Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Welcome to the World Elizabeth

I'm an Auntie again. And I'm in love! Back in December, when me, my mom and my sister Tina, were in Ethiopia picking up Sabah, my sister was starting to feel the first symptoms of morning sickness. She did not know when she left for Africa that she was pregnant, but started suspecting that she was about three days or so before we left. As soon as she got back she took a pg test and it confirmed that yes indeed she was pregnant. We were very excited, and since she already has two boys, and Sabah was only 6 months at the time, we prayed that it was a little girl (so Sabah could do girly things with her rather than always playing ruff and tumble with her boy cousins). When we found out it was a girl, we were all very excited....especially Tina, since she has inherited all of Sabah's old clothes....which were/are plentiful.

Anyway, on Monday, the doctor finally scheduled an induction for tonight, since the baby was large and already a week overdue. On Tuesday, Elizabeth decided she wasn't going to do anything on schedule, and decided to start her arrival. When Tina got to the hospital, they (her and her doctors), decided a c-section would probably be the safest route since the baby was so big. SOOOOOO, at 2:29 pm on Tuesday, August 18th, Little (errr, make that big) Elizabeth was born. Weighing in at 10 pounds 10 ounces!!!!!!! What is funny is that Tina weighed 5 pounds 5 ounces when she was born (I was a porker at 6 pounds 5 ounces). Elizabeth is exactly TWICE the size of what Tina was. Even though she is a big baby, she still seems so tiny. She's the sweetest little (errr big) thing and has the chubbiest little cheeks. Yes, I'm in love. Tina and I are identical twins, and her children have alwasy been extremely special to me.....after all, if we all did a dna test, I would show as their mother, just as much as Tina would. Since I can't have children from my own body (I refuse to say "children of my own"), Tina's beautiful kids are the closest I will get to seeing ME in them. To see some of my features (which are Tina's features of course) and some of my personality (the good and bad). I'm also thrilled that Sabah has a new best friend and will get to grow up with Elizabeth. Don't worry Janissa and Ruby, Sabah says she can have more than one BFF. Haven is on her way from Ethiopia soon, so there is another BFF as well. Always room for BFF's.

Congratulations to Tina, Ron, Elijah and Ethan on the arrival of Elizabeth Alexsandra Remidios Gaddi (the two middle names are after LizzyB's grandmothers). Welcome to the World LizzyB, Welcome to the World. I love you already.

Meet Elizabeth

Mommy and baby

Daddy and his "little" girl

Big Brother Elijah holding her for the first time

Big Brother Ethan holding her for the first time

Auntie and LizzyB

Sabah meeting Elizabeth

Pure Heaven

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today I was at work, and very unexpectantly received an e-mail that contained the picture of the most beautiful child on the face of this earth. I can't believe how fast the year has gone by....yet at the time, it seemed like every hour was a week and every week was a year....time was just dragging on while waiting for a court date.

The following is part of a post that I wrote a week after referral, titled "referral reflections":

So, it's been a whole work week since I got the referral of my little girl. I can't believe I actually made it through the work week and actually got SOME work done (sorry PTR....maybe next week will be more productive). :) I have so many thoughts and feelings running through my mind and body that it's difficult to sort them all out. Here are the main things I'm feeling
Ill Prepared
In LOVE (oh, I said that one already)
In LOVE (oh, there it is again, hmmmmm)

This little girl is so amazing to me. And I hardly know her. I look at her picture (about 10,000 times a day...err, make that a minute) and I can't help but smile.....
So, now I sit and wait for the court date, and stare at this lovely little girl. Man how I love her already.

And one year later (8 months home), I feel the same way. Man how I love this little girl. She is growing up to be such an amazing little person. I sometimes look at her and wonder how I was ever so blessed. How did this perfect little child become mine? And all those feelings from that post a year ago, are all still there. ALL of them.

Still Terrified? Yep.
Still Blessed? The world over.
Still Smitten? Every day.
Still Unworthy? Absolutely.
Still Honored? More than you could know.
Still Scared? Oh yeah.
Still Fullfilled? More than I ever thought I COULD be.
Still In Love? I don't think my heart could love her any more.

I won't repost them get the picture. What I love most about my little Sabah is her unconditional love for me. She melts my heart when she wants to crawl into my lap and just have me hold her. She melts my heart when she gives me unsolicited kisses. She melts my heart every time I look at her, and she melts my heart every time I think about her. Thank you Lord for this precious little girl you have sent into my life!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Help out another AP with travel expenses

Adoption is EXPENSIVE. No two ways about it. Unless you are independently wealthy, raising the funds for an international adoption can take years. I always try to help out other adoptive parents reach their goal. I can't give much, but when I see an adoptive parent selling something to raise funds, or doing a raffel, I try to buy. Here is a link to a single momma who is getting ready to travel to ET to get her precious daughter. She is raffeling off a 32 inch LCD t.v. $10 for one ticket, $25 for five tickets and $50 for 15 tickets. It' a really good cause, so if you have an extra $10 to spare (or more), then head over and enter to win. Good Luck.

