Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Submit Your Compliments about My Photography Skills Here

Trying to take pictures using a phone from behind a window one story up from swim lessons has not resulted in the clearest photographs. Still, hopefully you can make out the fact that Atticus is swimming without a bubble in the second picture. Norah is starting to gain confidence and make progress in this area too. Both of them adore swim class and we're thrilled that they've taken to the water so well.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ag Days at the 4-H Fairgrounds

After all, we do live in the Midwest. We managed to come home without any new pets, despite the plethora of adorable lambs, calves, goat kids, ducklings, chicks, chickens, piglets, alpacas, and llamas.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Man's Best Friend

Today, Atticus watched Stella eat an apple core that Norah had discarded on the floor and said,
"Stella is a really important friend because she takes care of cleaning up things that would get Atticus and Norah into trouble."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sunny Saturday

The weather today was the type that keeps us chilly Midwesterners going until spring arrives for real at the end of April. We seized the chance to run around in the sunshine and passed the afternoon at a local maple syrup festival. There were plenty of sweet treats to taste and many activities perfect for small people. It was a great way to spend a pretty day!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekend Photos

Norah desperately wanted to help with our friends' baby.
We visited the new otters at the zoo with the Peep-Eye family.
The children begged to ride the train and then spent the entire time covering their ears.

Thank you to everyone who has been keeping our family and the entire MOWA situation in your thoughts and prayers. I don't have any real updates to give aside from the fact that a meeting among officials on Friday yielded another wait-and-see directive. For now, that's really the only thing that we can do. In the meantime, we're grateful that we already have two fabulous kiddos to keep us busy and distracted.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Crap, Crap, Crappity-Crap

I feel empty and can hardly begin to describe what's going on with Ethiopian adoption in articulate terms. A huge bomb was dropped without warning by MOWA (Ministry of Women's Affairs in Ethiopia) who stated two weeks ago that effective tomorrow they will only hear five cases per day instead of approximately forty. Nobody really knows exactly what's going on, mass hysteria has begun, and it's predicted that it could now take YEARS for adoptive families to bring their children home after getting a referral and the entire time children would be languishing in orphanages. It's not pretty.

There remains some optimism as some entities predict that this is a starting point for discussions with MOWA. Everyone is hoping that meetings scheduled for Friday will bring some clarity to the situation and relieve some of the uncertainty. In the meantime, it's a miserable, gut-wrenching place to be. I don't know where we're supposed to go from here.

A petition asking the Ethiopian government to reconsider how they go about adoption reform is available here.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Catching Up on Photos

We finally got a little more sunshine!
We put fancy knots in Norah's hair today. It took a long time. She declared tonight that she can't sleep on them...
opening Valentine's Day gifts from Aunt Donna and Uncle Eddie

dressing up like Nommie and Grandpa Terry

Sleeping Some More

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Songs for Waiting

In 2007, when we were in the process of adopting Atticus and Norah, I listened to these two songs and cried every single day on my way to work. Luckily, it was a short drive, so I was able to let it all out and recover before my eyes got too puffy. The CD player in my car hasn't worked reliably since Atticus fed it some pennies over the summer, but I'm thinking it's about time that I add these two tunes to my running playlist. I'm not going to lie: the waiting is getting hard. I'll go ahead and add the standard disclaimers that I'm being a big whiny baby about it and tons of other potential adoptive parents have waited far longer. I get that - really. Still, it's getting hard. We started working on our homestudy at the end of April 2010 and the process just seems to be getting longer and longer. My parents unfortunately gave me the middle name Anne instead of Patience and tears of frustration are once again making their appearance regularly around here.

In 2007, our adoption coordinator assured me that someday I would look back and realize that all the bumps in the road and minor setbacks had led to our children. At the time I sort of rolled my eyes and wanted to tell her where she could send all that sunshine, but of course I eventually realized she was right. If our social worker had been more efficient, if the embassy had finished our paperwork faster, or if the orphanage had matched families to children in the exact order that paperwork was submitted, Atticus and Norah wouldn't be our children. It's mind boggling to consider that all those times that I felt disappointed because the process wasn't going as quickly as I'd hoped were actually critical to being able to be Atticus and Norah's parents. [Feel free to queue up any number of sappy country songs here.]

For now, we wait - one of us more patiently than the other. Paul is apparently smart enough to realize that we already have an awesome life and the next adoption will happen when it's time. He's telling himself that it's going to be a long time before we get a referral and hoping that maybe we'll get pleasantly surprised by it coming earlier. As for me, I'm going to listen to some more Ani DiFranco, run some more miles, maybe paint a few rooms in our house, and trust that hindsight will once again prove to be 20/20.