Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Three beautiful hours of sleep

We're leaving in two hours.

I am not ready.

I have everything I need. Good traveling companions. Open heart. Arms waiting to hug me.

It's the paradox of life on earth - not ready, and yet, able. Amazing adaptable human beings.

It's the biggest love journey I have ever been given. Everything I've ever experienced has prepared me for this. This one journey.

I am breathing. I am being. I am shining light. I am love in motion.

Peace, peace, peace.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In memory

Haregewoin Teferra

Here is her story.

But, if you really want to be inspired to live your best life, read There is No Me Without You by Melissa Fay Greene. This book will teach you the history of Ethiopia, the history of HIV/AIDS, but best of all, the story of this gracious woman who thought all was lost when her daughter died, but then went on to love and provide for many, many orphaned children.

This is a great loss. I trust she is now dancing in Heaven with her beloved daughter.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Put your hands in the air!

So... I can't really believe how long my to do list is. Seriously, I am the mistress of lists. I make lists like nobody's business. With my lists, I can figure out how to get things done that can't be done. So, I am kinda surprised that there are all these things I could have done before we passed court that aren't done yet and now I have to do them along with all of the things that I can do and need to do now that we have passed court. How did I let this happen?

Well, it has something to do with the long, slow climb. You really can't tell when you are climbing the hill how long it is going to take to get there. You can guess, but you just don't know. And, more importantly, you have NO IDEA just how fast you are going to go down the other side... you think it is going to be a hill like the one you are climbing, but it turns out to be steeper and higher and - MAN - this is fast.

When we first saw the picture of our kids, I thought maybe we could go to Ethiopia to pick them up in December. Before the first court date, I thought we would be traveling in early March. Then because it was a WHOLE two months between the first court date and the second, and I really wasn't convinced we would pass the second time, I just really couldn't put my effort into getting ready to travel in MAYBE late March. Because it could just as easily have turned out to be MAYBE late June, or even August... or goodness what if we didn't pass court before the annual closing of court for two months... then we wouldn't travel until November! So, it was hard to motivate.

We did the big things... we got our shots, and we worked on the house, but there are all kinds of little things I half-heartedly started and now I wish they were already done. I wish I had gotten them done during all that time I spent waiting and waiting. One problem was it is hard for me to motivate other people to do something for me that I know needs to be done without giving them a deadline, like this needs to be done by Friday. I couldn't honestly tell them it needed to be done by a certain date, because it could have been two months down the line... not very motivating. So much of the adoption process is about getting other people to produce or process a piece of paper for you. For instance, the forms I filled out in December and sent to the board of education to tell them I am bringing three kids home, and they will need to be in the school that has ESL every day.... those three forms? Lost. They probably landed in someone's pending box after that saw that there was no for-sure date on when it had to be processed. And now, they are lost.

Luckily, I am the Queen of No Form Left Uncopied and all I have to do is make copies of my copies and send them. Unfortunately, I am not the Queen of Putting Every Paper in Its Place, so it might be easier for me to re-do it then to find the forms....

Anyway, it was the most frantic sort of waiting. Not just sitting back, waiting for the movie to start waiting. More like, Oh My Gosh, when is The Show going to go on? I know, I just mixed the theater metaphor in with the roller coaster metaphor, but dang it, I have never been on a roller coaster that had me as frantic as I was waiting to pass court (and I'm a pretty patient person) but I have been in a show that I needed to absolutely get to the part where the curtain opens or I was going to puke. That's the kind of waiting I am talking about.

Speaking of the theater, because I didn't know how long we were waiting, I purchased tickets for a performance of Hamlet that is being shadow interpreted. Today. At 2 pm. So, I need to go. Even though I should be filling out immigration forms right now.

I'm not complaining, just noticing. Because, I have to tell you.... it is SO much fun rolling down this big hill!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Konjo means beautiful

WE PASSED COURT!!!!!!!!!!!!