Click here to check out her blog

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Busy Weekend

I love weekends (don't we all). However, they seem to be getting shorter and shorter lately. Sabah is at the perfect age to be able to take her out and about and have her really enjoy it. We just got a new bike and she LOVES going for bike rides. I got the Weeride Kangaroo child's the one where the child sits in front of you (between your legs) opposed to the back. This allows her and I to have interaction with each other as we ride. She loves to point to things and I love being able to see her. Though I love this new bike, I QUICKLY realized how out of shape I am. WOW. I live in a neighborhood called highland as you can imagine, there are HILSS. UGH. Even the smallest incline gets me huffing and puffing and wanting to give up and go home. But both yesterday and today, I pedaled on (while Sabah just sat there enjoying the ride....oh how I wish I could be a kid again). It's great excercise and a fantastic way for us to get outside.

After our morning bike ride on Saturday, we went to the Saturday market with Tina and Eli. Tina is ready to give birth ANY DAY NOW, and so she decided she would walk around the marked with me trying to induce labor. No such luck. She's still waiting for little Elizabeth to make her grand enterance into this world.

After an afternoon nap, Sabah and I were back outside and going for a walk. It was the perfect day to be outside. The weather has cooled down significantly. In fact, on Thursday and Friday, we didn't even make 70 degrees. Today was a perfect 78!

This morning Sabah and I went to our new church. We both had a lot of fun. It is always nerve racking being the new person and not knowing a sole, but I survived. Of course, Sabah makes friends wherever she goes and was the hit of the nursery.

After church, I again met up with Tina and ran a few errands and she and I watched a movie (at home) while Sabah took her afternoon nap. Then a few more errands and some time spent with Ethan and Eli at Tina's house. Home in time for some dinner, play time, bath time and finally bed. And now the weekend is winding down. Where oh where did it go?

Sabah in her "Sunday Best" (this expression is her new thing...she LOVES to crinkle her nose)

At the fountain. Sabah is so tall that the 18 month swim suits don't fit her well...they aren't long enough. Oh well. It doesn't stop her from having fun.

Our new ride. I LOVE it!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Day at the Lake

The Pacific Northwest has been hit with a heat wave this last week. Normally, in the summer, we get a few really hot days....up into the 90's, but this entire last week, we have been in the hundreds (106 on Wednesday) or near hundred...and let me tell you....WE ARE NOT USE TO IT. And many of us do not have air conditioning, so for all of you who are laughing at us because 107 in "normal" in your neck of the woods, try turning your air off for a week and you will know what most of us are feeling.

Anyway, it got down to 98 here today, and Tina, her husband Ron, there two boys,Eli and Ethan, and Sabah and I packed up and headed to Hagg lake for the day. It was a perfect day. There was lots of shade at the picnic tables and the water was super warm. A bit muddy, but that didn't stop anyone from jumping right in....especially little miss Sabah. This girl LOVES the water and she was constantly trying to go out further and further. The only unpleasant part of the trip is that the yellow jackets seemed to LOVE our picnic table....I think it must have been over the nest or something because we seemed to be the only table having such issues with them. There were literally no less than 10 bees at a time on us, our food, or flying near us. So totally annoying. But, we didn't let it spoil our day. We all had a wonderful time, and can't wait to go back.

A Family of Three Again

When I put my beloved cat Tanner to sleep, I told myself that I was not going to get another cat. It was just going to be Sabah and I from here on out. I was going to enjoy not haveing to clean a litter box, of clean up furballs, or have cat hair all over my clothes. Well, as you can see by the pictures below, that didn't last very long. Sabah and I have adopted a 4 year old cat named Otis. Otis is a "big boy" if you will, but he is the sweetest thing ever. He, unlike Tanner, is a lap cat and would be content all day to cuddle up on my lap. And though I still hate cleaning a litter box, I'm glad we got this sweet boy.

Fun at Grandma's

A couple of weekends ago, Me, Tina, Sabah, Ethan and Eli packed into Tina's new (to her)Explorer and headed down to Eugene for the day to spend time with my parents. It was a gorgeous day and my mom got the pool out for the kids to play in. My brother filled up the pool and Grandma, fearing that it would be too cold for "her babies", carried bucket upon bucket of hot water from the house to make the pool a little warmer. Sabah LOVES the water and loved playing with her cousins in grandma and grandpa's backyard. She also got to meet her Uncle Phil for the first time. My brother was pretty smitten with her, and Sabah LOVED him.

Sabah and her Uncle