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."


Baby Dream Drama-with EDIT NOTE

It is 12:20am.
Every time I close my eyes instead of drifting into peaceful sleep I find myself running through a to do list of practicalities and ridiculous things that need to be considered, that if written out would stretch all the way from here to Ethiopia.

The annoying thing is that the nightime to do list is so unimportant.

Some of the things that have taken over my brain - honest to God I would not even normally find these things important enough to stress about in day time:

- must remember to buy a huge box of C.heerios to pack to win over D's affections...but how will I fit a huge box of C.heerios in my luggage...how much does a box of C.heerios weigh...will said C.heerios be too crushed if I pack them in just the plastic bag...should I get goldfish too...every baby loves goldfish...how many teeth does she have...what on earth will I feed her in ET...a 12 month old doesn't just eat formula right...how does a parent figure these things out...what if we end up starving her because I can't cook sweet potatos and carrots and other baby food goodness in Ethiopia...should I bring more snacks...what if we run out of C.heerios before we get on the plane home...we need to make sure to reserve some for that return trip...

and on and on and on and on

- i think we need more socks. how many pairs of socks does a 12 month old need...will it be cold in June in ET...I think it is cold there...rainy season...i packed those three pairs of new cute flowered socks in their packaging...must remember to remove them and actually wash them...what is the harm in not washing before wearing...does that cause skin problems...could she be allergic to american detergent...if so would it be better to not wash everything before packing...i like the socks packaging...oh no, all three pairs are colors...we need some white socks...thick white socks because it could be cold..will three pairs be enough...should i get them at T.arget...everyone says i need tr.umpette socks...must add to list...what if her feet are chronically cold because we forget socks...does a baby wear socks under footie pajamas? Does a 12 month old wear shoes? We haven't even bought any shoes!

(oh my goodness, when I went online to find a photo of trum.pette socks I found these and fell madly in love. how cute are these socks???!!!)

and on and on and on

Lately I've also added baby name drama:

- we both like the name A--- with her name...but what if it sounds icky with our last name...our last name causes so many problems...how many ways can i think of to distorte the name A---when combined with our last name...what about a nickname...does the nickname M--- remind us too much of another friend with a similar name...what will people think if we add a name that isn't Ethiopian...are both names meaningful enough...what if the nickname we use is Ethiopian...what if she doesn't look like any of the names we've thought of when we get her...what if we formally change her name but end up calling her D anyway...what a waste of time spent on names and forms...does the name D feel signficant...if we change something about it will it tie her to the community well enough...how many names can i run through in my mind before circling back to A---*??

* I do realize now that I see it in writing that the name we are considering looks oddly like my name and the nickname bizarrely like the nickname I had as a child. This was purely coincidence and I swear they are not the same names.

And on and on and on

Maybe my mind can't turn off because it's just too scared to sleep these days. Every. single. night. I dream about Baby D. Long, dramatic, emotional, heavy, stressful, sagas that play out through the course of the night leaving me tired and crabby in the morning.

A few nights ago I had THE WORST dream.

I was in a meeting. Of course it was in a strange place - a bright blue room, in a 60's diner, around a formica table, that was sort of somehow in the eating nook of my own kitchen. Of course.

The meeting was taking place between myself, a social worker, and another prospective adoptive parent. And the meeting was to inform me that actually, even though I had made it all the way to Ethiopia to get D, I was not finished with the process yet. Another mother had been chosen for her and D was likely to go with her unless I could answer a series of questions to the social worker's satisfaction. Questions involved describing the history of the Queen of Sheba, explaining the meaning of D's name, and successfully answering other Ethiopian trivia.

In this dream I was so upset. Crying, shaking, and in total disbelief that this was happening. (I have dreamtime PTSD from the T situation of last summer I think!)

Now my body and mind are scared to fall asleep. :(

Instead of laying in bed tossing and turning I thought I'd hop up and write this blog post. I really think the benefit of blogging is that once you lay something out in writing, it can be easier to clear your head and move on. I hope that's true tonight.


ADDED in the AM:

Am really appreciating the comments!

