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."


Three more sleeps

and then...

is one of we!


Malawi (one week later)


Sound of morning muezzin call to prayer.

Today I leave Lilongwe and tonight I’ll be in Kampala, Uganda.

Slightly sunburned,
A bag of red dust covered clothes,
Mind more fully aware of the refining power of pain and hardship.

If I were to say one thing about this week I would say that pain and suffering are a part of life, allowing them to shape us in beautiful ways demands that we seek God’s help more than man’s.

I’ve seen some ugly in the pain here:

the 24 year old girl so wasted from AIDS that her head is smaller than the head of her 2 year old daughter.
the 24 year old girl whose husband abandons her every year after his annual visit to impregnate her.

the fact that all you see in the villages are young women and old women, there are almost no women in the 30-50 age range anymore.

the 12 year old village girl who was being raped by her uncle and father and suffering it silently.
the 14 year old slum girl wracked with TB who coughs so hard and so much that she can’t sleep anymore and just lays wrapped in a sheet on her porch in the slum.

But there is beauty in the pain and beauty in the faithfulness of others here too.
the husband who is standing by his 24 year old wife as she dies of AIDS and the women’s group who comes to visit her and carry her water.

the widow’s group that finds joy in singing and dancing and learning money making skills; the group that embraces an abandoned 24 year old mother of 3.

the young girls and the old women of the villages who have been empowered to take back their lives and their children. Who are standing tall proud of their businesses and healthy children.
the neighbor trained in rape intervention and counseling who identifies rape victims and works to bring the perpetrators to justice.
the grandmother who took in her granddaughter when no one else would and the HIV home based care support group that bikes the child 10 kilometers to the clinic several times each week.

You have pain and beauty wrapped so closely together here that sometimes you can’t see where one ends and the other begins.




We Passed! She Passed!

We are hers and she is ours forever. Third try was a charm.
Or maybe it was the fervent prayers I sent up from her side of the ocean.

I was sitting at dinner last night in Gulu (Uganda) with two other women.
Eating fried rice, chapatis and fresh avocado. Fighting a very nervous stomach.
Cell phone on table.

I couldn't keep my eyes off the clock and couldn't stop calculating the time it would take for an email from Ethiopia to go to our coordinator in Wyoming and then to Jeremy to get back to me via text in Uganda.

Then I got it. The text. My new favorite word: PASSED!

I wept with huge relief. Stomach instantly better. Appetite suddenly huge.

She is a perfect tiny ball of sunshine. She is radiant. She is the happy one.
She is OURS.



Test post

Just testing to see if I can post remotely from email...


Our first photo of three

Look who finally got her welcome bag? Just in time!

Jeremy informed me that a baby's bottom two teeth are the first to come in.
Look who's been reading his What to Expect: the first year book!

Talay captured and ate the slingshot piggy from our shower today.
She's feeling very passive aggressive about the nursery full of untouchable toys.

Cassidy licked the highchair legs today.
She's spending a lot of time daydreaming about baby food dripping from that chair.

We are SO ready!!
It's just happened. Just ready all of a sudden.
The wait is really a refining fire.


Getting Close

I can't believe that in exactly 21 days I will be looking at this little face - in person!

I can't believe that on Saturday I board a flight that will take me to HER side of the world.

Every day it draws closer. Every day I finish one more thing on the to do list that brings me closer to her.

Today we finally zipped up her suitcase. We added some diapers, then subtracted them one at a time until we brought the weight to exactly 50 pounds. It was quite the process. I highly recommend buying a little hand scale at the luggage store. I don't know how we would have done without it.

I really want to post photos of the amazing nursery furniture J is making. But only the crib is done. How are we this far behind? We had so much time to prepare but I waffled way too much on daybed with side rails vs. crib. (Just not sure she'll sleep in this crib since we're cosleeping in our room. But a crib seemed too sweet to pass up.)

We are working through that room one little piece at a time. Hung curtain rods last week. Tonight ironed and hung ONE out of four curtain panels.

As a side note, this weekend I was at P.o.t.t.ery B.arn K.i.ds and ARE YOU KIDDING me? They seriously charge $69/panel for NURSERY CURTAINS? We bought 4 perfect white panels for the two windows at B.ed B.a.th and Beeeeeeyond for $40 total. I mean, some things are worth the money. But baby curtains for $280? No.

I think I am going to have to accept "mostly done" instead of perfect in that room. J will finish the dresser this week but the nightstand and corner piece may be postponed. And wall decor... only half planned. I still need the perfect mirror.

I really want to post one last picture post before I leave so that is motivating me to finish it all up asap! :) If only we had an I.k.e.a. in this town!!

No other thoughts here tonight. It's been a very long ride. The end isn't in site. But the beginning of life with D is very very close. And that is good enough.


PS. Can I post that photo at the top with both eyes? I know one body part at a time is ok. Anyone want to weigh in on the "rules?" Can you tell I'm getting lax? Just seems to me like we SHOULD have PASSED court and I should be allowed to post full photos by now. Just saying.


Baby Shower

Yellow cake with chocolate frosting: "And Baby Makes Three"

Thoughtful presents in a pink wagon for D!

Games even the guys could enjoy

And a crazy oinking piggy slingshot toy!

A baby Bear to make the day bright

And this special family home from a very long flight.

My only request was mimosas and I got a full bar!

