Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
The clock is now officially ticking in my head.
I think I've reached the point of being aware of each hour ticking by in descending order from 48. The morning brings the biggest rush because 6-8 of them pass by while I snooze.
5am, Sunday morning: woken sharply by the sensation of a colony of butterflies nose-diving into and out of my belly at the speed of light. Waking to such a whirlwind is not fun, especially on a Sunday.
It has now hit me that Wed., 6/30 is THE day. Since being told we have two court dates, my focus has been on 7/14 (the one WE attend if 6/30 goes well). As of Sunday, things have turned 180 degrees. There is so much riding on 6/30 that it makes my head hurt if I think about it too much, so I'm not.
Tomorrow we start our day at 8:30am at the immigration office by updating our fingerprints. I later have two work-events after 6pm which are sure to keep me busy and take me straight into the Wednesday workday which is where I will be in meetings most of the morning. So, in theory, I really only have about 20 minutes to wait for this call.
Yes, I wish it worked like that. I've packed my schedule to the brim through Wed. and have a massage scheduled for Thursday. Whatever the outcome, I'm certain a massage will be in order by then.
I'm really curious to see how this goes. As one of the first families with two court dates, will MOWA (Ministry of Women's Affairs) and the courts be overly meticulous with our file, likely causing a delay? or is there the outside possibility that's already occured because of the new laws, making these final steps continue to move forward with no delays? There is no way to know and that's what makes me resort back to...it makes my head hurt if I think about it too much, so I'm not.
What I will happily think about...
A mom who is currently in Ethiopia and who has visited Baby N multiple times, informed us that his favorite thing right now is bouncing in the jumper! You know, those things that clamp onto a doorway? HA! For some reason I couldn't stop laughing when I heard that, thinking how wonderful it is that he has a jumper. We're getting one asap for him and may pick up a second to take with us when we travel to leave at the care center. If he's getting this much joy from it, then we must pass this along so other kiddies can do the same.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
...we will know if it's time to begin the end of our journey.
Next Wednesday afternoon, say 4pm'ish, I will most likely be very annoying to be around. I'll either be:
a) yapping non-stop with much excitement about meeting Baby N and how much there is to do even though we've had 18 months to prepare or...
b) Bitter Betsy will rear her ugly head
Wed., 6/30 will be a similar scene at work to many days in the past, with phone glued to hand awaiting that magical "817" to appear with news of our next life changing moment. Isn't it crazy? On Wednesday, Belay (in-country rep) will be notifying our caseworker (in TX) with the results of our first court date. If MOWA issued a favorable opinion on our file, we will leave on 7/8 and begin our journey to Baby N for our second court date (7/14) in Ethiopia. If they issue an unfavorable opinion, our agency will let us know what our next step is and approximate wait time.
Pending Baby N's schedule that day, (HA! isn't it great he has a schedule?) we're anticipating a little one-on-one time with him the day before court. We could actually be sitting in the same room with him in 19 days!!! WHOA! The thought of that gives me goosebumps. I really need to compose myself when I see him or he'll have an image of a squealing crazy lady cemented in his head, only to find out she's his mother. Oh my, that's not good.
For those not familiar...under the previous law when families traveled only once, they were traveling AFTER they had passed court, meaning their children were legally theirs. Baby N will not legally be our child on the first visit which means he will remain in the care center while we're in-country and our visit will be limited.
Because of this new structure, I spoke with our caseworker about taking packages for other families and meeting their children on their behalf. During our wait, we've had the luxury of receiving photos, videos and personal updates of Baby N through the generosity of so many traveling families as they bring home their own children. They've also transported our Ziploc baggies of goodies; delivery little pjs, blankets, photo albums, stuffed animals and even audio of us reading to him.
One mother who delivered a package for us described these updates as 'salve for a waiting mom's heart'. Perfect description. We want to ensure we're passing this along when we travel and were comforted to know that even with limited time in the care centers, we'll be able to make it work. If you are waiting and would like us to take a Ziploc goodie bag to your kiddo, email me the following:
Which Care Center
Pix of Baby
Your Name & Blog Name
email to: nydshop at gmail dot com
I'll get back to you with my shipping address.
In closing, I'm sending a huge congrats to those families who recently received their referrals! Your feet will not hit the ground for at least two weeks. I'm also sending positive vibes to those awaiting court dates. Hoping the recent movement continues with court and we see more families get through before rainy season.
