10.29.2011

hair

Our little K

While Dad is working today, I began to work on your room. Yep, procrastination is over. So far, the closet has been cleaned and the corner where I have kinda been throwing donations as they appear as well. Okay, so I did really clean the closet, but I just moved the donations to the dining room to what is now the "staging area." I have begun a list, and I know I will be checking it more than twice, but I have started.

So the big news? You have hair!!! Our referral pictures of you, you were bald, and now you have some hair. Really, you have grown a lot of hair in about a month. The B family saw you while in Ethiopia to see their two kids and were sweet enough to take some pictures of you for us. Our favorites? The one where you look like you are waving, as well as one where you look very surprised. Love them.

Okay, back to work. I just wanted to tell you, you have hair.

Love,
Mom

10.25.2011

heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to court we go. . .

K

Today was a GREAT news day, we have a court date!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

B called and left a message on my cell phone at 11:58 am and from there called your Dad. Your Dad started calling and texting me at 12:05 pm, but I didn't get them until I got home from my conference at 1:53 pm.

We know when we will go to court and more importantly, when we get to hold you for the first time. In 42 days we will appear in court in Ethiopia. In 40 days, we will see and hold you for the first time. 40 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is so much to do. My head is kinda spinning right now. Our tickets are purchased, B has cleared our travel itinerary, and it looks like Sunday, December 4th we will get to see you for the first time. So now I need to prepare myself to go before a judge for the first time. We leave in 38 days. 

Love,
Mom  

10.24.2011

everyone has an opinion

K

Your Dad and I are still waiting patiently for a court date. My prediction to B last week of Thursday being the day didn't happen. So maybe this week we will hear about a court date. Tomorrow would be a great day, but so would any other day this week, to hear about when we get to meet you. At the same time, there is still so much to do. (We have been putting off getting some of our shots. . .)

This past Saturday your Dad and I traveled to the bank to get a form notarized to send off to B regarding you. I will admit, I was disappointed we didn't get KM to notarize the form. I would like to think she was hiding in the back, since we always have a ton of forms to notarize, but we got someone new.

From the bank, we traveled to a great place, Target. Your Dad and I thought we should actually complete our registry. (Previously we started it online and had a BOB stroller on it. I am thinking we might need more than a stroller.) We walked up and down a lot of aisles. We scanned a bunch of stuff. At times we looked at each other and just aimed the scanner at something. (Your aunts are probably rushing to the list now to double check our list.)

It was difficult not scanning any cute clothes, since we don't know how big you will be, but there are some awesome items on the list. I think we had the most fun in the book and movie sections. Yes, we registered for more books for you. There was a great deal of thought put into these items, such as: Eating the Alphabet (someone needs to like veggies here), Little Pookie (I have been calling your Dad "Pookie" for a long time), You Are My Sunshine (Grammie sang this to me growing up, just the first verse, otherwise it is depressing), hockey pro goal set (so you and Joey can play hockey), and The Land Before Time (your Dad loves this movie).  

Even more exciting, we finally made decision about your crib. It has been ordered and should arrive in 2 weeks.

Love,
Mom


10.21.2011

conferences

K

So I am done. That's right, I am done with parent-teacher conferences, at least the first quarter ones until next year. I didn't have a lot of conferences, so it was nice to get to sit and get stuff done. What I do like about PT conferences, is the cookie bar. That's right, a cookie bar.

Last year was the first year of the cookie bar. Over lunch a group of us were trying to determine how we could make PT Conference more fun/exciting/different; we had heard about the great food the elementary schools get during conferences and were a bit jealous. So we all agreed to being in different cookies, frosting, toppings, and other awesomely bad for you food. The tradition continued this year and I can say I did enjoy my cookie breaks.

The disappointing part of conferences? We didn't get a call about our court date. Last weekend I decided we would get the call on Thursday since your Dad and I wouldn't see each other until after 8 pm due to conferences. Well, we didn't get the call, there is always next week. (To be honest, AGCI doesn't close for another 2 hours.)