Would not normally be so totally obsessed over these details (when I travel there for myself I am not at all worried about what I will eat or wear!) but because I plan to fly to ET in early June whether we have an embassy date or not I am worried about caring for her for 2,3,4? weeks there. First time mom, plus not great access to the resources and options I would have here, plus feeling a little nervous that if we get "stuck" there I will be flying home alone with her since J can't spend an endless amount of time in the country...

Add all of that to the need to get her packed up before I leave for S. Africa on May 14th without knowing her height or weight or shoe size or diaper size or formula brand (can't seem to get the agency to answer emails about these questions) and the stress is on.

Any packing suggestions are appreciated.

I've been told I will get a health and size update immediately before I am scheduled to travel. But I am not being a good sheep and following the typical plan. So I won't be "scheduled" to travel on their timeline. I have emailed several people at the agency about this - to let them know that I am going to ET the first week of June, packing now, leaving soon, need to know some basic basic info, etc and have gotten nada back.


  1. 12 month olds can eat basically anything they won't choke on. A has 4 soon to be 6 teeth and we give her what we're having, unless it's crunchy. Think small pieces!(but be careful with peanut butter and Honey, both things can cause severe allergic reactions, not sure if the same applies in Ethiopia)

    Socks-You can never have too many and then suddenly you will be surrounded by them. Our kitty used to carry the baby socks all over the house insuring we would never have a matched pair.. A's extremities were always cold as an infant, no matter what she was wearing. No socks w/ footy jammies.

    In general, as long as they aren't walking, they don't need shoes. Although a nice leather soled pair of slippers can help keep the lower digits warm. Unless of course the shoes in question coordinate perfectly with a particular outfit.

    Cheerios-1 big box usually lasts us a month.

    Can't help any more with the names. But whatever you pick, will be her completely.

    And when my brain starts that kind of nonsense, it's 1/3 of a sleeping pill for me. Hugs!

  2. We took lots of socks with us and one pair of PediPed soft sole shoes - she LOVED them. I put her in them with NO socks because that's what I would do at home and the orphanage director couldn't get over the fact that she wasn't wearing socks. Ha!

    We took one large bag of cereal and came home with a lot (10 day trip). Smart thinking to save some for the journey home. I did not take any formula with me as we were told we could buy her the kind she was used to there (enough for stay in ET and then enough to bring home and transition her off of). Looking back I wish I had taken it with me as her poor little tummy was so upset on the kind she was on. I've heard from a lot of adoptive moms and our pedi specialist at Children's to take a soy-based (lactose free) as it is most gentle on the transition. That's what she took at home.

    I took WAY too many clothes for her (since you can have laundry done while there). Oh, take night time diapers by H.uggies. They are REALLY absorbent - especially for that ride home! We bought jar food there in ET but I did take applesauce, prunes and pear puree (little plastic containers by G.erber - organic) in case of constipation. Other than that, she ate everything we ate (but cut up really small or mashed). I was really nervous about the food for her but it turned out just fine!

    I had a MASSIVE spreadsheet with tabs for each family member. It had categories and spaces to indicate which suitcase it would all go in. Scary and obnoxious but it made me feel like I had a sense of control. Ah, illusions.

    You are SO close!!

  3. You CAN buy a lot of the food that she will like to eat there. She won't be used to C*heerios yet, so don't worry, she won't eat them all up in a week. And C*heerios were available in the little sook near our guest house anyway.

  4. Ok--I wouldn't rule out formula. Depending on her size she may need it for the extra nutrition.

    My daughter at 12 months had 4 teeth so eating was sometimes a challenge but she is a pro now. She isn't the biggest fan of cheerios and goldfish are a total favorite as long as she isn't teething too badly.

    Socks...We have more socks than I know what to do with. You can never have to many and no they don't need to wear socks under the footie pj's. I did while in ET and sometimes in the fall here put a onesie on under her jammies for extra warmth.

    Shoes...I suggest Robeez especially if she isn't walking yet. If she is robeez also make a soft sole shoe that we loved. But the other poster was right, if she isn't walking she doesn't need shoes really.

