Every tree limb overhead seems to sit and wait, while every step you take becomes a twist of fate.
Up on the watershed, standing at the fork in the road...

If you are new to our adoption blog please take a moment to scroll down to the archives at the bottom of this page and start with July 2009 post "Watershed."


The Blanket

J and I are deeply entrenched in training. No matter how much I thought I knew going into this adoption I am surprised almost daily by what I didn't know.

I didn't know what a Secretary of State apostille (edit - authentication!) looked like or why it was required. I didn't know that we would have to sit through 24 hours of in-person training on topics like attachment and sensory integration and brain development. I didn't know that we would have to watch the two dullest women on earth talk us through...oh at least 1,000 hours of DVD training (Because They Waited - anyone done it?) repeating the same topics we learned about in class and then take online tests. I didn't know what I didn't know.

I am not anti-process or training or even the expensive DVDs and online courses. They all exist for good reason. Just saying that I am surprised!

But despite all of the training from well trained trainers ;)
I still cull the most knowledge/true understanding from reading mothers' blogs.

This is one of my favorites by far. It really pulled together the concepts of a child's grief and loss as well as attachment in a way that I could relate to. Since I read this about a week ago I've been referring to #3 as just "baby." As in "when baby comes we need to move around the furniture" or "when baby is here we can go to the kiddie amusement park at the end of the block." J just smiles. I think he thinks I've begun to lose it a little.


When every baby is born they are given a blanket.
This blanket is supposed to be warm and soft and protective.
It usually has beautiful colors and satin edging.
It is wrapped around the baby and the baby is at peace.

Sometimes, the blanket is old.
It hasn't been washed and it is made of burlap, but it is wrapped around the baby, and even though it is a little smelly and scratchy, the baby is at peace.
The blanket for this baby has big problems.
There are big holes in it. It looks like it had satin edging once, but that has been torn away.
It may have had soft pastel colors, but it is now a dull and dirty brownish grey.
It is wrapped as best it can be around the baby, and the baby clings to it for peace.
But the baby is cold and can't get comfortable.

Now, both the baby and the blanket are dirty and smelly, but it is the baby's blanket, and baby holds on to what little comfort it knows, and tries to have peace.
Suddenly, the blanket is ripped away.
Baby cries and reaches for the blanket, but it is gone.
Baby knows it wasn't a good blanket, a warm and soft blanket, but it was baby's, and with it, baby knew the only peace that baby has ever known.

Someone has wrapped a new blanket around baby.
It has pretty satin edging and soft fleece.
It smells fresh and inviting, but baby throws it off.
That is NOT Baby's blanket. Where is baby's blanket?
Baby cries and cries as the new blanket is wrapped back around baby's body.
Baby notices warmth that baby has never felt before. This is a trick.
Yes is is warm, but IT IS NOT MINE!!!!!

Baby had better not get used to this. Baby doesn't have a warm, soft blanket.
Baby only knows the scratchy, dirty and cold blanket.
Baby kicks it away.
Baby is cold and lonely and misses the old blanket.
Baby toys with the edge of the new blanket.
Baby feels that it is soft and inviting. Baby can tell it is warm.
Maybe baby will just hold the edge of this blanket for a while.

It is not baby's blanket, but it is here, and baby is sad and needs comfort.

Someone keeps trying to wrap the whole blanket around baby, but baby still throws it off.
Baby will only hold the edge. Why won't baby take the blanket?
Can't baby see how much better this blanket is?
It is warm, it is soft. Come on, it is polar fleece!!
What is baby's problem? It is such a great blanket!!

Baby continues to reject the entire blanket, but is still holding on to the edge.
Eventually, baby can cover one arm and rub baby's face with more of the blanket, but baby stops short of wrapping up in it.
The new blanket providers have stopped trying to force baby to wrap up in the blanket, and have accepted that baby can't or won't use the whole thing, and have settled on waiting on baby.

Sometimes baby brings the blanket to them and asks them to drape it over baby's arm in just the right way so that the satin edge touches baby's face the way baby likes it.
This continues for a time and baby realizes that even though baby misses the old blanket, baby has a peace that baby has not known before.
Baby thinks it might be this new blanket.

Baby is torn. Baby misses old blanket, but old blanket didn't protect baby like new blanket does. New blanket is warm.
New blanket smells good and is so very soft.
Old blanket is gone.
One day, baby needs help with the new blanket. Baby takes it to the ones who gave it to baby and they wrap it gently around baby's shoulders.

Baby holds on tight to the blanket and baby is at peace.

My blanky. Essential as life-giving oxygen. Much beloved until peaceful retirement to the nightstand drawer in 2000 AD.



  1. I have seen the Because they Waited series. I can honestly say now, after we brought home our children and have navigated the rough waters of the first almost 8 months....

    I learned relatively little (if anything) about what it will take to parent these children from the books or the DVDs or the classes.

    The truth is-learning from other parents, those who experienced similar things and being able to lean on friends is what helped us all pull through. I realize the "need" for this education, but at the same time-I wonder if anybody really assesses its usefulness.


  2. AMANDA- IMPORTANT! Ethiopia dossier documents are not apostiled (i can't spell neithah). They have to be state 'certified' or 'authenticated' it is different. (can you tell I had this happen?) So for the second try I hand delivered and watched them do it properly)


About Me

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J and I have been married for almost 15 years. We have shared many adventures and a lot of watershed moments. In 2009 I began blogging and in 2010 we adopted our daughter from Ethiopia. In March of 2012 we began the process to adopt a little boy from Haiti. This blog follows the many twists and turns on the road to our two children and beyond.