Monday, June 27, 2011

A Haiku to the Weather

Days since over eighty?
Two hundred and ninety-six
Bite me, Seattle

OK, enough complaining about the weather. No? You want more haikus? Well, alllll riiiight, if you insist.
(Clearing throat)

An Ode to A Cat
Loping, graceful, sleek
Leaps straight into the glass door
Fellow cats laugh, point

(I swear they were laughing. I coulda made millions on Youtube).

Saturday, June 25, 2011


We are now a whole three months into The Wait. They've actually passed pretty quickly--here's hoping the rest of the journey does as well!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Concert Weekend

We had a very fun weekend hanging out with friends in eastern Washington, at a Tim McGraw concert (also featuring Luke Bryan and The Band Perry). The concert was at The Gorge, an amphitheater outside of George, Washington (yes, that's right), that has this view from the cheap seats:

So we had an incredible night listening to music and hanging out--it was one of those concerts where everyone stands up and sings along the entire time, which was awesome.

And we camped in the warm sun right on the Columbia River--away from the whippersnappers camping at the concert venue itself. We are far too old (and sober!) for that. :-)

Beautiful and fun!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Input on Adoption/Parenting Resources?

Before I start this post:  Blogger has gotten wonky on me again--if I haven't commented on your blog lately--it won't let me if there isn't an Anonymous or Name/URL option--not sure why and it's really annoying, but there you have it.  I want to, just can't!!  OK, back to regular programming:

We are using this waiting period as an opportunity to accomplish things that I know we won’t be able to once children (finally!) come into our lives--things like attempting to live on one income (umm, not sure about that one—gah!) and reading, reading, reading about adoption, Ethiopia, raising children, etc.  Would love input from others on the best adoption resources/childrearing resources out there—what has really worked for you, and what has not?  Our library is fairly scanty at this point, but I’d love to expand it in a meaningful way.  And I’m not just thinking adoption, although of course that’s a major focus, but also looking for other books or resources that are especially effective. 
What we have:
Parenting the Internationally Adopted Child, by Patty Cogen
Adoption After Infertility, by Patricia Johnston
20 Things Adopted KidsWish Their Adoptive Parents Knew, by Sherrie Eldridge
E is for Ethiopia, by Ashenafi Gudeta, Ataklti Mulu, Betelhem Abate and Dama Boru
And, well, that’s about it.  Oh, and I just got a subscription to Adoptive Families magazine.  I’m thinking that at some point we should get something along the lines of What to Expect the First Year, but not just yet.  
Other ideas?  Children’s books?  Ethiopian history books?  Parenting books?  Baby cookbooks?  Websites?  Music?  Childrearing apps?  (ok, just kidding on that last one—sort of). 
Anyhoo, any input would be appreciated. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Choices, Choices, Choices

At this point in time, we are staying the course with an adoption from Ethiopia.  Yet many folks are not, and with good reason.  Movement seems to be toward Taiwan (a new service through our agency), Democratic Republic of Congo (not through our agency), or foster-to-adopt.  There are pros and cons to each program, and we have been seriously weighing each one.  I’ve often said throughout our journey to build a family that I wish I had a crystal ball to see what the future looks like, and I’ve never wanted one more than now.  It is entirely conceivable that a year from now, when we are actually getting close on The List, that the program shuts down.  Or speeds up.  Or proceeds with Hague certification.  Or changes the medical policy. Or, or, or—the list is endless.
We could change programs.  It would cost more, we would have to potentially research and meet with new agencies, redo our homestudy, and get many dossier documents revised.  But we are paperwork machines, I’m telling you, so this is not enough to dissuade us.  Yet, again, this is not a guarantee of anything different from where we are in this moment.  Or maybe it is—I’m just not sure.  I really, really get why people are leaving the program—if I had more cajones, I would probably push it as well.  I am terrified of the thought of us being forced to make a change down the road, and knowing we had  a chance to now and didn’t.  And I’m equally terrified that we jump into a program that goes through similarly difficult times as Ethiopia, and regret our decision.  We are two and a half months in to a long, long wait.  Do we jump ship now and move to, say the DRC program, and halve the current Ethiopia wait?  Do we stay the course and hope that things start turning around for Ethiopia?  Do we move to domestic adoption, try embryo adoption?  Raise the preferred age of our child yet again?  These questions, combined with the difficulty an awful lot of families are having getting visas for their children to come home from Ethiopia (after they’ve been legally adopted) is a lot to take right now.
And babies are being born by the bushel all around us and it really increases my anxiety about The Wait.  We keep getting lapped, and that’s frustrating.  We are happy for the families—they are all amazing, wonderful people.  But so are we.   It’s just been a strange week—but maybe people switch programs all the time, and I’m just getting to know more folks through blogging and classes at our agency, so I’m simply noticing it more.  And the fact that it’s Baby Central in Seattle right now highlights our lack of children, and our uncertain future in having any in our house.     
18 months to a referral (minimum—but maybe things will change?  Denial, much?), 12 months before getting a baby home = 2.5 years more of waiting. 
That’s a long time. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Oh, Savannah!

OK, a new favorite: Savannah, Georgia!  I spent a long weekend with an old friend whom I haven't seen in forever, just hanging out in one of the most elegant, beautiful and warm cities in the good old USofA. OK, "warm" is an understatement; it was hot and sultry and gorgeous.  We both absolutely fell in love with Savannah--the culture, the history, the architecture and the, well, pedestrian-friendliness of the place, if that makes sense. 

Nectar of the gods?  Sweet tea.  Oh, my goodness gracious, I'm in love.  I was on a mission to try it and, unlike the McDonalds version (which is pretty grody), I now get it, big time. 

And other random Savannah pictures--I could just not get over the beauty of the city...

Our hotel, The Ziegler House (highly recommended):

Fried green tomatoes and crab beignets (and, of course, sweet tea, sweet tea and more sweet tea):

We had tons of fun in a wonderful city.

I am truly a homebody, though, and these are the faces I missed while gone...

Goose the Cat


Delilah, My Girl


Tripper, My Boy

And, of course...

Oh, yeah. 

Nothing but class round these parts. 

Hands off, ladies, he's allll miiiine.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

State Department Update

In a nutshell:  Slowdowns will continue and we will wait for an eternity.  Awesome.

Notice: Update on adoption case processing by MOWCYA in Ethiopia

The U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia has received information from the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs indicating that processing of cases that received a court summons prior to March 8, 2011 is still ongoing.  This exceeds their estimated 15-20 days to expeditiously process this caseload, as indicated in our April 5 notice.  The Embassy also understands that processing of cases with court summons after March 8 is proceeding at 5 cases per day, and there is no indication that these numbers will increase in the short term.
Prospective Adoptive Parents and parents awaiting final approval of their match from the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs are cautioned to anticipate continued and considerable delays and are encouraged to remain in contact with their agency for updates to their case.