    Oh back to food...I wouldn't change her diet too too much at first as that could shock her system. We kept Kiya on the same formula and cereal for about a month after we got home. We dumped the cereal first as it was WAY too sugary and kind of gross and we slowly started to add in baby food. I have a friend who had to add curry powder to all food for awhile as their child was used to eating spicy food then most US babies.

    Pasta is a staple at our house and there is plenty of that in Ethiopia. Kiya pretty much stopped eating baby food and formula right around a year old and has been on table food. you may want to bring vitamins along to add to food to make sure she gets all the good stuff she needs.

    Getting closer Mama!

  5. Skip the goldfish unless you pack them in something totally rigid, too many time I have ended up with a pile of goldfish crumbs, its a dog on shame! Animal crackers, however, are indestructable! Don't worry about the sugar, come to find out the baby cereal in Ethiopia's #1 ingredient is sugar. We figured that out after our little guy refused the American baby cereal and decided to look at the ingredients.

  6. Quick suggestions: multigrain cherrios, healthier
    and nicer. Camilo is addicted to them. Even if only
    crawling shoes or socks are useful to prevent hurt toes if the floor is not smooth. Avoid blisters in cute delicate toes. is it posible to Ask your friend at ET what does D eat and start transition from there? Oatmeal with cinammon is a big hit and gentle on babies. Camilo is 11 months and eats everything (!) if in small size and except for the things better to wait (honey, shrimp, acid
    fruits, nuts...). And has only 4 teeth. Kids chew with the gums. If you want, Call me and can talk more. Abrazos

  7. Pureed peas, mashed bananas, mashed avocados...normal food for a young baby, right? When I was in ET less than 3 weeks ago, your precious little D was scarfing down rice cereal, injera and wat like an Ethiopian truck driver! Weird, but oh so true! PROMISE!

  8. I think we need a coffee date or something! ;)

  9. You will be able to get a lot of things in South Africa if it takes that long to get accurate info. They do have a lot of things like that in ET.(formula and diapers and whatnot), although shopping is more work there (you need a translator.)

    For clothes, I didn't know her size either. I knew her height and weight but they didn't match up to an american size easily. So I brought hand-me-downs in a couple sizes. What was too big, I kept. What was too small I donated. We did laundry a couple times, too.

    You'll also be amazed at the community of parents that you will come across at the guest house. People really share what they have and it all sort of works out. I was in ET for 3 weeks due to a visa waiver situation. Tons of people left the guest house before me and they all sort of bequeathed various things that couldn't be given to the orphanages to me (half eaten boxes of cereal, half full bottles of baby wash). That would happen to you too. No worries.

    Really. No worries.

  10. funny, funny. Baby D will be fine with whatever you bring. She will be happy to be loved by her mama. Addis has more than you think and you WILL be able to buy whatever you forget or need. NO WORRIES. The plane flight home will be hard with or without your sweet man, with or with out Cheerios. You are going to be a great mama to baby D. I can't wait.

  11. can I just say that I long ago got so frustrated with kid's socks that i got rid of all of them and will only allow one brand, one color in our house. both my kids wear target brand gray size 2-3 socks and it has saved my sanity because we just have a bunch and there's never any unmatched ones. it was one of the best things I've ever done (okay, that might be a bit of an exageration, but it seriously has saved me so much frustration). but i wouldn't worry about not bringing enough. they don't really get that dirty and baby's feet don't really smell, so we always wear socks more than one day around here.
    i wouldn't worry about bringing much food. a few snacks to help stay occupied on the flight might help. but whatever she's used to eating, you can get there. and better to wait til you get home to start making many changes to her diet.
    and i'm so right there with you with the middle of the night list-making. mine generally turn into mini panic attacks where, when the list gets long enough, i fly out of bed and have to get to work. i was up til 3 last night thinking about all that i have to get done in the next few months. okay, when i write that out, i sound downright looney.
    don't think i ever emailed you to say thanks so much for having me over last week. it was so fun (well, you know, as fun as it can be when watching a movie like that) and so great to hang out. :)


About Me

My photo
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.