Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Magnetic Personality

I've always loved fridge magnets. I've collected many over the years, and I've received many of them as gifts. Not many of them are suitable for a younger audience. Ever since Makeda has been on the way, every time my father comes to visit, he dutifully scopes out the fridge and methodically removes the most offensive, stacking them neatly on the top of the fridge. Just as methodically, once he's gone I place them all carefully back in the right place. Here is a small sample:

This has always been my favourite:

Now that I've moved into my new place, I've had to make some "sacrifices". The new fridge is pretty small, and to continue showing off my collection, I've had to remove all the pictures that they used to hold up. But once in awhile, something fridgeworthy comes along, like this little number that arrived in the mail today, and i have to make some room...

Welcome li'l miss elsa! And that's some nice stripey leggings you're wearing today.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Shoe Drops

So, for every adoptive parent, there is a time during the process when the whole thing starts to become real. This point might come when your dossier leaves Canada, or when your referral arrives. Perhaps even when Court approval is received, or when the plane ticket is booked. But for me, although these were all great milestones, none of them said "Baby you're going to have a baby" quite like...

yup, it was the carseat.

But it's not all a lost cause. On the same day I had the car seat installed, I got THIS baby outta storage. mmmm mmmm. And y'all can place all the bets you want on how long I hang onto it 'cause I AIN'T SELLING IT!

Bloody Hell That Was A Lot of Work

ONE WEEK LATER - the trip is finally booked. So here's the quick summary: We leave on Saturday May 10th and arrive in Addis the morning of May 12th. We stay in Addis on the 12th and 13th. On one of those two days - I will meet my daughter!! It will be a brief visit, as we drop off our 2 hockey bags full of goodies for the orphanage. We'll spend these 3 days getting our bearings in Addis and doing some shopping. On the morning of the 15th, we take off on our Northern tour. Many thanks to Porter for basically planning the trip for us. For the next five days we will vist Bahir Dar, Gondar and Lalibella, returning to Addis on the 19th. On May 20th, I will spend the day at the orphanage getting acquainted with Makeda, but she will remain there overnight. On the 21st, I'll spend the day there again, but this time, I will take her away with me (she says with both fear and exhilaration). The 22nd will be a big day, as I have asked to meet Makeda's birthmom. If she agrees, she will either travel to the orphanage to meet me, or else I will travel to Nazret and meet her there. I won't know whether she's agreed to meet me until we arrive in Addis. On the 23rd, we will spend the day in Addis, and then we fly out at midnight, arriving back in Vancouver at noon on Saturday May 24th.

I need a glass of wine just thinking about this. Pass me my wine!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

It's a J Day

This is J. And every birthday she gets to pick whether she'd like a birthday gift or a J day with a giftgiver. She picked a day with Auntie Barbie so today was our time together. Since she gets to have everything she wants, and we only get 24 hours, a lot of our time together revolves around food. When the kids were younger, I'd have a lot of fun with these food choices. Once I had my newphew so buzzed on sugar that by pick-up time the following day, he was running in circles around my coffee table. So, I'm pleased to report that in the first 8 hours together, consumption goals have so far been achieved. We started with our favourite Miss Vickie's sea salt and vinegar chips with ginger ale, moved on to cheese pizza, then chocolate cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies and finished up with more chips. We walked the dogs, played in the park, bought 3 outfits for Makeda and watched Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. We also broke the J day rules by slipping in a little birthday gift (a blue hippo l'il webkinz) but I'm pretty sure that since she owns 13 of them, mom will never notice. For breakfast, we'll be fine dining on nestle nesquick chocolate cereal which, I am told, delivers a double chocolate punch by turning the cereal milk into chocolate milk. Since payback's a bitch, I'm coaching Makeda to always go for the gifts.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Today was an irritating day. The flight is still not booked (despite 3 days of trying), the "To Do, To Buy, To Pack" list is still growing, despite the fact that I remove numerous items daily, and for the second day in a row, I rearranged meetings and left work early to accomodate a contractor who has still not been able to get the job done. It took an hour on the elliptical and two hours in a hot bath before I had emotionally scraped myself off the ceiling. Now, I don't normally sweat the small stuff, and this was small stuff. So I refocussed and conjured up the good vibes, and guess what popped into my head? This:

This is Emily, Desta and "blankie", 3 wonderful homemade baby gifts that I've received over the last few months. Emily and Desta were made by my mom and named by my dad (Desta means "peace" in Amharic) and blankie was made by my friend Joanne in Calgary. You can't see it unless you look closely, but the entire blanket is comprised of little hearts. She says it took 10 months, much cursing and an inability to watch tv (due to a high number of dropped stitches), but it's perfect. They all are. And then for good measure I conjured up this. I mean if two furballs like this can't cheer a girl up, what can?

Monday, April 21, 2008

This Does Not Suck!

So, props to all my friends, family and co-workers who responded to my call for donations for Makeda's orphanage. It's not all in yet, and here's what it looks like. Wow! Over 150 pieces of clothings, about 20 bibs, 6 or so blankies, boxes of first aid stuff, toys toys toys and the list goes on. I got NINE skipping ropes. Did I mention it's not all in yet? Now the three of us just to have to carry it... on our backs... for a 24 hour flight... through 3 airports... Nope! Still does not suck. And for his donation, one of my co-workers, bless him, bought me a hockey bag with wheels, so at least one of the three of will get somewhat of a free ride. And, to cap off a great day, I got some new pics too!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Big Ol' Birthday Shout Out

to Haze and Porter... I am one day late with Haze with excuses due to my comatose state and one day ahead with new mummy Porter. Have a great day guys!!

Countdown to Baby

Well thank-you all, for all of your encouragement. I have big news to report, which actually occurred on Friday, but I got hit with the flu and have been flat on my back for the last 48 hours. Anyway, my agency called to announce that - I CAN GO!! Makeda's facilitation visa has arrived, and I can leave anytime now to get her. This is apparently a new record, as it took only two weeks to get the visa instead of the usual six. It's hard to be over the moon when you're slumped over the toilet, so I gave a rather subdued "hurrah" and crawled back into bed, where I've been until a few hours ago. So, basically nobody knows yet that this has happened, except all of you.

Tentatively, the plan is to leave on May 10th and come back on May 30th, but that's subject to finalizing flights, so I will keep you all posted. Haze, get ready to partay, I'll be over your way one last time before I go...

Now, here's my question of the day. I want to bring Makeda back something memorable from the orphanage, and I'm not a creative person. I'll bring back a toy or a blankie - something she's used - but I want something more personalized. All I can think of is a blank card that her caregivers can sign, plus some pics of all of them, but there must be something better than that!! Any creative ideas that can be implemented by someone not capable of greater things than:

would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Miracle

Yes. It's me. Posting. On a Blog. Also referred to as Peer Pressure. And perhaps Vanity, since I've yet to show off a picture of my own sweet girl. So, let's get this party started. This is me. I'm about 6 weeks away from my travel date to pick my beautiful daughter, Makeda. This is Her. I've been working diligently to meet my baby girl for just over a year now, and a lot of people have joined me on my journey. Some of them, I've known forever, and look forward to introducing over time. Some of them, I've met through the internet. All of them have enriched my life beyond measure. These are my parents - my #1 fans and fellow travel companions to
Addis. None of this would have happened, or been nearly as much fun, without them.

These are my boys. We've been together forever. They're cute, they're spoiled, and they're in for one hell of a shock.

This is my favourite toy. It comes of out storage tomorrow.

And that is my exploratory trip into bloggerdom. Let the games begin....