Saturday, December 18, 2010

Vacation Recap

Although our vacation ended two days early, I'd like to state it was a success.  It was a success because we took our toddler on vacation with us via an airplane, which he totally rocked, by the way, where he proceeded to play in the sunshine and water and 80-degree temperatures with his daddy for four straight days.  He played with me too, but it was some serious quality time for Roger and Ari.  That boy loves his dad.  And for good reason.  Roger is so much fun for me to hang out with, you can only imagine how fun he is when you put him in toddler perspective.  We did have some sleeping issues, mostly due to me waking with every single cough or movement Ari made.  We are not a co-sleeping family.  How in the world do people do that??!!??  More power to them!  I find it nearly impossible.  So after five nights with an averge of four hours' rest each night, I made an executive decision and decided we should come home early on Thursday.  It worked out great and was the best of both worlds.  Roger and I had date night Friday night in Springfield, hung out with good friends Saturday night, and in between caught up on laundry, mail, housework, and shopping.  So, like I said, some adjustments were made, but overall a huge success.  Now the topic of conversation is "Will Ari travel to Ethiopia with us?"  The answer?  To be determined.  Yes, we are brave.  Or maybe stupid?  I prefer brave and adventurous (and maybe a little determined).  Speaking of Ethiopia, things are moving right along with our second adoption.  We are currently around #30 on our agency's wait list.  We went on the list Oct. 20th at #36.  Definitely progress.  Little Girl has a room mostly ready -- just needing some finishing touches -- and a closet full of super-cute stuff.  Not nearly as much as Ari had because, after all, I just don't have the time to shop like I did last time.  I think that's probably a good thing.  We are getting into the Christmas spirit around here and are really looking forward to our first Christmas with our little man!

Below are some vacation pics.  Enjoy!

Pool time with Dad

An opportunity for Roger and I to enjoy a last

Love the sand....not quite sure about the big waves

A successful date night w/ a sleeping baby in tow

Breakfast with a view

An early morning stroll on the beach

Our attempt at a family picture for the Christmas card.  No-go.

Checking out the presents at the resort lobby

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cabo with a twist...

And the twist is Ari!!  Shocking, I know.  We are on our first family vacation as a family of three.  Since coming home in January, Ari has gone on one other trip with us, and that was to NYC in August to see friends.  So here we are in beautiful Cabo once again, this time with a toddler!!  Just a little bit different, I suppose.  Like going to bed at 7:45 p.m. and waking up at 3:45 a.m. with a short cat nap from 5:15 to 6:30.  Ah, the life of a parent.  Ari is loving the pool and sunshine so far.  This kid loves nothing better than to be outside.  I think he might know how to swim by the time we come home.  And I'm somewhat surprised to see that Mexican people touch Ari's hair even more than white people.  I guess some things never change.  So far I think about half of the resort staff know his name now and greet him each time they see him.

Ari is such a super trooper traveler.  We only had one rough point during yesterday's flights, and that was because he got so darn tired on the flight from Dallas to Cabo and just couldn't get comfortable on the airplane.  Thankfully there were open seats in the back, so after my song and dance routine in the aisle with him, I was able to lay him down flat for a while so he could get some shut-eye.  While he slept Roger and I were more than content to just people watch.  There were two couples sitting directly in front of us who were very lovey-dovey and obviously anxious to get their vacation started, if you know what I mean.  At one point Roger made the comment, "I don't think they're married."  To which I replied, "Oh, no, of course not.  They act like they love each other."  Roger thought that was pretty hilarious.  I thought it was kind of sad, but then I realized if I didn't have a toddler that was my first priority, I would still be kissing and loving on Roger in public too.  And to prove just how awesome of a dad Roger is, the funniest moment of the entire day yesterday is credited to him when he ate a rotten, smooshed banana from the bottom of our carry-on because, well, at that moment there was nothing else to do with it.  Did I mention Roger hates bananas?  I laughed so hard I cried as I watched him eat that delicious banana.  He rocks.

Currently I am working on "living in the moment."  Vacation always brings this issue of mine to the forefront and it becomes more apparent.  I realize I have difficulty sitting back and enjoying the now.  My mind always wants to race to next week, next month, next year.   I keep thinking about working and Christmas and our dogs and Ari's eat/sleep schedule I try to keep him on (hahahaha this week!).  There are currently two adoptive friends of mine in Ethiopia for extended stays, and I am constantly thinking of them and Ethiopia and our future little girl and when we get to travel again and how excited I am to go back!  But today is a beautiful day and we are so blessed to be enjoying this time together.  The past two times I've been in Cabo and I would always think, "I can't wait to come here with our kids."  Well, here we are!!!

