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?!?    

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Most Traumatic Day

This past Sunday Roger and I put Ari in the church nursery for the first time ever while we attended church service.  And let me preface this by saying that was the first time Ari has been without us anywhere except in our own home.  Up until Sunday he had only been left alone with one of his grandmas or his babysitter Caitlin, and that has always been at our house.  And only one day a week at the very most since April  Yes, we take adoption attachment very seriously, and it is so worth it because it seems to be working well.  For all you soon-to-be adoptive parents other there, YOU CANNOT TAKE ATTACHMENT TOO SERIOUSLY!!  It is so important.  You may be exhausted.  You may want a  break.  But do not leave the childcare duties up to someone else.  If someone wants to help out, let them do your laundry.  If they want to bring you a meal, fine.  But other than that, do the parenting yourself.  You literally signed up to adopt.  Take it seriously.  Okay.  I'll get off my soapbox now. 

So, anyway, back to Sunday.  We dropped him off at the nursery.  I walked him into the room, sat him down, pointed out all the fun toys, and did a quick but cheerful good-bye.  No tears were shed.  At least on Ari's part.  I, on the other hand, fought tears through the first 20 minutes of church.  And not so successfully either.  Wow, that sucked!!!!!  It was really going against my comfort zone and instinct to leave him in the nursery.  But I kept telling myself, "He's been home six months.  He's a year old.  Our attachment has gone wonderfully.  It will be okay."  Well, I think it was kind of okay.  I don't think any permanent damage was done, but when we went to pick him up, I peeked in the window before he saw me to see what he was up to.  He was one of the last children picked up (even though we went straight to the nursery as soon as church was over) and he was sitting in the middle of the room by himself, watching forlornly as another mother came to the doorway to pick up her little girl.  He wasn't crying, but he definitely wasn't having the time of his life either.  I peeked my head into the room and said, "Hi, Ari!!"  He immediately stood up and made a beeline for my arms.  Once he got to me he started sniffling and then the crocodile tears came.  Apparently he had held it together until he saw us again.  That kind of broke my heart.  More than kind of.  Obviously he was stressed and worried that we had left him in an unfamiliar place with an unfamiliar caregiver because he has never had that reaction to my return home when he's been left with his babysitter or grandma.  And I know he's at that separation anxiety age, but I know my little boy, and that was hard on him.  I don't think we'll be doing the church nursery again anytime soon.  And even if it's not too soon for Ari (although I think it is), it is definitely too soon for mommy.

In other news, Ari has entered toddlerhood!!  His independence is becoming quite fierce.  Meals and sleep are a  little bit different (read: harder) than they used to be.  My baby boy who used to eat perfectly-balanced meals that I prepared for him is now sharing with us he has his own mealtime agenda.  And the sleeping that used to come so easily is now fought for at least a good 20 minutes before he gives in.  He is still what I would consider an "easy baby," but the baby part is definitely slipping away and being replaced by a little boy who has his own mind and ideas.  I am working on my patience and creativity.  Two characteristics a mommy can never have enough of, I don't think.

Check back to our blog soon to see pictures of a fun project recently completed!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Will You -- or, better yet, can you -- Do Something??

I know this is the second recent post I've done about helping Ethiopia, but my heart just aches for this country.  I have a very real and physical reaction to the suffering that goes on there, and I can't help but try to bring awareness through this blog.  And I know not every family is called to adopt, obviously.  But there's SOOOOOO much difference one person/family can make in other ways.  And I guess I should state this:  Roger and I did not choose to adopt a child from Ethiopia knowing the extent of suffering and despair that exists over there.  We really just wanted to be parents and this was a way to do it.  We, like most Americans, had no idea how bad it really is.  I mean, sure, we all know it's a third-world country, but it's comfortably on the other side of the world and not something we thought about a whole lot.  But once you've seen it, brought a child home from it, it is increasingly difficult to turn your back and pretend it doesn't exist.  The cliche out of sight, out of mind does not apply here.  And maybe your heart isn't called to help Ethiopia.  Maybe it's someone or somewhere else.  But how can we be so selfish, so ignorant to all the suffering that exists in this world?  We are so ridiculously blessed beyond measure in this country, we don't even have a real concept of how privileged we are.  And if we all committed to do something, anything, what a huge difference it would be.  It's not hard.  In some instances it is a case of clicking a PayPal button and you've changed someone's life -- increased their chance for a better future.  Here is a wonderful opportunity to make a difference and also open your eyes.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Six Months Later

ari has now been home six months with us.  amazing.  yesterday was officially the six-month-home date, but it wasn't until the morning of the 17th that we started functioning as a real family of three at HOME.

january 17, 2010

july 17, 2010

what a blessing.  we love him very much.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why Ethiopia

So many people did and still do ask us why we chose to adopt from Ethiopia.  There are many reasons.  Like, 4.8 million to be exact.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday, Ari!

Ari Madegiya is 1 today!!  Happy birthday to our beautiful boy who continues to amaze us and bring a smile to our face each and every day.  We are seriously having just way too much fun with this little man.