Thursday, November 27, 2008

Signing off till December 8th

Well friends, this is my last post as a single mama. I'm heading off to Ethiopia tomorrow and will more than likely not be posting while I am gone. It has been a wild a crazy journey up to this point and it is still very surreal to me that tomorrow I fly away as a single woman and come back as a single mama. There is still a piece of me that is not 100% sure that this is really going to happen. Part of my heart is not 100% open to believing that a baby is actually going to be coming home with me this time. My brain KNOWS Sabah will be coming home, but the brain and the heart don't always communicate. I think once I get her in my arms, my heart will finally say "yes, this one is coming home and I can let her completely in". Don't get me wrong.....I LOVE my you wouldn't believe....but when your heart gets broken once, it is so slow to love again like it did's all about protection. But, in a little over 48 hours I will have my little sproutling in my arms and I KNOW my heart will be full again.

I want to thank every single person who has followed my blog and has prayed for me or sent good thoughts my way. The friends that are made while going through this adoption journey has been such a surprised blessing.

I also want to thank my family who has been soooooo supportive through this and is ready to welcome Sabah with open arms. And especially to my mom and sister who are making this journey with me. And dad.....I know you would come if you were physically able.....thanks for letting mom go without you!

So, see you all on December 8th! I'm outta here!!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Updated Agency Picture

My agency sent me another picture of Sabah today. I was really surprised. I didn't think I would be getting any more updates before I left. I am always thrilled to get ANY pictures of her. This is the last time I will see a picture of her in the orphanage baby carrier. And in only 9 days I will be holding this precious little thing in my arms. It is all so surreal.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I knew my blogger buddies would come through

Here is my first try at making a montage:

Thank you Kerri!!!!!!! It was super simple......I don't know why I couldn't figure it out.

For those of you in the know.....please help!

OK, I admit "technical" skills are subpar. I mean, it was a huge step for me to figure out how to set up this blog. But, now I need some help with it. For those of you that post one true media pictures IN your post.....HOW ON EARTH do you do it? I have already made my montauge, and it's saved on my share page (on one true media), but I can't figure out how to actually post it here. I see the clip above to add video, but it is asking to browse my computer for the clip. The montauge is not saved on my computer for me to access it this way. How do I save the clip from one true media to my computer?

Any advise on this would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Donations Galore!

Wow, I just spent the last hour organizing the donations that we're taking to Ethiopia. I succeeded in getting it from looking like this:

To looking like this:We are taking five bins with us, and I can't believe I got everything to fit. In fact I still have a little room left in each one, so I may add some more items. This is what I have stuffed into these bins:
34 pairs of girl shoes
16 pairs of boy shoes
7 pairs of infant shoes
4 soccer balls
10 baseballs
12 boy sweaters
2 boy long sleeve shirts
2 boy sweatshirts
5 boy tank tops
8 girl shirts
4 girl jackets
2 pair girls pants
14 packs girl underwear
10 boy jackets
5 boy fleece jackets
3 packs of jacks
8 decks of cards
17 3pack of hackey sacks
3 umbrellas
4 packs colored markers
4 packs colored pencils
20 spiral notebooks
3 packs construction paper
15 packs of pens
4 packs of highlighters
7 packs of pencils
6 math kits
3 school supply kits
15 pairs scissors
6 packs of flashcards
21 preschool/kindergarten workbooks

PHEW....that's a lot of stuff. We're going to donate some to Sabah's orphanage, but what we would really like to do is to find a small school that gets very little assistance and donate to it. That's our goal anyway.

OK, I'm glad I got this done. It's one less thing for me to stress about. On to the next......

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Fantastic Day

What a beautiful day it was here in Portland. Sunny blue skies, and about 60 degrees. IN NOVEMBER!!!! It was gorgeous. I spent the day with my sister and my nephews (of course). We went to lunch and then went to see Madagascar 2. The movie is set in Africa, and at one point when the characters were talking about Africa, my three year old nephew loudly says to his mom "HEY, dat where you and auntie going". It was so cute.

After the movie I took the boys to the park to play and we had a great time. I love to see how my boys change from day to day. They are both so incredibly sweet, funny, and smart (some times smart asses....they get that from me).

Just when I thought the day couldn't get any better, I got home and waiting for me on my e-mail was EIGHT PICTURES OF SABAH. One of our families from Adoption Avenues just got back yesterday with their two babies (congratulations Andrea and Ryan) and they were able to take some pictures of my beautiful girl. I absolutely can't believe how much she has grown. And how CHUNKY she has gotten. She is so beautiful and I can't wait to go and get her. Only 1 week and 5 days!!!!!!

Here are a few of the pictures (thank you so much S. family for taking these and then e-mailing them so quickly to me).
OK, I know I'm biased, but seriously, is she not just stunningly beautiful? I'm coming for you baby.....soon.....very very soon!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Change of Plans

Well, we aren't traveling to Addis Ababa on December 12th like we had planned (and purchased tickets for). Nope, we are traveling NOVEMBER 28TH!!!!!! That is only two weeks and 3 days away! It was a very pleasant change of plans, but it now has me on anxiety overdrive. My last post stated that I am ready....but in reality, I'm NOT READY. I may be packed, but I have so much to do around the house. And I can't relax enough to sit down and write out a list to start to get organized. I thought I had 5 weeks, but now I have just over two. Again, it's a GREAT change of plans, but it just puts everyting in overdrive.