On our way to Dallas

Roger's sentiments on flying with a toddler

That's me in the back putting an overly tired baby to sleep


Still sleepy

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sesame Street Live (a month ago)

So this is three weeks later....but here are some pictures from Sesame Street Live.  We weren't sure how well Ari would do.  See below for the final answer.

Checking himself out in the self-protrait
This is what he did when BIG BIRD first appeared.  And he kept this pose for the next 15 minutes.
The crew like Ari loved.  
(Notice "Little Bear" isn't on stage.  That was the only freak-out of the evening.  Lasted 45 seconds.)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

1 month

One month down of waiting for Baby Girl!  Time is just flying by!  
And, also, happy National Adoption Day!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Year Ago Yesterday......

A year ago yesterday we found out we had not passed court.  It was our first court date.  We ended up passing approximately two weeks later on November 9th, but on the 27th it was just so disappointing and discouraging.  We were very lucky initially to have received a court date in mid-October, right after the Ethiopian courts had reopened.  That was beyond wonderful news and such a pleasant surprise!!  But as our court date approached, I had a feeling that we weren't going pass.  It just didn't seem like things worked that easily for practically anyone, so I was trying to prepare myself for the worst most likely.  When we got word that we indeed had not passed due to missing paperwork -- a day earlier than we were expecting -- after venting our frustrations, fears, anger, and disappointment to each other and our parents, Roger and I picked ourselves up by our bootstraps and tried to stay optimistic.  After all, we had nothing to complain about; right?  At least we had a court date, unlike many families with our agency who had been waiting much longer than us.  And that fact was not at all lost on us.  So, nevertheless, we were very relieved to get word shortly after the 27th that we did, in fact, have a new court date rescheduled for November 9th.

There are details I remember so, so clearly about the week leading up to that second court date.  The Tuesday before Roger and I traveled to his alma mater Westminster College to talk about our adoption process.  Really good for us.  Just talking about it to strangers renewed my faith that it WAS going to happen.  It also made me talk about it in a positive light, rather than moaning and groaning about all the unknowns.  That first weekend in November Roger went to a NASCAR race while I traveled up to Iowa to visit my friends and family.  I spent Friday night with my cousin Megan in my old dorm building at AIB.  It brought back so many memories and was comforting in a weird way to revisit such an important time from my past.  Those two and a half years of college were my first years of independence, pursuing the direction in which I wanted my life to go, and true adulthood, not to mention a lot of fun too.  That night Megan and I went to a Mercy Me concert, at which point "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles was randomly mixed in with one of the songs in the middle of the concert.  It was so subtle that most people probably didn't even realize or notice it.  If you remember, that was the song I had chosen (in August) for Ari's picture montage (that I put together in September) that I could only post after we had passed court.  I know without a doubt it was God speaking directly to me, reassuring me that everything was going to be okay.  It hit me like a freight train when I heard those lyrics, and I laughed and cried all at the same time.  I still get goosebumps just thinking about that moment.  I then visited my great-grandma up in Manson the next morning and came back to Des Moines later that day, going out to eat with some friends at a restaurant my Grandpa Bill used to frequent often.  It is really difficult to explain, but God's presence was so palpable that weekend.  I felt like it was Him taking me back to revisit all the times and places He was with me and to remind me of how far I'd come; the people, places, and experiences in my life that made me who I am and got me to where I was, and that He was going to prove nothing but faithful in the future and with all He had planned for me.  I came back to Springfield feeling very much at peace that weekend.  It was exactly what I needed, whether I knew it or not at the time.

We were told that Monday, November 9th, that our case did not get heard.  Four days later, Friday the 13th at around noon, we received word we had passed!  I will also never forget where I was at that glorious moment, how it was a beautiful day and probably the happiest I'd ever been.

