Thursday, June 28, 2007

Traveling

So, of course one of the first things we had to do after getting a travel date was to book tickets. Oh. My. So, it happens that we are traveling at the "height of heights" for traveling to Ethiopia. Therefore, ticket are about $600-$1000 more expensive per ticket than they would otherwise be. Not that we aren't willing to pay the price... But, playing with dates with booked up flights is a not-so-fun game to play. We will also be traveling approximately 5 days early to play in Ethiopia, and are looking at tour packages so we can make the most of it. On the 27th of July we'll meet Ms. Nerys and the fun begins!

On Saturday, we'll be able to play with and stay with Nerys all day. On Sunday, we will travel South to Hosanna, where will hopefully be able to meet birth family who live in the area. This is a 4-5 hour journey that begins at 5:00am. We drive down, meet the family, tour the facilities, and then hop back in the Land Rover and head back to Addis Ababa. On Monday, we have another day to play with Nerys. On Tuesday, we head to Embassy to apply for her visa. On Wednesday we have the opportunity to travel within Addis and do some shopping. However, if we already get to that in the days before we meet her, we'll probably skip this and go to AHOPE or stay with Nerys for the day. On Thursday, we do some playing with Nerys, and then participate in the Good Bye ceremony. On Friday, we'll stay with Nerys, and head out on Saturday, August 4th to come home. I'm probably missing some details, but it appears this is how things work.

So, yesterday and today have been filled with booking flights, purchasing necessities, organizing donations (HAVE SOME??? LET ME KNOW!), and making mini-lists of what to pack. This weekend means getting painting done inside the house, organizing and getting ready to move rooms around. ahhhhh... so much to do with a baby on the way.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Travel Date, Travel Date, Travel Date!!!!

Houston, we're outta here! The view here from Cloud 9 is quite lovely.

We're leaving to meet and bring home Ms. Nerys on July 27th! WoHOO!!!

Sarah

ps we'll post pictures as soon as she is through court-- next week!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Welcome!

Welcome to week 6 of waiting for a travel date! Terry and I have agreed that this week (or next) could be the week. Every week we wait, we realize our date to travel moves out. We were so hoping to meet her and bring her to her forever home in July, but now we are thinking August. So many people who received their referrals at the same time we did got their travel date today. When our phone didn't ring, I cried. I hope this week is the week for us.



I had a most magnificent baby shower on Saturday! Little Nerys is going to be an extraordinarily fashionable girl! Pink, purple, yellow, flowers, ruffles and lace will adorn Nerys for at least the first year in her forever home. Bowls, spoons, and a high chair will ensure that her tummy is full for the rest of her life; may she never again feel the aches of hunger she experienced as an infant. Gift certificates that were given at the shower went towards cloth diapers to settle soft against her skin.

Now is the time when I have begun collecting donations for the care center, and AHOPE in ernest. So far we have some clothing for the children and infants at AHOPE. I hope to collect many of the medical necessities they have asked for, including antibiotic creams, dressings/bandages, Mylecon, etc. JB and Daddy-o are looking for some of the more obscure medical items. If anyone has ins to the medical community (doctors) who are willing to donate prescription IV's, please let me know and I will email you the list. The medications here are so much more reliable than over there. Also, if you are interested in donating clothes, etc., let me know and I can send you a list of "needs". You can also let me know if you'd like your donations to go to AHOPE or the CHSFS care center.

Thank you to all for your love and support as we wait...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Still waiting...

Well, no news is still not good news. Somehow in the adoption world this seems to ring true! No travel date yet, so we continue to wait patiently. I know the week isn't over, but I sure wish the phone would ring with a travel date.

On the other hand, I am feeling so unprepared that sometimes I do hope that it won't ring quite yet! It's horrible, I know. On one hand, with new pictures of her staring at us each day and night, we are just itching to get out of here and meet her. Sometimes, on the other hand, the weight of the whole thing does seem overwhelming somehow. I find myself at times being singularly overwhelmed, nervous and overjoyed. Stressed, relaxed, anxious and calm. Who knew it was possible to feel all of these things at once?

How will we feel when we first get to Addis Ababa? When our little Nerys is first handed to us to hold and meet? Will she cry? Will she be unresponsive? Will she smile or laugh? I know there is no predicting, no looking into the the future to see what it holds for us. Sometimes these thoughts overwhelm me and I cry. So, we enter further into the realm of the unknown, blind in so many ways to what our next weeks, months and years will hold. And, still we wait for this day when we officially meet baby Nerys, the greatest addition to our family.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

New Pictures!

We got new pictures of Nerys yesterday. She is being held by the doctor looking for all the world like she would like to crawl away. The doctor is smiling and according to all accounts she is very bonded to them, and they care about her very much. CHSFS staff said the doctors love her and that they check on her very frequently.