At the same time, we really need to get working on your room. I have the fabric picked out for the valances in your bedroom. Grammie is using it to make you a Star Wars: A New Hope, pennant valance. It doesn't have Lando Calrissian, but you will like it. We also need to order your crib. That task is on the "To Do" list for the weekend. I have a couple picked out, we just need to make a decision.

K, I think that is about it for what is happening here. Joey is sleeping on the sofa and I am thinking he is smart. A nap sounds great.

Love,
Mom

10.18.2011

Give me a P!


K

So, we didn’t get to tell you the whole story about sharing your referral with your Dad’s family. I now get to share it with you, the day we told your Grandma Kathy, Aunts Kristi and Kelli, Uncles Alex, Justin, and Jeff, and cousins C, C, and P. Well, there is another P who wasn’t included in the list I just gave, your newest cousin. Your Aunt Kristi and Uncle Justin are adopting again! That’s right, the family is growing again and your Aunt, Uncle, and cousins are going back to China. So dinner on September 28th was a great night for adding members to the fam. Your cousin P will hopefully be home by next fall, if all of the paperwork goes well. (If you would like to read your Aunt’s post, you can go here.)

In other exciting news, I talked with your Aunt Meg the other day. (Okay, so not so exciting since this isn't anything cool/weird/other.) Your Aunt shared with me a story about your cousin L going to bed. L has begun to say part of her prayers. On Monday her prayer began with "Dear God and Uncle Wuc's baby in a plane. . ." I am not sure why you are in a plane or just "Uncle Wuc's" baby, but I thought it was cute. L's picture of you apparently is getting a lot of love. She pushes it around the house in her stroller. I don't think you will fit in her doll stroller.

Love,
Mom

10.16.2011

no Tommy Hawk

K

Courts re-opened in Ethiopia last week and your Dad and I are patiently eagerly awaiting a phone call to say we have a court date. We are assuming we won't get to travel until the first week of December, at the earliest, but we would really like to know when we get to hold you for the first time. I actually thought we got the call on Friday, while I was teaching. When I got back to my desk, there was a message from an area code I didn't recognize. Yes, I do have B's number programmed into my phone, but it could have been someone else calling for her. No, I don't have Portland's area code memorized. But it wasn't, it was just the fingerprinting people returning my call a week later, for redoing our homestudy. Bummer.
I know what you are thinking, "Why is my Brutus in Joey's water bowl?" Well, Joey is thinking, "Why is K's Brutus in my water bowl? Why isn't there water in my THE Ohio State bowl?" Well. . . This past week there was a small disaster at the house. Your Dad dropped and broke Joey's water bowl. Joey was not happy. He is a little OCD, no idea where he gets that, and was upset about drinking from a different bowl. While searching online for a new bowl, I came across a couple of different Blackhawk dog bowls. Your Dad and I were looking at them, deciding if we would get him matching ones or if he could do with a Blackhawk and an Ohio State bowl. While we were looking at the pictures, we at Joey. He was sitting on his sofa, staring at us. I think he was daring us to get him a different bowl. We got him the same Ohio State bowl he had had. In the process, we also ordered you a Brutus. It is one of the first ones we found where the head doesn't come off. I think this one is still a bit on the scary side, but your Dad really likes it.

In addition to getting a Brutus in the mail, your Dad and I received this from AGCI. In addition to your frog, we got a card with your information in it as well as our travel packet. Now we really do need a court date.
On a sad note, we did not go to last night's Blackhawks game. Your Dad was really sick and didn't feel he could do the drive there and back, along with the game. Which is probably a good thing, he really didn't look so great yesterday. However this means we missed a shoot out, but the Hawks didn't win. The Bruins did. At the same time, I was really looking forward to the United Center ice cream. Yes, I really do enjoy ice cream year round and I see nothing wrong with eating it at a hockey game. Yes, your Dad does say I am weird whenever I do this. However, our not going means you will have to wait to have a Tommy Hawk.
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So, hopefully we get the call this week about going to court. Although I would love it early in the week, Thursday would be a great day. It would make Parent Teacher Conference so much more exciting. 

