I find myself becoming a little surly and impatient. Who wants to file when I need to be holding my girl in my arms. Really it’s not much of a competition.

So this is a bit of a whiny blog post. I am so excited that things are progressing. Again, I am learning to breath, be patient; trust that Davy is coming home. People ask how long it takes. I have been saying “how long is a piece of string” there is no answer. It could take a month, two months or six months. Typically it’s between 8-12 weeks. Time feels like it is moving slowly, then she will be here and we won’t have time to do anything.

In the mean time Andy and I have been getting her room ready. At first I had this idea to do a funky robot girl themed room. We both love science fiction and I thought it was a cute idea. BUT after meeting our beautiful, giggly sweet girl- we changed our minds. Davy is more like a woodland creature. We keep saying her face reminds us of an owl- so we are going to do something softer. Not sure exactly yet-something sweet and full of whimsy. We will figure it out. That is a good kind of problem to have. There is something magical about getting to meet your kid and then figuring it out. That is just one of the teensy tiny miracles of adoption.