We would not have recognized Nerys without the new pictures. While she is still quite small, she has gained a remarkable amount of weight. You can barely see her two little front teeth in the picture... so cute! So, we now have 3 total pictures of little Ms. Nerys, and she is a cutie. We hope to be able to share them with you very soon.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

And Counting...

Not that anyone who lives in this house is anal retentive or anything, but we did a little (accidental) figuring. As it turns out T and I received our referral almost exactly 4 months to the day and HOUR of our officially waiting day. We finally turned in the last piece of notarized paper on January 18th at about 3:30pmish (alloneword). I got an email shortly thereafter proclaiming our "officially waiting" status. On May 18th, at about 3:45 pm I got the official referral phone call. How weird is that? This made our referral wait within minutes of being exactly 4 months. Ahhh, isn't it fun to run useless numbers? It's one of those things we have time (okay not actually) to ponder as we wait for a travel date. For those of you who believe in fate, or the hand of God, or acts of mother nature, you could say our referral was meant to be. For us, it was pretty gosh darn cool.

Now, I'm wondering if we can get a travel call at 3:45pmish on June 18th for our travel date?! Wishful thinking 101. It should be a class. I can teach.

ps. we are expecting new photos of Terefech Nerys any day now. I'm hoping for Friday!!! And, I might be a little, teeny-tiny, eensy-weensy bit excited to see them.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Big Day(s)

The June 15th deadline for referrals is coming up quickly at CHSFS. This is the date when, if you don't have a referral yet, you most likely are NOT going to get one until September/October, after the Ethiopian courts open again. For those at the top of the infamous list, this date brings hope, dread, anxiety, and fear. Today there were 6 referrals... infants, siblings. What a tremendous day on the forum, and the joy was overwhelming. I cried as I read the first. If we hadn't gotten, or accepted, the referral for little baby Nerys, we would still be waiting and just now getting to the top of that list. We would be fretting, nervous and anxious wondering we were going to "make it" before the long wait arrived.

Tonight I think about those families so close to the top and hope that they hear about their little bundle(s) of joy before the 15th. Tonight, my heart goes out to them, as I know we would now be in this position if it weren't for our stroke of fate bringing Nerys to our home, our family, our lives, filling a niche that I have long had.

Soon, another group of families will be leaving the United States. Their destination? Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Soon, people I have never met will be amongst the first to meet our little girl. I am jealous they are off to meet their little ones. I am even jealous they will get to meet our little one before we do! Silly things, I know. Unfounded? Yes, of course. But, nevertheless, these are some of my feelings lately as we wait for our travel date. Sometimes the urge to say "Screw it" and buy a plane ticket if only to be with her while we wait for the legal courses to have their way, is overwhelming. Ah, but I know I must wait patiently as so many others before me have.

So, I will continue on with our wait: Hoping for those so near the top, celebrating others immense joy, grieving for my own sense of loss as we wait to travel to Nerys.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Entering Week 4

Believe it or not, we are entering our fourth week of waiting to travel. The baby registries are created, the first baby shower scheduled and a greater sense here that we are about to be parents.

A great surprise this weekend was that we got an update on Nerys. One of the representatives from CHSFS emailed from Ethiopia to tell us that she met our little one! She said Nerys smiles, plays and laughs, and that she has a new photo for us when she returns! I am on pins and needles to see her again. The photo we have now (we think) is one from her very first days at the care center in Addis. It was so wonderful to hear that she is doing well, is being cared for so well. CHSFS says the doctors at the Care Center are very attentive to Nerys and check on her frequently.

It is so difficult to get these little updates on Nerys and not be there with her. Oh, we wish we could hop a plane and get her now. Alas, we know we must continue to be patient before we pick her up. I feel guilty we will be taking her away from the people and environment she has been growing up in. No doubt she has bonded and formed a relationship with her caregivers, and it will be so difficult to take her away. These are the downsides of adoption...

Monday, June 4, 2007

So, When Do You Travel?

We wish we had the answer! The minimum number of weeks to travel is about 8, although CHSFS automatically tells you about 12. Dates for travel are highly dependent on the court system and how quickly things are mediated through. We are hoping the wait is closer to 8 weeks, since we would like to meet our little one. We look at her picture quite frequently and imagine what she is like. Yes, we are speculating all about her personality based on one little picture.

The first baby shower is on June 24th. We have had quite a bit of fun registering at Target and Babies 'R Us. Guessing as to her size though is quite difficult! Thankfully, there are return policies and we hope we've guessed close enough (on the big side!) to not have to do too much of that returning stuff :) We are excited to put together her room and add clothes and toys to her own little space.

As I was writing this, we got an updated on little Ms. Terefech/Nerys. Over the last month she has gained 1/2 lbs and grown 1 centimeter. Our baby girl is growing up without us... On an unselfish note, we are happy she is growing, gaining strength and doing well at the care center!

Addis Ababa Time