Love,
Mom

10.09.2011

It's growing. . .

K

You are probably asking, "Mom, what are you talking about?" (Which I am also assuming is a question you will be asking a lot growing up.) Well, actually two things are growing, first your fan club and secondly your library.

So let's start with, your fan club.

So K, I will be honest, your Dad and I didn't print your referral pictures until last Saturday. When we told your Dad's immediate family, we showed them your pictures on the computer. I know, horrible parenting. At the same time, there was a purpose to this, we didn't want to show your pictures to everyone until we had shared the news with my family. So this week, on Monday, the special education department saw your picture for the first time and learned your name and gender (previously they just knew we got the call). To be honest, I forgot your pictures at home when I left the house on Monday, so they saw it on the computer for the first time as well. (I don't think your aunts Marcia and Courtney were happy with me in the car pool about this.)

Today we had lunch with your Grandma Kathy and took her our favorite picture of you in a frame. It is the picture of you sitting on one of the Special Mother's lap at Hannah's Hope with your hands on your knees. We love this picture. You look absolutely adorable!  You so look like you are up to something in this picture. I think someone described as it looked like you were scheming. Be prepared little K, we will scheme together and figure out different ways to make your Dad shake his head at us (really you just have to cheer on the other team, so feel free to route for Michigan).

(This picture is special, K. It is the one we sent another AGCI family who is traveling to Ethiopia this week. You probably know at least one of their kids at HH, but you will get to meet at least one of the parents when they take a couple of pictures of you for us. Be sure to smile pretty!)

After lunch with your Grandma Kathy, your Dad and I stopped by your Great-Gpa Deward and Great-Gma Shirley's to drop off your picture there as well. Unfortunately they weren't home, so we left your picture for them to come home to later in the day. When Great-Gma called later, she called you "precious," while Great-Gpa called you "husky." From there, we drove to Great-Grandma Willie's house. I am sorry, I don't remember what GG Willie said when she saw your picture. Your Great-Great Aunt Rosie was there as well. Both highly liked your picture and GG Aunt Rosie called you, "hefty." K, you are big. Last we heard you were 20 pounds at ten months.

Your growing book collection.

So K, I have a confession, I keep buying you books. Today your library grew to include:

Yes, that's right, you have a bunch of Sesame Street books. I was liking the "Listen to your Fish" one when I was reading it at Target. It is all about caring for your pet(s), plus it has Elmo in it. It will be good for when you begin to give Joey his breakfast and dinner. Right now Joey is on a diet, so he gets really excited about getting food, so hopefully that will ease up a bit before you come home. The Star Wars shirt was a must. To be honest, I have no idea what size of clothes to start buying you. I know you are about 20 pounds and 30 inches tall, at 10 months. However, I don't know if you are all legs, have a long torso, or are proportional. So this shirt is a 3T and should fit at some point.

There was another addition to your library. It came today from your Grandma Kathy. It was your Dad's favorite book growing up. You are know the proud owner of:
So there are rules to this book. Your Dad has to read it to you. Okay, there is only one rule, your Dad has to read it to you. You might feel compelled to have this book read to you multiple times a week, or even the same night, but your Dad has to read it to you. I have nothing against this book or Rosemary Wells, but I am not reading this book to you. It is my understanding that your Dad asked for this book A LOT growing up. It is also my understanding he didn't appreciate it if Grandma tried to skip a couple of pages. So I know you have many great books in your library, but be sure to ask for this one a lot.

In other news. . .
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Your Star Wars action figure collection is also growing. You now have the Android Set. Who doesn't want to own an android? I am a bit confused why Chewy is included in this set, but who doesn't need a Wookie?

So I think this about covers it. I can't think of anything else to include, at least for now.