Thinking of you all...
Thursday, June 17, 2010
So, the dirt that everyone wants to know...what lies ahead for two-trip families.
- 6/30: MOWA's date to review our file and hopefully issue a favorable opinion. The lapse in time between 6/30 and 7/14 allows some padding for MOWA to gather any additional paperwork or details, should they require it. This (hopefully) ensures all is in order by the time we travel and appear in court on 7/14.
- 7/14: Our day to appear in court (IF the above occurs in a timely manner).
- 7/12-7/19: approx dates in-country for trip #1
- mid-late August: approx timeframe for trip #2 for U.S. Embassy appt and bring home Baby N
We're advised to hold off on purchasing airline tickets until MOWA gives us the final okay on 6/30. Should they need additional time to review our file, say their opinion doesn't come until 7/5, we would most likely still have our 7/14 court date. However, should they close unexpectedly or simply need more time on our file, we would forfeit our 7/14 court date and await a reissue.
Once our adoption is approved and finalized in the Ethiopian courts, we're anticipating a return to pick up our little boy 3-6 weeks later. During this time his court decree, passport, birth certificate and other required travel & immigration docs will be processed. It is required to have all this in order upon our return for our U.S. Embassy appointment in Ethiopia. That trip will also be approximately seven days in-country, solely focused on bonding with our son.
Beause I am convinced to have been a travel agent in a past life, I will most likely be moving forward with purchasing our tickets once I find the perfect deal. Many times a change fee is more cost effective than a new purchase only days before departure. We'll see.
p.s. Did I mention that 6/30 is my grandfather's birthday? Hoping for good stuff.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I'm bursting with excitement and have no idea how I'll sleep tonight. There is movement folks!
Yes, movement for all the other families who now fall under the new law and will travel twice. It's happening and I can't wait to see more court date announcements!
I will post more tomorrow. In the meantime, we'll be falling asleep with big grins and thanking each of you for the amazing support while we waited (and waited) for this next step.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
We're headed out of town tomorrow. I wanted to write a full post before leaving but my to-do list is ever growing and has yet to be touched.
Wishing everyone a great weekend!
2:30pm EST Sat: USA v England
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
1. clean the closets, fix the chip on the bookcase, sort & donate unused items that are taking up valuable space, paint that wall the color you love (not necessarily the one that blends), get the A/C tuned, filters changed, put those lingering photos in books with proper labels and on & on. You see where I'm going with this.
I've started hording recipes that appear to give me more time to play with Baby N when I get home from work and less time focusing on dinner. Kai has been the lucky (*sarcasm*) recipient of my finds. And yes, some have been followed by a quick pizza delivery. But I must say, this is the time to be trying out the new stuff.
a) for the obvious health benefits and...
b) I'm totally serious here...so I can carry this guy around!!!! I was told once that I have 'Rolling Stone arms'. I'm not sure what that means, but it does paint a fairly accurate picture. I'm not a huge fan of the gym but I have ventured into a pretty good place right now and am building up the arms and back strength. The first thing traveling families reference when they report back is Baby N's shockingly large frame. I have taken this report seriously and will be ready :)
BN's babybook arrived a couple of weeks ago and with each agency update, we've begun filling in the blanks. Loving this task! I've yet to begin a life book, but am having fun in the planning stage and researching others' ideas online.
5. packing lists for two trips
This is the fun part because it's a task directly related to bringing BN home! and yes, it includes Excel spreadsheets. :)
I'm writing a private letter to BN that I'll share with him when he's much older.
We've researched daycare centers in our area, which I think I mentioned awhile ago. This is a great thing to do if you live in an area with various options. It's something that needs to be done if you plan on working and it also relates directly to your child, making you feel a strong sense of accomplishment and a little closer to him/her/them.
There isn't enough time to read everything out there that I feel I should. I see various books suggested through different sites and also from what others are reading and I want to read them all! Will I be a little more prepared with each book I read? Who knows??? I do know it's a very productive way to pass the time.
I can't think of any moment in my life that created a complete an undetermined halt of action. As we await a phone call that brings things back into motion, I think...What an opportunity this is to clean life's house! If I was ever the organized fool before, watch out now. No nook or cranny is off limits while I go round and round in this slow dance.
Feel free to add your own tips. I would love to add more to my list and I'm sure others would too.