As we say here in West Virginia:


Meet our konjo kids:

Abel, Helen, and Rediet

More later..... I got peeps to call! And a huge TO DO list that just kicked out of Waiting Mode and into Active Mode.

Thank you ALL for your prayers and vibes and love and encouragement!


Note: scroll down and pause the playlist before you press play on the video.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Unfortunately, adoptive parents cannot resort to Pitocin

Can I just say that this week is C.R.A.W.L.I.N.G? Never have I awakened so many times in one week thinking it is Thursday. No, maybe it is the day before Thursday. Seriously, at this moment, I don't even know for sure that it is Wednesday today because I have so wanted it to be Thursday. Even when I was a know-it-all third-grader one day insisting it was Thursday when it was really Wednesday and no-one could convince me otherwise, not my teacher and not even my mom... even that was only one day of that one week. Not four days waking up knowing it is Thursday. Crawling, I tell you.

I can't write here about all the reasons I might choose to worry about my court date not working out the way I want it tomorrow (in Ethiopia, that is tonight). I can tell you I have done everything in my power to have things prepared and ready and complete. I think maybe everything will be in place, and the judge will say Yes, and declare Laird and I parents of these three kids we already love in an unbelieveable way. But I also think maybe the judge will want something more, and say: here, have another court date two months from now, they're delicious. (argh) My question is how does one visualize success while simultaneously bracing for a longer wait?

It turns out this is something that is not in my hands.

So... I figured out this is my labor experience. I thought maybe it would be the big exhausting 24-hour trip over there, but now I think this is it. It is like a very long labor, the due date for which has changed many times, after a 16-month-and-counting pregnancy.

Art by Mara Friedman

I've done labor before. I've done "I have no idea if this if for real" labor. I've done three weeks of Braxton-Hicks contractions wondering if this is it labor. I've done totally prepared everything in place home birth with medical back-up friends on call totally ready for labor waiting. I've been through the mountain and valley marathon experience that is called labor and birth. Three times. I know what this is. This is where I have to hand my life over, and trust the people around me to take care of me during one of the most significant events of my life.

In my personal I Can Do It, Just Do It, Gotta Do It world, this is one of those moments when I have to NOT do it.

Just. Hand. It. Over.

Sure, I've got some power over my attitude and my viewpoint. But really, I am pretty helpless. This is just one of those wonderful growth opportunities in which I have virtually no power (at this point) to affect a very important event in my life. I did my research, I carefully picked my care provider (my awesome agency), and I got everything together to be ready to "birth" these babies. And now, I have to hand myself over to my caregivers and the universe. This is labor. I can't control how fast it happens, or how much pain I experience, or whether there will be complications, or how those complications are handled. I can only breathe, and know that this family will be born.

It's especially hard because there is nothing physical about it. My body is not tuned by millions of years of evolution to totally take over during this momentous event and completely get my attention in a way that makes me Let Go. This is Adoption! It's all Inside, down at the core, there is nothing physical about it right now, except that my eyes can look at this picture of these kids who want nothing more than they want to be part of a family who will take care of them and protect them and love them like the very special people they are.

So, I am taking notes. I know the energy it is taking right now to trust that everyone who has anything to do with this thing that is SO important to me and my husband and my kids is doing a good job. I know how much faith and hope it is taking me to believe that people are working in my children's best interest. It is an exhausting task trusting people I barely know. I need to remember this when my kids are home and working hard to build trust in their new parents. They are waiting now, not having any control or knowledge about when they will come here. They are looking at a picture of us with all kinds of hope in their hearts. They probably have no conscious idea of how they will be using a lot of energy putting their trust in us for the first months to years of their life with us.

Anyone know where I can plug in my trust-and-optimism energy pack for re-fueling? Let's see, what did I do when I was in labor? Oh yeah, I need to hold my sisters' hands. I need to look into my husband's eyes. I need to moan from the deepest part of me, and know I am loved, and know I Can Do This.

Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers--strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.
Barbara Katz Rothman