Love,
Mom



For those of you reading our letters to our son, please join us in praying for:
  • Our K at Hannah’s Hope in Addis Ababa. Pray K stays healthy, attaches to his care givers at Hannah’s Hope, and can come home with us as quickly as the system allows. 
  • KJ, our first referral.
  • The biological family of our child.
  • The children who are still waiting to be matched with their families and those who are waiting for those matches. It is a hard wait.
  • Almaz and her staff at Hannah’s Hope. They will be the ones caring and loving our K until he can be here with us.
  • Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA), the government agency, in Ethiopia processing our paperwork.
  • A quick court date, plus courts reopen this week.
  • Our agency, AGCI, and its workers as they do their part in bringing our family together.
  • Our amazing home study agency, The Baby Fold, and our worker, L, for their part in this journey.   
  • Luc and myself as we wait knowing our child is around 7,500 miles and an ocean away, as we finish our preparations for bringing our child home, for safe travel, and once K is home.

10.02.2011

Week in review. . .


So little Lando, here’s what happened this week. . .

Monday (September 26)- I go to school and during my first planning period I text your Dad at 10:59 am:

Mom: “i’m feeling it. 2day is the day.”
Dad: “?”
Mom: “referral”
Dad: “I hope you’re right. . . waiting sucks :)”
Mom: “it does”

Later in the day. . .
I am done teaching and am back in my office trying to determine what has to be done before leaving for the day. My cell begins to ring at 3:17 pm, I look at it, but I don’t recognize the number. I just know the area code is not one from Illinois. So I answer it. . .

“Is Kara there?”
Mom: “This is she.”
“Hi, this is K from All God’s Children.” 

As soon as I heard “K” I got up from my desk and walked through the connecting door, closing it, to Marcia’s room. (Marcia was in there talking with a student teacher, but I didn’t really notice.) K told me she wanted to talk to me about a little boy and somehow I asked her if I could call back in about an hour when both your Dad and I could be on the line together. As soon as I am of the phone with K, I call your Dad’s cell phone, it goes to voicemail. I leave a message about how we are getting the call and he needs to go home.

As soon as I leave the message I look at Marcia and said told her we needed to leave. (I think there was some cheering.) I go back into the office, being asked questions by the others, and call Courtney to say we needed to leave so I could take the call. 5 minutes later we were in the car. 

Mom: “go home 1 hr”
Dad: “I’ve got 1 hour 10 minutes. Clock says 3:20.”

I then proceeded to call your Dad’s direct line at work, where I got Moses. (Moses and I have talked a lot during this process.) I asked Moses if your Dad was available and I was told he wasn’t. I then told Moses he got the joy of telling your Dad we were getting the call and needed to go home. (By the way, your Dad is just staring at his cell at this point.)

Mom: “dude. getting call.”
Dad: “:). . . u called me dude???”
Mom: “boy” (as in, we are getting a boy)
Mom: “response?”
Dad: “Home now taking Joey out”
Mom: “ok. fire up the computer.”

By the time I get home, your Dad has the computer waiting. So at 4:22 pm we call K at AGCI. We get the voicemail. I try playing with the Flip camera, I can’t get it to work. We call K again at 4:28, we get her. She proceeds to tell us what she knows about you. We go through all of your documents and get to see your picture. (I do have to say, the first picture we saw was not the best one to start with. You have a really bad diaper rash right now. The first picture we saw of you was a close up of your diaper rash. I will say your second picture, it is our favorite.) While on the phone with K, waiting for you documents to download, I email them off to Dr. Gray for our consultation. 

After getting off the phone with K, your Dad and I just look at each other. We decide we want to tell our families in person so we make dinner. I will admit it, your referral is different. Your Dad and I are proceeding with caution and we know about what can still happen before you are officially and legally our son. 

Once we eat dinner we call my parents. Your Grammie has been bugging me for a bit about what I want for my birthday. I tell her I have decided what I want and would just like to meet half way for dinner. Your Grammie tells me they are too busy to do that on Wednesday. Last week we were invited to your Aunt Kristi and Uncle Justin’s for dinner. We declined since it was my birthday, but your Dad checks to see if we are still invited. We are. Your Dad’s family will be the first to hear all of the news about your referral. 

Tuesday (September 27)- Your Dad and I each go to work. For those who know we received the phone call, we do not share any information. When asked, we tell them we want to tell family first. Dr. Gray and I send a couple of emails back and forth about setting up a conference call. 

