Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy "Forever Family" Day

One year ago TODAY, I met Miss Sabah for the very first time. Oh what a wonderful day that was. I remember the anticipation very WELL. The drive to the orphanage with the other two families was so surreal. We were all so quiet, just taking in the scenary. We had all arrived the night before, in the dark, and so this was our first time seeing the "real Ethiopia". We of course were all so anxious to get to Toukoul to see our wee ones. We were running late, and so were a little upset that we would only get to spend about an hour with our babies, but we were excited none the less. As we approached the blue gates to Toukoul, you could have heard a pin drop. We all had so many emotions going through us that no one knew what to say.

We pulled into the orphanage, and piled out of the van and proceeded to wait..and wait....and wait....and wait. The nannies were busy getting the babies ready. We were busy being impatient as the nannies got the babies ready. We couldn't understand what was taking so long. Then, from around the corner comes the first baby. Little Weredesh. We all cried as they placed her in Lisa's arms for the first time. Leah and I were still waiting for our little girls to make their appearance. We waited and waited and waited for what seemed like an eternity. And just when I thought I couldn't wait another second, there she comes. Sabah and Aslynn, in their nannies arms, coming toward us. I was about to jump out of my skin. The nanny holding Sabah made her way over to me, and handed me MY DAUGHTER. My precious baby girl, who I had longed for for so so long. She was finally in my arms. There are very few perfect moments in this world, but the first time your child is placed in your arms (whether from birth or from adoption), it is so magical and so perfect and there is nothing else in the world that can top it.

Happy Forever Family Day Sabah. I'll never forget the moment you were placed in my arms, and we officially became a family.....a little family of two.

Here is a short video of that precious moment.....

And here is a video of my little sproutling a year later....Dancing in the living room....

And a picture of us THEN:

And a picture of us NOW:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's Official

OK, so there are actually two things that are OFFICIAL. Number one....I'm a terrible blogger. But you all knew that already, right.

Number two....I've officially started adoption number two for a waiting child. My dossier is almost complete. That's right people, it's almost ready. It seems SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO easy the second time around. I feel like I'm missing something. But nope. It's done. Just waiting on my doctor to send my medical form (she was getting it notarized on Friday), and then that's it. I also have to wait on my homestudy update. They can't officially finish the update until I get them the medical form. Then, once that is done, I send it in to INS to get a one time extension on my I-600A and ammend it to say two children instead of one (NOOOOO, I'm not adopting two more, I just need the I-600 to say two TOTAL. Sabah is one, daughter #2 will be two). Once that is done, I have to get re-fingerprinted as my fingerprints expired(whodah thunk a thing like fingerprints could expire). Then I can send my dossier to Ethiopia and officially get my referral. If all works out, I will be referred a 7 year old girl named H (this is all the info I will post for now). I can assure you, she is so sweet and very cute, and I can see her fitting in with Sabah and I and making us a family of three!!!

Anyway, I'm excited to have the dossier almost done and being that much closer to bringing H home, but I'm also very SCARED! I feel it in my heart that this is absolutely the right choice for my little family, but that doesn't keep my mind from being scared and going through all the "what ifs". I mean, what ifs can drive a person INSANE if you let them. I know it will be a challenge. A completely DIFFERENT challenge than bringing Sabah home. H speaks absolutely NO ENGLISH. NONE, NADA, ZIP. This will be one of the biggest challenges we will face together. I plan to start learning as much Amharic as I can, and I'm getting people lined up that I can call in emergencies when I need translators, but it will still be hard, and it DOES scare me. I also don't know H's background yet. I don't know why she is in an orphanage, how long she has been there, or even if she WANTS to be adopted and come to "America".

I have a lot of research and reading to do on older child adoptions. And even with all my fears and worries, I still go to bed at night, thinking of little H and praying to God asking if I'm doing the right thing. And sometimes, I actually want to hear a NO from him. But I don't. Every night, I still feel like this is the right thing for Sabah and I. Every night, I can imagine two little girls sleeping in the next room. Every night, all the what ifs from the day seem to disappear and I'm left with a calmness and a feeling that THIS is the path I should be taking. THIS is what is right for me. For Sabah. And for little H. So forward I go, and hopefully in a few months (maybe April/May) I'll be taking another trip back to Ethiopia to bring daughter number two home.

And with that, I leave you some pictures of Sabah and her cousins at Halloween (like I explained above...I'm a TERRIBLE blogger).
My Little Ladybug

Elijah the Boxer and Superman Ethan

Little Lamb Elizabeth

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mini Toukoul Baby Reunion

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to join 4 other local families who adopted babies from Toukoul. Some of us were from Adoption Avenues, and some from Dove. ALL the babies were from Toukoul orphanage.

What an amazing site it was to see EIGHT babies all under the age of 2 (actually I think everyone was under 20 months). Some of us have been home almost a year, and a couple families have been home only a few months.

We had lunch at Laurelwood, and give them HUGE KUDDOS for accomodating such a large crowd and for having enough highchairs on hand.

It was fun seeing the looks on the faces of the other customers as we lined all the kiddos up for the photo below. I don't think anyone captured a picture of all babies looking at the camera at the same time, but it's a great picture non the less.

From Left to Right

Ruby, Roman, Elisha, Mariah, Allegra, Alec, Haven, and Sabah.

We are hoping to get together every few months to keep the kids connected.