Once we got to Ethiopia in January and obtained Ari's court documents, it was right there in black and white that our court date had, in fact, been November 9th and was indeed the day that we passed.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Another Step Closer

Does this look familiar to anyone?  It is our dossier picture!!  We received our approval letter from USCIS in just a little over two weeks -- thinking it could very possibly take up to two months.  What an awesome surprise!  So that therefore means our dossier is now complete and is on its way to our agency via FedEx as we speak.  We took this same photograph almost two years ago when we sent off Ari's dossier (December '08) and now here we are sending off the dossier for Baby Girl Wasson!!  Another huge step closer to a sweet little someone in Ethiopia.  We are so excited!!  We are anticipating a 6- to 9-month wait until our referral, give or take, which is of course subject to change.  But in case anyone is wondering, that's what we're anticipating next! 

Ari has now completely transitioned into his new routine with school.  He is loving it!  Still exhausted every day after school but really loving it.  And, in recent developments, just in the past few days his vocabulary has started to expand.  His repertoire now includes:
  • Da-ddy, Da-da
  • hi
  • up
  • down
  • go
  • hat
  • light
  • hot
  • ice
  • bu-bu (bubbles)
  • car
  • a-dee (again)
These are words we are absolutely positive of.  Then there are "words" I hear frequently that I have yet to figure out what they actually are.  I think I can count on one hand how many times he's said "ma-ma," but that's okay.  This past Saturday morning Ari woke up at 6 a.m., so Roger went in and gave him his sippy cup of milk and turned on his rainforest light thingy to try to buy us another half hour or so of sleep.  About five minutes later we hear "Dad!" coming across the house in the clearest, most direct little voice you ever did hear.  It was hilarious!  That was the first time Ari has ever called for one of us by name.  No crying or whining or moaning -- just "Dad!  Da-ddy!"  So, so cute.  It was very reminiscent of the time we turned on the monitor and saw Ari standing in his crib for the first time.    "Ice," "car," and "bubbles" are all very new and recent, so I'm excited to hear what he'll say this week!

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Monday, October 11, 2010

I Am The Child


I am the child. All the world waits for my coming;
All the earth watches with interest to see what I shall become.
Civilization hangs in the balance, For what I am,
the world of tomorrow will be.

I am the child. I have come into your world,
About which I know nothing,
Why I came I know not; How I came I know not;
I am curious; I am interested.

I am the child. You hold in your hand my destiny.
You determine, largely, whether I shall succeed or fail.
Give me, I pray you, Those things that make for happiness.
Train me, I beg you, That I may be a blessing to the world.

~~ Author Unknown ~~

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Last night Abby told me I should blog.  But really all anyone really wants is to see pictures....

First Sucker.  In Church.  With Flash from iPhone.  Classy.

Ready for First Day of School.

Typical reaction three-minutes after being picked up from school. 

Looking for Pumpkins and rocking his "dirty" jeans and new kicks.

Asking for "more" rides on his Tractor.
(Notice the broom handle - we have to use that to hold the gas down....for now)

He's like Vanna White -- rarely in the same outfit twice!

Friday, September 17, 2010

What's New???

A LOT!!!!!!  So sorry for the MIA blog status lately.  I think about blogging ALL THE TIME but can never seem to get around to doing it.  We've been really busy around here lately.  Roger has been busy for the past few weeks moving their business to a different location.  Wonderful change for the company, but a lot of work!!  So now that the "moving" work is basically done, he's in the process of trying to get caught up with his "real" work.  Which fortunately for us he seems to have plenty of!!  I am staying busy with court reporting and trying to manage being at home with Ari while still working part time.  Let me just say, having the luxury of working from home as a mom is AWESOME!!  I wouldn't have it any other way.  The challenging part is actually getting the work done with a toddler in the house.....who only wants to nap less than two hours a day.  Challenging it is.  I am wanting to increase my work schedule to taking depos two days a week consistently rather than just one, so that has contributed to a particularly terrifying/exciting/panic-inducing decision on my part:  Ari is starting Montessori school on Monday!  I know, I know, he's only 1; right?  How can he be going to school already?  He will be attending a toddler program each morning for three hours and will then spend the rest of the day at home with me or one of his grandmas if I'm taking depos.  I really feel this is going to be the best of both worlds for him and me and Roger, but holy cow it's been a heart-wrenching decision for me.  I always wanted to work part time, and although I wasn't planning on starting Ari in preschool until next fall, I really feel that this year is a better choice -- for all of us.  I've visited the school twice, both times with Ari, and feel really great about his two teachers and the overall classroom environment.  He is going to learn so much and have a wonderful outlet for all that curiosity, energy, and intelligence he has.  I had looked into a couple other daycare/preschool options earlier this summer and had walked out going "H***, no, am I taking him there!"  I got such a different feeling with the Montessori school.  The first day we visited I almost cried I liked it so much.  But then two days later I'm crying, wondering if this is the very best thing for him.  It is just such a huge contradiction of feelings to love being a mother and yet choosing not to stay at home full time. 