Wednesday (September 28)- This was a BIG day. I went to work, but your Dad had the day off and was tasked with a lot to do. He began his day with dropping Joey off to be groomed and then went to the dentist. From the dentist, he tried to get L to sign off on the social worker page, she wasn’t in yet, so he left a message. Your Dad then went home and waited to talk with Dr. Gray at 10 am. 

When I get to my first planning period, I check my phone to see if your Dad called to say how the call went with Dr. Gray. At a little past 11 am, he still hadn’t called, so I call him and we discuss what Dr. Gray had to say. Everything checks out and I call and email K at AGCI to say we are moving forward. 

I leave school at 3:10 pm to meet your Dad at the bank so we can notarize all of the papers and send them off to AGCI. On the way home, I realize I forgot to print off your transition plan and call your Dad to get ink for the printer and print it off. I get to the bank at 4:00 and get a call from your Dad saying it isn’t printing. From the bank I go to Courtney’s to use her printer and meet your Dad back at the bank by 4:30. Once we were done with notarizing the forms, your Dad goes to pick up Joey and I go meet Marcia who picked up a very special cake for me since I didn’t think I would get to Janet’s by 5:00 pm (by the way, I drove past Janet’s at 5 on my way home). 

Your Dad and I were supposed to be at your Aunt Kristi’s by 5:30 for dinner, I think we got there at 5:50. Your Aunt Kristi made an awesome dinner of steak, party potatoes, salad, and veggies. I wish I could tell you the whole story of dinner, but you will have to wait a bit for that. But your Dad and I didn’t say a word about our awesome news until dessert. Once we were done eating dinner and ready for dessert, I brought in the cake from Janet’s. This is how we told your Dad’s sisters, brother, Mom, and your cousins about your referral. 

That's right, K we told your Dad's family about your referral by using a cake. K, they are really excited about you and loved your pictures. Don’t worry, we didn’t show them the one of the diaper rash. They can’t wait to meet you.

After leaving your Aunt Kristi’s, your Dad and I went to the post office to mail off your paperwork. Can I just say, I love the automated machine at the post office! 

Thursday (September 29)- Your Dad and I had our transition call with Emily from AGCI. 

Friday (September 30)- K from AGCI calls to say all of the paperwork is great. 

Saturday (October 1)- Your Dad and I drive to Grammie and Papa’s house. When we get there, in addition to Grammie and Papa, were Aunt Meg, cousin L, Great Aunt Kim, Grammie’s cousin Mick and his wife Elaine, and eventually your Uncle Spence.

Soon after arriving, your cousin L needs to be changed. I discreetly grab one of your pictures and take L to be changed, but your Aunt Meg follows. . . Once L is changed, I tell your Aunt Meg she has to leave because L and I have secrets to tell. Once your Aunt Meg leaves the room, I close the door and show L your picture. I tell her this is her cousin K and L of course says, “Uncle Wuc’s baby!” L and I talk about how it is a secret and she needs to give the picture to Papa. We talk about how to hold the picture and L holds your picture over her heart as we walk out of the room. L walks over to Papa and says, “Here Papa!” (L of course was really proud of herself). Papa asks L what it is and your Aunt Meg who is right next to him shouts, “You got another referral!” 

K, there were a lot of hugs and tears as everyone looked through your pictures and we answered questions. Of course, there were a lot of questions we couldn’t answer. Everyone wants to know when you are coming home, I so wish I could tell them. 

After leaving Grammie and Papa’s, we stop by a local gift store to look for a baptism gift. We didn’t find one, but we did pick something up for you. You are now the proud owner of. . .

Sunday (October 2)- We go north for A’s baptism and get to tell Aunt Jennie about you. We actually saw her parents first, so they got to see your pictures first. The baptism was great and of course lunch had A LOT of food and cake. 

So Lando, who we now know your name is K, this is what your referral week looked liked. We got to tell people in person about it and see their reaction. I loved we were able to see the joy in their faces and see the excitement for us and you. 

Love,
Mom and Dad