Monday, July 23, 2007

Are We There Yet?

Not yet. But, we will be in about 30 hours.

Our bags are packed (we think/hope).
The baby room is ready (we think/hope).
Our paperwork is in order (we think/hope).
We have airline tickets to Ethiopia... we KNOW!

So, now that we have one known down, I think we are ready to go. With any luck we'll be able to post while away thanks to D&J. See you soon everyone! When we return, we will no longer be a family of 2, but a family of 3.

Friday, July 20, 2007

3 days... and 1 week

In three days we fly the skies to Addis Ababa, Ethiopa. We have a few days to get over the jet lag, make sure our bags have arrived somewhere in the vicinity of Addis, and take the time to see some of our daughter's beautiful home country. Then, in one short week from today, we get to meet our daughter for the first time.

What will this moment be like? We don't know, but we sure are getting excited about our great unknown. Terefech Nerys will be just short of 14 months old when we meet her. We're not sure how big she is, or if she is crawling yet. We know she is healthy and safe at the Care Center. We'll get to spend about a week with her before we whisk her off to our strange land, an experience that is sure to be frightening for her. We hope we can make her feel safe.

Life as we know it is about to change. She will enter our lives and forever be a part of us. And, like all children point out to us eventually, for better or for worse, we will forever be a part of her.

Monday, July 16, 2007

1 week

.... Until lift off! The 7 day mark has arrived. At this time next week we will be frantically making sure our "stuff" is packed, that we have a way of recognizing our black and blue luggage from the sea of other black and blue luggage. I'll be fretting about whether we have brought the right size clothing... oh, I'm already doing that... so I'll do it some more.

Our flurry of activity continues at Nerys Headquarters. Thank you to SJ, MN, FW, KM and JK and family, who provided Nerys with a load of beautiful and fun toys. JAK test drove the toys and gave his 10 month old approval. The baby shower was lots of fun! Bowling, appetizers, cake, and cajoling :) Baby JAK was a hit, laughing, allowing several rounds of pass-the-baby, and making us all oogle and make funny noises. Soon, our baby will be doing exactly the same thing!

Okay, off to work! I only have 3 days left to be productive and get things done, done, done!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Accomodations

Some things are easier said than done. We are trying to find a hotel to stay at in Addis Ababa for 3 days before we meet Nerys. Hotels are booked up! We have a few emails out to different hotels, hoping to find one that is available for 3 nights in a row. With any luck, we will get good news today... otherwise, I'm not sure what we will do!

But for now, plans are made and I go on parental leave in one week. Just before we leave I will be packing our bags and making sure our paperwork is in order-- and trust me, there is a lot to have in order! All of our vaccinations have been completed (ouch!) and we are now immune to almost everything under the sun. I've made all of Nerys's doctors appointments, gotten instructions on how to collect poo from diapers, and have signed up for her insurance benefits. Last night we put away her clothing, and separated out what comes with us to Addis for food, clothing, diapers, medications, etc. We even started putting together the diaper bag for the plane.

So, I guess now is time to admit I am a parent. I walk into her room and think how strange it is to have a crib, changing table and baby toys in my house. Right now it is clean, neat, orderly, smelling of fresh paint and new linens. Soon, it will be a den of activity and smell of baby: baby poo, baby lotion, baby diapers, baby baby. Soon, she will be walking and running in that room. We'll have bumps and bruises, crying and laughing, sleeping and playing. How scary. How exciting.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Making Every Minute Count

This weekend was a blur. We spent a large part of the week last week finishing up our remodel in the basement, and then cleaning, cleaning, cleaning out. Numerous trips to Goodwill and the dumpster. We've recycled at least one large tree. How does a couple accumulate so much? Well, after that was accomplished it was time to switch-up rooms! We moved downstairs so Nerys could be upstairs.

On Friday, Roobutt came over and drove us to Home Depot (gotta love it there!) and Target (is there a better store, really?). We bought 6 gallons of paint at Home Depot. We bought all the stuff I was "missing" for baby at Target. Just for the record, babies are expensive. Baby/Toddler is more expensive! The unknowns make things, well, astronomically expensive. But, it's all worth it.

On Saturday, Min and I taped and primed and painted the downstairs bedroom. It is now a beautiful buttercream yellow . Kurt came over on Saturday evening to help Terry move things around. 'Round about 10:00 pm Min and FW and I started taping and priming the upstairs bedroom. Goodbye lavendar! At midnight, we wrapped up the show and headed to bed. ZZZZZZZZZ. Up early this morning and Min and FW helped paint Nerys's bedroom pink and brown. Yes, the safari theme is gone replaced by flowers, bees, ladybugs, polka dots and scalloped edges. Terry said there better not be a mix-up :) All is done now. Nerys has a brand new room, with my crib from when I was a little baby. Tomorrow, we'll buy a mattress for the crib and move the dresser up. We'll stock it with all of the wonderful gifts and purchases made. Then, I'll take pictures!

What a weekend. A new house arrangement, a new baby coming and I painted a room pink. Who knew?

Friday, July 6, 2007

It's Official!





Nerys is officially our baby girl! We successfully made it through the Ethiopian courts and are expecting her new birth certificate in the mail within the next 2 weeks!


The second picture is the most recent one we have :) That is the Doctor at the care center, whom she is very bonded to. There were strangers in the room so she is looking a bit hesitent. The first photo is her referral picture, or how we first met her...


As of today, we are officially parents, and baby Nerys has a forever family: Ours.






Thursday, July 5, 2007

Anxiously Waiting

Tomorrow is Nerys's court date... the day that she could officially, legally become our baby girl. A new birth certificate will be issued with our names as father and mother. Simply amazing. If all goes according to plan, we will be able to post a picture of Ms. Nerys this Friday or Saturday. Please cross your fingers and toes, pray or do a happy dance that all goes smoothly and that little Nerys' paperwork makes it through the Ethiopian court system tomorrow...

Thanks!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Fly me to the moon

We've finally booked flights! Wow! International flight booking is not on my top ten list of things to do again. Apparently we have the honor of flying at the height of the height of travel to/from Ethiopia, thus making it difficult to get on board a flight. Our travel agent, Scott, says that money solves all flight problems...you can fly first class! But money hurts! We managed to not spend first class money to get there and back :)

Terry and I are still trying to decide the what we should "do" when we get to Ethiopia on a Tuesday. One day, we think, will be needed for jet-lag recovery. We're not sure if we will take a day or two to travel north to Lalibela, or south to some other regions. We could also stay in Addis and hit the museums, the markets, etc. Really, we could be there a month and likely not see or do as much as we'd like to.

Talked to little brother C last night. He said, "Are you going to bring me back something Ethiopian?" pause. "Besides my niece, I mean?" LOL. Way to go C.

Addis Ababa Time