Friday, April 27, 2007

Referral Withdrawal

It has been a hopping few weeks on the CHSFS board. It seems like since Easter weekend there has been at least one referral each day... until this week! My compulsive, obsessive board checking for referrals has been consumately unrewarded. Finally, this afternoon, there was a referral, thus satiating my appetite for baby news. This was a good thing, since I had to go elsewhere to satiate myself-- Once Upon A Baby... where I both got to fake shop (I didn't buy anything!) and look at other people's baby's. Terrible, terrible, terrible.

Needless to say that since we are now in the teens on The List, my cell phone is constantly at my side. No more forgetting that thing at home! I walked out the door and got 90% of the way to work this morning before realizing that I didn't have it with me. I made a U-turn, got back on the freeway, realized I was going the wrong way, took a tour of the clover-leaf system (thanks, DOT for this fun way of turning around), and hauled my butt back home. I ran in the house, grabbed my cell phone, gave my sleepy-eyed, ears-back kitties the I'm-sorry-I-woke-you-up-but-this-was-very-important look and got back in the car. Okay, we're obviously not getting a referral today, but one must be prepared for "what-if".

Here's to high blood pressure and adrenaline.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

AHOPE

As we climb the list for a referral, it has come time to start thinking about donations to the Care Center (run by CHSFS) and AHOPE (www.ahopeforchildren.org), a home for Ethiopian children who are HIV+ or who have AIDS. We would like to bring donations for both. After much discussion, Terry and I would like to seek your assistance in gathering items for the center and for children. Here is a bit more information about AHOPE:

AHOPE: AFRICAN HIV ORPHANS: PROJECT EMBRACE

AHOPE was founded in 1997; they provide housing, education, food, shelter and love to children living with HIV/AIDS in Africa. AHOPE Ethiopia has two children’s homes. A total of 60 HIV positive children are in care. Future plans allow for expansion to a total of 100 children. Both homes are clean and cheerful with areas for outdoor play within their walled compounds. There is a high ratio of staff to children to ensure individualized attention. Schooling is provided on the premises, as the children would be ostracized because of their known HIV status if they were sent to a public school.

Here is their current list of needs and number of children in care:

girls ages 0-1 1
boys ages 0-1 2
girls ages 2-4 10
boys ages 2-4 11
girls ages 5-7 10
boys ages 5-7 9
girls ages 8-13 15
boys ages 8-13 29 87 kids total

They are currently seeking donations of:

Eye drops Anti fungal for oral thrush Benadryl for allergic reaction
De-worming agents taken orally Oral Suspension Ibuprofen Antiseptic and Pain reliever
Savlon Antiseptic Benzalkonium Chloride towelette Antiseptic Instant Hand sanitizer Burn cream Poison Ivy Cleanser Povidone Iodine USP Prep Pad Plasil drop Infants Mylicon Gloves Digital thermometer Bandage (roll) Sterile dressing gauze (packed)
Cold compress (Hot compress) Pack which is reusable Cough syrups

Gas ReliefHyopan (Hyosine Syrup)
Hyosine tabletsCloxacillin 125 mg/5ml syrup
Cloxacillin 250 mg/5ml syrup

1. Cotton diapers
2. new/gently used kids shoes
3. kids' underwear and pj's (like sizes 6mos. to 12/14)
4. antibacterial lotion
5. rubber gloves
6. simple English books for the new library
7. balls, simple games/puzzles (that don't require language knowledge)
8. arts and crafts supplies

If you are able to contribute even one small item, please let me know!!! If we can't carry it all, there are others who can and will. Please contact me via email at sarasolace @ hotmail. com (no spaces) and we can arrange for me to pick them up or for you to ship them :)

We can't thank you enough for your consideration and thoughtfulness. We look forward to spending time at AHOPE, visiting with the children and providing them with gifts.

Sarah

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Moving on Up!

Well, I thought it would take much longer than this, but we have moved into the teens on The List. Preparations have begun over here! I bought a fun, bright book that holds pictures to send to Ethiopia when we receive our referral. It was so exciting to find it!

Also, I have started to prep folks at work, and our subcontractors that I will not be available during most of the summer. Of course, I always add that none of this is written in stone, but that we are hoping that we'll be traveling to meet our baby on July or August. Terry is nearly done with the bathroom, which means tiling has commenced! It looks amazing and we are excited to have this new bathroom done. Next, we'll have to build a closet downstairs to create a new second bedroom.

I have continued my fake shopping, but it is now punctuated with real shopping, for little baby Coleman. Having a baby seems so much more real now. I grow anxious for the day when we have a little one around. I can't wait for all the little smiles, comforting our little one in the confusion that is about to ensue; even changing diapers, making bottles and giving little baby baths sounds like a nice change of pace. I'm sure I'll recind this part later ;) My books-for-baby collection is steadily growing, as I'm quite sure I can't screw this part up! I can't wait to read books to him or her and cuddle up on the couch. Ahhh, I'm sure my romantic notions of parenthood will soon be vanquished, but until then, I will continue to live in my fantasy parenting world and hope for the best.