In other really exciting news, we have started the process for our second adoption!!  We actually have completed much of it and are getting close to officially "waiting."  Our homestudy and dossier is already complete.  Right now we are waiting on our USCIS fingerprint appointment.  Slow, slow, slow.  Does it seem like we're rushing it a bit?  Well, it may seem that way, but it is so very, very important to us for Ari to have a sibling who shares his heritage, and with international adoption being so unpredictable, we really didn't want to push our luck by dragging our feet.  We have no reason to believe that the Ethiopian adoption program is in any jeopardy in any way, shape, or form, but, like I said, it is very unpredictable and things can change quickly.  We are using Holt International as our agency this time around and couldn't be happier.  So professional.  Competent.  Helpful.  So different than our agency experience with Ari's adoption.  We expect the time frame to be about the same as Ari's -- somewhere around 18 months give or take from start to finish.  Roger has been a saint in putting up with my OCD attitude when it comes to getting all things done "adoption related."  Truly, a saint.  My Type A personality has been in overdrive lately.  We may or may not have a second crib in our house.  I'm just sayin'.  But we feel so at peace with how this adoption is progressing.  I'm not in a constant state of angst over it like I was with Ari's.  The fact that we have a beautiful, smart, funny, busy little boy in our house definitely has something to do with it!!  I can't wait to see Ari as an older brother.  He is going to be phenomenal, I just know it.

Our handsome little man.
Lookin' like a big brother already.

Below are some pictures of Ari's new playroom.  Once again, meant to post these about a month ago, but better late than never, I guess.  This room had previously sat basically empty for the last five years -- ever since we moved into our house -- just waiting to become a playroom.  It's a big hit with the little man and his friends.

And in case you were wondering about the gender of our second baby.......

We are starting to see pink around here!!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Year Ago Yesterday......

It's hard to believe it's been a year since we laid eyes on our little boy's picture for the first time -- August 20th.  That was such an awesome day!!  I still remember exactly where I was driving in the car when our agency called my cell phone, how I told Roger we had a referral while standing in the parking lot of the Cooper ballfields before watching our nephew's baseball game and he didn't believe me, how we came home and looked at his picture together with nervous excitement.  Oh, what a wonderful, unbelievable feeling that was.  And here we are one year later.  These pictures are just priceless.  And he's sick too.  But still happy.  Later yesterday evening we took our first trip to urgent care where we ended up getting a chest x-ray and a breathing treatment.  Apparently he has perihilar pneumonitis, plus an ear infection which I'm pretty sure he lives with on a daily basis, and is now taking three different medicines.  Yuck. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Today was my......ahem......30th birthday, but what a wonderful one it was.  It was also Ari's day in court for his readoption finalization!!  I remember wishing and hoping and praying that we would get a referral on my birthday last year.  Well, that came only three weeks later on August 20th, the day my mom had predicted (really amazing, I know).  But I just LOVE that Ari's court date was today -- on my birthday.  No, we did not plan that.  God planned that because I think He knew just how much I woud appreciate that little gift.  I love when God speaks directly to you -- just plain as day.  Don't you?

For anyone out there who doesn't know and wants to know, in the state of Missouri you have to do a readoption when you adopt internationally.  It is really just a formality, but it is required and it is also the time to do a legal name change.  Up to this point Ari's legal name has been Madegiya Roger Wasson because that is how the Ethiopian government listed it on his Ethiopian birth certificate.  So now he can get his Social Security number/card with the proper name and we can also now file for his N600, which is his Certificate of Citizenship.  Right now he is a permanent resident.  Blah, blah, blah.  Enough of that.  The details and paperwork are never-ending.  The important thing is we are nearly complete with Ari's adoption paperwork/hoops.  

Below is a beautiful picture of two very happy parents, one very kind judge, and one very sleepy little boy who was asleep during the entire court proceedings and then was woken up abruptly when the courtroom started clapping as soon as the judge officially approved our adoption!  And he received a little blue bunny as a gift from the court clerk.  How sweet is that?!?