Saturday, April 19, 2008

Wake Up Call

Good Morning! I got up early. I was lying in bed thinking of my first trip with our Ethiopian kids to the grocery store. Yes, I know, this won't happen for at least another 7 or 8 or 9 months. Yes, I know, there are so many things that need to happen before that. Like our homestudy being approved. Our basement being finished. Our kids' visas coming through. The impossible task of picking our children out of the many waiting kids. Our whole complicated dossier being prepared. Not to mention, passing court and getting on a plane. Yes, I could be thinking about what could go wrong with any and all of these processes, and coming up with solutions. But, my brain has latched on to a scene in the brand new OMG Kroger we have in town - yes, the largest Kroger on the East Coast was built here in the heart of Appalachia. The one I said I would never go to because of the way the Development of that particular piece of land went down.... destroying the beautiful green hills I used to drive past with my head out the window on the way to work. (Thank goodness, the community did prevent it from becoming a super Wal-Mart.) I am speaking of the new Kroger I didn't want to go to because I shop locally-owned, small stores and co-ops and such. Alas, I stopped in one day. Curiousity, you know, and what it does to my inner cat.

I was literally jumping up and down in the aisles. Okay, so I am easily impressed by large sections of whole and organic food products. And sushi chefs. And huge areas filled with fresh produce. What I really loved was the whole, gigantic Fact of all this Organic and Natural becoming part of the Mainstream. And then I discovered the big aisle of Ethnic Hair Care products. (Well, for this town, it's a big aisle.) Which I will need to buy for my new kids. Which brings me to the scene I was mulling over this morning.

It looked like this: My three kids who speak little English and have never been in an OMG store of any kind - though they have been through Dulles Ariport by this time - come with me for their first trip to the OMG Kroger. We start out in the produce section. At this very early point in my mind's meanderings, I realize I am going to need certain phrases in Amharic. Like "stay near me" and "we'll eat this when we get home" and "please come back." Oh my, what if they get lost from me? And, let me tell you, this is entirely possible in this store, where my son doesn't really want to go because it is so far from one end of the store to the other. My 23-yr-old son. My formally Army son. Then I think, first thing, I will take my new kids over to the info desk, and introduce them to the helpers there in case they get lost. And I realize I'll need Amharic phrases such as "Come here if you can't find me and ask for help," "If you can't find me, give the person here the paper in your pocket" (which of course, in my dreams, I have already filled out with all our names and cell numbers and, of course, in my dreams, my cell is fully charged) and "If you can't find me, find another mommy with kids and ask for help." Here, I picture myself signing HELP because, of course, Laird and I have totally followed through with our plan to learn sign language along with all the Amharic words and phrases that we no doubt learned by our trip to Ethiopia.

Oh, help. At this point, I can't take the scene in my head anymore, and I get up to write down all the words and phrases we will need as the new parents of two or three young, bewildered, overwhelmed, wonderful little people new to this crazy, over-the-top OMG culture in America.

It'll be alright. Really. No problem. Or in Amharic, chigger yeh-LEM.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Keep Moving Forward!

Spring is here and we are rolling!

We have officially sent our application in to our homestudy agency! Wooo hooooo!!!

Here is our Adoption To Do list up to our next Wait Time:
Finish paperwork for homestudy and send to AFS.
Set up appointment for first homestudy visit.
Finish I-600A application and send.
Finish gathering papers for AAI and send.
Do Hague training (AFS requirement).
Watch Attachment training dvd and take test (AAI requirement).
May: homestudy visits.
~ Wait for complete homestudy to be sent to AAI. ~

If we can get it all together AND if the Government Form Fairies are working with us, our approximate travel to Ethiopia will be at the end of this year. This is based on everything I know, so it could be totally off! But, we'll roll with the punches.

By the way, I HIGHLY recommend everyone who is becoming a parent, no matter how, to submit your self to the homestudy process. It is a really great way to get ready on every level for the important work of parenting. Seriously. I think everyone should do it. I think the world would be a much better place for children - and all of us - if EVERYone who parents would first put thoughtful, honest energy into convincing experts that they are mentally, financially, and logistically READY to be responsible, effective, loving parents.

On the parallel April/May Get the House Ready To Do list:
Finish porch and stairs.
Refinish the common area of the basement into a functional family room.
Sell the South Park lot so we can expand the kitchen!

Carpet and ceiling pull-out party on April 20th. If you have any aggression to focus on a destructive project that will ultimately lead to good, come on by!

Meanwhile, Laird is busybusybusy getting ready for race season and I am filling out lots of government forms at work. Good news is that now I really do know all five of my siblings' birth dates! The above adoption to do list - I'll be working on that myself from now until early May.... speaking of which... Cheat Fest! May 3. Be there!

Also, I am joining Jones United Methodist Church. It is a little church with big-hearted wonderful people. I will add the links to Christopher's blog, and to Meredith's blog. Christopher is the pastor at Jones and two other churches, and Meredith, his wife, is the pastor at two other churches nearby. They are wonderful.

Other news: Ben's working, Shannon's working, Tegan has been awarded a music scholarship for next year at Fairmont State, and Jordan's jumping hurdles and long jumping and running fast for Suncrest Track!

Flowers are blooming!