So, the day after Thanksgiving, the three of us take off. It's pretty much the same exact schedule as before, only on the way back from Frankfurt we travel through Chicago instead of D.C. We will arrive back in Portland on Sunday, December 7th at 8pm. Plenty of time to get settled in and then get ready for Christmas. I CAN'T WAIT.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Surprise Baby Shower

My sister surprised me this afternoon with a baby shower. It was soooooooo totally unexpected (usually I'm pretty good at figuring these things out). In fact, as I pulled up to her house, I saw my friend Renee' walking past my sister's house and I SERIOUSLY thought that she was "just in the neighborhood" and was coincidentally walking by. THEN, I saw that she had a pink gift bag in her hand.....that's when I STARTED to figure things out. Then, I look down the street, and there are two ladies in dresses and head scarves, and I thought to myself "that looks like Kamso". These "ladies" had turned their back to me, apparently tyring to "hide" so I wouldn't see them.....haha, nice try Kamso. It was then that I figured out that there was a party goin on and I was the guest of honor. I felt bad, because I told my sister I would be over at 11:30, but I arrived at 11:00, so they all didn't get to shout out "surprise" as I walked through the door. It didn't matter though, I was so surprised and so touched.

Kamso made the food, and we had an ethiopian feast. It was soooooo yummy with tons of my favorite dishes (I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cabbage/potato/carrot dish and the beets). We played some great games and almost everyone went home with a gift. My sister did a fantastic job. We had a great time laughing over all the times she, or my nephew let the cat out of the bag over the last few weeks. Even my friend Rebecca had a part in it, and we laughed over me finally understanding why she needed Kamso's e-mail (she told me one of her friends wanted to cater and ethiopian party.....I assumed she (her friend) wanted to do that for REBECCA's baby shower as she is adopting two little babes from ET too).

Here are a few pics of the fabulous food we had:

I've never had a surprise party before. It was so sweet and I really had a good time. I got some great stuff too!!!!!!!! ;) Thank you all for coming and being a part of my life and now Sabah's life.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm Ready

I had to get my last Hep A shot today. While I was there, I had the nurse give me a flu shot as well. Might as well take care of EVERYTHING before I go.

Last week, before I actually passed court, I took a gamble and bought our airline tickets at a FANTASTIC rate. Thank you Brady at Golden Rule Travel. You RULE!!! He saved us over $400 per ticket. The only problem was, it was a special and we had to buy them before I actually passed court. If I had failed court, I would have had to pay a hefty fee to change the tickets. But, God is good and I passed court the first time through.

We (my mom, sister and I) are flying Lufthansa. We fly direct from PDX to Frankfurt Germany, where we have ONE HOUR to get off the plane, and run to the next. I sure hope our luggage makes the quick layover. We then fly from Frankfurt to Addis with a quick stop in Sudan. Total travel time is something like 19 hours.

Unfortunately, because we come back soooooo close to Christmas, our travel time on the way back is considerably longer. We leave Addis on Saturday night, December 20th. We fly to Frankfurt with a quick stop in Sudan. We then have a SEVEN HOUR layover. UGH! Then we fly from Frankfurt to Washington D.C. where we have a two hour layover, and then fly D.C. to Portland, were we will arrive Sunday night (Dec 21st) and 9pm. The total trip is something like 30 hours.

I didn't want to fly through Germany, since Ethiopian citizens need to get a transit visa to walk through the airport. So, now I have to spend a day while in Addis at the German Embassy trying to get Sabah her transit visa. I've heard it's a pretty easy process, but it was something I wanted to try to avoid.

So, I'm ready to go. Tickets have been purchased, shots have been given, bags are pretty much packed (I'm a total packing nerd....I will pack and repack about 100 times from now until we leave), and donations have been collected. We are taking 5 18-gallon totes filled with donations to the orphanage. We have one filled with shoes, one with school supplies, one with playground toys, one with sweaters/jackets, and one with underwear. Actually, we still need to fill the underwear tote, so if anyone would like to donate some NEW children's underwear, it would be greatly appreciated.

Now, what to do for the next 5 weeks (and one day) until we leave? Daydream I guess!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Introducing Sabah Isabella

I'm very excited to announce that last night, a judge, 8,000 miles away, approved my petition to adopt Sabah. As of November 4, 2008, she is legally my daughter. I'm filled with so many emotions right now. It has been a long hard struggle to motherhood, and today, that struggle has ended. Today, motherhood begins. Now that she is mine, I'm able to post her picture. So, here are all that I have:

These two are the most recent pictures. She is almost 5 months old

Here she is almost 4 months old

Again, almost 4 months old (my favorite)

These were the first pictures I saw of my little Sprout. She is about two months old here.

Now, I just wait 5 weeks and 3 days until I can go and get her. Let the countdown begin.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Congratulations J and J

Two families from my adoption agency have passed courts recently. Congratulations to Jeanne and family on passing Friday. They now have two beautiful little babies...boy and girl twins. The previous Friday, Joy and family passed court and now have two handsome little men (infant and toddler). Congratulations to both families.

My court date is tomorrow!!!! TOMORROW!!!!! While I sleep tonight, a judge, 8,000 miles away, will review my paperwork, and Sabah's paperwork, and hopefully sign off on the adoption. UNBELIEVABLE!!!! Please pray that all will go well.

The trend seems to be that we don't hear if we pass until the day after court, so I probably won't know anything until Wednesday. I will post as soon as I find out. With these two families passing, I have HUGE FAITH that I will pass as well.