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."


60 nights ago...

J and I went to sleep just the two of us. The next night we never went to sleep. We listened to A breathing and marveled over the BABY in our room.

A lot has changed. I think we are in mourning sometimes. We mourn rides on the scooter that sits lonely on our back patio. Sometimes after she is in bed we sigh. Sighs of sadness that we can't just run an errand together or spontaneously go out to eat. Every. single. morning she wakes up. I knew it in theory but the reality of never getting to sleep in. Ever. Again. So so sad.

A lot has changed. I think we are celebrating still. How is it that we can feel every feeling above and also feel amazed and giddy at how fortunate we are to have A with us? So many conflicting emotions. How do the mourning and the celebrating fit together?? It is...confusing.

Ari has really come into her own. There is no doubt in my mind that whatever grieving she went through during her transition, it is over completely now and we are the only ones left turned upside down. She knows where she fits and it is firmly between the two of us. If we kiss, she wants to clamber up our bodies and be smooched too. If we are both in the room and either of us leaves she wails with disappointment. She disburses smiles and kisses and hugs and waves evenly and is never happier than when all three of us are together. The sound of our voices talking can soothe her into her deepest sleep. She prefers that we both change her diaper so that one can deal with the dirty work and the other can play peekaboo.

Some of the things that fascinate me:

Ari's head is in the 99th percentile. Whoa.

She can turn anything, a shoe, a bottle, an empty plastic box, into a cell phone.

She loves cooked veggies, tofu, couscous, and anything spicy but hates fresh fruit and is suspicious of desserts.

Regular sign language is not nearly exciting enough. Ari creates her own signs and uses them regularly to discuss the itsy bitsy spider, things she wants, demands for the dogs to come, the sippy cup, and being sleepy.

Going to bed at 7pm (still semi-awake) and sleeping for 12 hours alone - not a problem. Taking a one hour nap alone in the afternoon - obviously the worst form of cruelty and torture!

Her love of water in streams, pools, lakes, and even the hose but her pure disgust for bathtub baths.

I love that Ari calls me "Meh meh" right now (even though she can say Mama) and that her first real word was "DAW" for dog. I love her rare belly laughs and scrunched nose smiles. I love that she loves the Baby Faces and Global Babies books and that she enjoys admiring herself in the mirror.

I hate that we have zero flexibility with our time. I hate that the ring of the doorbell or the phone during naptime sends flaming shots of fear through my core. I despise the sound of crying on the baby monitor that inevitably arrives 10 minutes after I lay down to nap. I am horrified that it is 11pm right now and I've already missed the cutoff for going to bed and being able to wake up feeling refreshed.

I love her.

I am still in lifestyle change shock.

I am amazed by her.

I am horrified by our sudden loss of independence.

She has the power to thrill me and exhaust me and keep me awake with worry at night.

Who knew? Two months ago, seriously, who could have known how complicated these feelings would be? Does it get easier?


PS. Am watching teen mom right now and really really appreciate that a. I had 11 years of adulthood and marriage before adding baby and b. we would never scream, yell or otherwise throw insane teenage hissy fits in front of our poor child.


  1. soon enough you forget the old and your love for the new increases. you make new friends with the same life. you make new fun to fit your new life. pretty soon the old seems so useless, tired and boring. It gets easier and harder all at the same time...

  2. last comment was really leah :)

  3. Ahh, parenthood, you are a mixed bag of nuts, aren't you? And not all cashews.

  4. Yes, it does get easier. I had a handful of realizations over the past 6 years which moved me in an easier direction. Every day, though, I still think of things I would like to be doing - running is my biggest loss. I miss it.

    But there is a constant and deep awareness of what I've gained and what I know about the world, that I would never know without being a mom.

  5. YES!! she is a DOG person. I had fears she might be a cat person but hearing her first word was "daw" confirms it.

    Congrats you two! She is just wonderful.

  6. Oh my gosh, do I KNOW this feeling. Really well put - it really is a mix of celebration and mourning. If I'm totally honest, I am still really mourning the fun bits of coupledom (mostly the sleep ins and the evenings out. Oh, they were nice).

    A month or two after we got home, I listened to this song a LOT and I just found it again on my youtube history. Consider it my 60 day gift to you :) (Am definitely not going to forget about that recipe, by the way! It's way too good not to share. And way too EASY not to share).


  7. Does it get any easier? Hmmm. 16 years and 4 children into parenting, and I don't think so... I continue to be amazed at how I can feel such a range of emotions. Sometimes all in one moment....and sometimes all at one child!

    I, personally, love that your world has been turned so upside down (and I mean that in the very nicest way) and I think that becoming a mama will probably do more than any other thing in your life to help you "live out" your manifesto!! :)

    btw, I think she gets more beautiful in every photo!!

    :) Michelle

  8. Oh, I completely remember the loss of independence and spontaneity! But now, it seems a distant memory and I am sad that we only have 7 more years with our oldest at home! Kiddos certainly do turn our worlds upside down, don't they?! I never expected it to be quite so dramatic!!!

  9. Hello. I just caught up on your blog. I am one of the WV Child Ambassadors and had emailed with you back in Dec. Your A is beautiful!! We were married 12 years before we adopted Nadia and I totally understand the things you are saying. We have been home 3 years now and I would love to sleep in :) But we started paperwork to adopt again so I don't see that in our future.

    I find that the new life as parents is just as good, but different. Perhaps people need to talk about that more.


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.