So, I end hoping for a very few weeks left for waiting and pondering.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Ethiopians for Ethiopians

The StarTribune published a great article about the Ethiopians for Ethiopians class that takes place at the Ethiopian Evangelical Church in St. Paul. Please take the time to read the article and view the slideshow about the wonderful activities and support from the Ethiopian community. There are also some links regarding the rise of adoptions from Ethiopia. We are overjoyed at the support, education and love from the Ethiopian Community in Minnesota for this amazing adoption process. What a joy to join this group!!!

Terry has been learning Amharic and going to classes for several weeks; I went last week for the teaching of the Coffee Ceremony. For those who aren't aware, Coffee is native to Ethiopia and originated there.

http://www.startribune.com/389/story/1102309.html



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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Oh, how things change

Tomorrow is the day I am supposed to register for classes for the summer. Fearing I would take too many classes, or not enough classes, I decided to email CHSFS and find out if I should plan for the best or plan for the worst. I got an email from KB who said there were 20 (!) referrals last week and that we were definitely moving up the list. Further, she said, she could pretty much say that we were going to make it through court!!!! That means baby Coleman should be in our arms within the next 4-5 months or so.

Today, I checked our bank account (thanks, Wellsfargo for up to the minute posting!!) and found that our in-country checks were cashed!! This is good news, as I believe it means that things have been translated and that all of our paperwork, or dossier, have safely arrived in Ethiopia and are close to being ready to process.

Also, we have hit the 3 month mark for waiting. For those of you keeping track, take a peak at the bottom of this page and it will tell you how many days, hours, minutes and seconds we have been waiting.

Of course, none of this is guaranteed or written in stone, but I am optimistic that sometime in July or August, we should be meeting our little one. What an amazing thought.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Hee, Hee, Hee, hoooooooo!

The labor pains have begun! Okay, not physically. But, today there were even more referrals and the more I looked (obsessively) the more I realized that this meant our name was moving up, up, up the list! As of today, when the list is re-done, we will be at number 24 or so! I can't believe we went up so quickly. I think I need to knit more. Or study. Or something.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

I Think This is Called...

Nervousness! There were an amazing six referrals in the last couple of days. Suddenly, after no action on "The List", we have jumped from number 33 to number 27! Oh. My. Gosh!

After all this time... I think I am getting nervous? scared? oh.my.gosh! The last 3 months (okay, minus 5 days) have been easy. Really. Seriously. Easy. Yes, I check the CHSFS forum too often. Yes, I do look at least once a week at the sacred List. Yes, I do fake shopping almost everyday. Yes, I've been knitting too many baby hats. But, really, this last 3 months (minus 5 days) have been a cakewalk. Now, now, it is starting to feel real! Is it possible that in the next 6 months there will be a baby in our house? Is it really possible that 2 will be flying to Africa and 3 will be returning? Can it possibly be true that my dreams of mommyhood are about to be realized??

Someone tell me these feelings are normal and expected and something that everyone, or almost everyone, goes through during the last stages of pregnancy or adoption...

Monday, April 2, 2007

The Window Moved!

Word has been passed down that the waiting period has now gone from 4-6 months for an infant, either gender, to 5-7 months. I know that only moves the window a little bit, but sometimes a little bit counts! Judging by the recent list on CHSFS, it appears we will now be expecting a referral at about 6 months rather than at 5 months. I am guessing that June will now be our referral month. There are many implications to this.

A little factoid about Ethiopia: Their courts and government system pretty much shut down for 2 months of the year. They do this because of the rainy season and for religious holidays. This year is particularly big for them because it is their millenial new year (the year 2000). The courts generally close in July and August or August and September, but no one ever really knows what the official close and open dates are for the closure. CHSFS generally stops giving referrals for adoptions in July because the adoption referrals will not make it through the courts. This means, if you received a referral in July or August, you would not travel until November or so, until your child's case could be heard in court. Needless to say this would be painful for so many families. The risk for us is that now that adoptions are taking longer to get through the courts, even if we received a referral in June, we may not make it through the system and be unable to pick up our baby until late this Fall. As Terry would say, this is the worst case scenario, but I figure I might as well prepare for it now! Here's hoping this is not the situation that will befall us.

On the upside, the baby shopping (the real kind!) has begun! On Saturday, Terry and I bought a B.O.B. Stroller at REI. The BOB Revolution is very nice, as we can take it off-roading (yes, yes, the baby might go off-roading) or to the mall. This is our first official baby purchase together and it was very fun to give the stroller a test-run inside the REI store. We pushed, pulled, turned, and did wheelies with the stroller in order to test its effectiveness and judged it worthy of baby carrying. It is also easy to collapse and set up, isn't overly heavy and did I mention it can go off-roading? The kitties have not yet test-driven The BOB, but I believe they will get their opportunity one day.

So, for all of you asking where we are at, if there is more news, there is, but it isn't overly positive! We are still waiting (patiently!) for our referral, and haven't moved on that darn list at all! As my friend FW said, "Maybe your baby isn't born yet!" Here's to hoping she's right and thanking her for seeing the silver lining. Thanks, FW :)

Addis Ababa Time