Peach, mango, or orange, our glasses never strayed very far.

Friends tall and small, both girls and the boys

came to celebrate D and share in our joy.

These sweet little friends taste tested the cake

Miles took his job seriously and proclaimed it just great!

A clothesline of onesies was a very big hit

And this book made us cry...just a little bit.

There was laughter

And tears


and dear friends

It was a wonderful day. THANK YOU.

The End.

Baby Shower for Baby D - Highlands Church friends
Location: J2Q's House, Stapleton
Date: May 8, 2010 3-5pm (actually left at 6:45pm oops!)
Hosts: Lisa and Ryan Crane, Nicole and Horacio Morales, Joe Quinlinn and Jonathan Queck
(There was a time when I thought I'd never have a baby shower.)
I wrote this post.
Despite failing court again, I am happy. We'll get there.


Failed Again

I have no words. I have many words. I have words that are not appropriate for a family-friendly blog. Maybe I should go private so I can say the words I have in mind? J and I are saying a lot of them this morning.

Alternating tears, g.oogling, emailing, and cursing.

The letter for D's court case was not written. Because the ministry writing those letters was closed on Wednesday and Thursday. And that is where I'll stop describing the situation. Because I have extreme new found paranoia that ministry officials DO read these blogs and believe me, I still have an interest in making sure we are in favor with them.

But insert words here. Many words.

The worst part? We are rescheduled for May 24th.
G.oogle May, 2010, Ethiopia.
Elections will be held on May 23rd. Last time elections were held in 2005 over 200 people were killed in the streets. There is not a chance that this ministry who writes the letters will be open on the 23rd. So unless they miraculously change their way and write the letter ahead of time, we will not be passing on the 24th.

I want to know how it is even remotely acceptable to reschedule anyone's court case for the week of parliamentary elections? We KNOW that the courts won't be open. Judges are not going to want to go to work with possible riots and murders in the streets around their buildings. Puhlease. An insult to our intelligence.

So scratch us passing on the 24th. And now what? What are we facing? I don't know.
I do know that I will be living in Addis during the rainy season (summer) instead of here in gorgeous (insert my city) in the Rockies hiking and swimming and having fun with her. I do know I'll be wasting all of my "maternity leave" holed up in a compound since adoptive parents cannot be out in public with their children.

I do know that we won't be able to take custody of her until court documents are produced. So it will be an indefinite wait in Addis.

Honestly I am furious. I am so over this. One failure was to be expected. Two failures, well frustrating but it happens. But KNOWING that the third time will be a failure is not ok. (I have many many more words to use for that so don't mistake my wimpy "not ok" for being cool, calm or collected over this.)

I don't know what else to say. Have I said that I am arriving in Addis on May 30th? I just couldn't, couldn't be within a 2 hour flight of her and not go. But now what? No end in site. I just don't know. I hate thinking about it. Maybe it will all be easier when I am there. It honestly couldn't be harder. I hope.



Sophie found, court tomorrow

Oh the power of the interwebs!
I have a Sophie donation on the way. :)
Thank you to Rachael! Who is Tariku's mom. Who was D's cribmate her first two weeks in care. (Cue appropriate Lion King Circle of Life type music.)

It is 2am in Addis Ababa. By now either MOWA has or has not written the letter for D's court case. Lots of prayers were said. Now we move on to next set of prayers: that the judge reading/hearing her case in the morning will pass us all and declare us her parents. She's ours in our hearts. It would be so nice to have her be ours legally. And we'd love to be able to share her pictures with you!



Sophie. Giraffe.

Does anyone have a Sophie the Giraffe you can loan me or sell to me used? I realize these giraffe/squeaky toys lose their use after teething ends so am hoping to find one gathering dust at someone's house that I can bring to Ethiopia to woo Baby D with.

US: "Looky here D - oooh, a squeaky giraffe you can chew on!"

D thinking to self: "Um, isn't that a dog toy? Why are they trying to impress me with a dog toy?!"

US: "No, we swear. It is THE toy to have in France if you are a gummy drooling baby."

Sounds ludicrous I know, but look it up online. It is beloved by the littles far and wide. And I saw one in action last week. I'm impressed.

Still don't want to spend $20+ on one. And I have one week to figure this out. So if yours is not chewed to pieces and is gathering drooly dust somewhere please let me know.



I'm Ok, You're Ok, We're Ok

I know I completely disappeared.
I am not crying in a closet somewhere.

Court attempt #2 is this Friday and I am feeling much more confident about this one!

Last week I flew to Minnesota and spent the week healing through good twin cities vibes.
I was working too of course. But just being there, in the lush green of humid spring, with the smell of lilacs in the air, soooo close to my childhood house, my elementary school, jr. high, high school, and college, connecting with old friends and new colleagues, was so cathartic.

I have a lot of posts in my head. But I leave for Malawi on May 15th. That sounds so far away until I calculate it this way - I leave one week from Saturday. ACK!! Panic setting in!!

Ok, ok. Calming down. I leave on May 15th. Fine. I can do that. What is this? It's still April right? Feeling better.... even if I am in denial and not looking at the calendar.

So I am trying to plug away at the to do list. Divided into work, baby, travel, home, health, dogs. Wow.

Will post my 'Minnesota is amazing' post as soon as I can.

Thank you for all of the support as we crashed and burned our court date last Monday.


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.